In the wake of the ship: KAP at Ely

At only 30m above the ground Ely Cathedral looks imposing with the windblown fen in the distance. I have long wanted to fly here but always found excuse not to. Today broke bright and blowy and before the trees are in leaf I thought I’d give it a go. A nice SWesterly at my back. I let the kite go and to my horror it pulled hard and began to spin, I fed it more line and it climbed out of trouble, I decided to wait and see what the wind was doing up there…I had let out about 50m of line before I could be happy the thing would stay put. I attach the camera to the line and wait some more, as the wind drops the kite drifts down and into a swirling mess of turbulence, what on earth could cause that? The fens are flat from horizon to horizon, the few trees there are have no leaves on but something is really ripping the airflow apart 20-3om or more above my head! Casting my eye upwind I see the trouble over my left shoulder, Ely Catherderal has been spilling the wind for 1000 years near enough and today is no exception, down wind of it there is a huge series of spiralling vortices that, as I move closer into the building the airflow becomes more than the kite can cope with forcing a hasty retreat. To fly above the turbulence would put me over-height so I have to settle for the height I have and work with that. Working very carefully I get as close to the building as the kite will allow. This is my best shot.

In 3 years of taking photos by kite I’m still surprised at what I get, these look like views from a a place without them!

Cherry Hill is a public park and I’m joined by promenaders curious as to what I’m up to. Things on this flight were pretty tense so I was hard pressed to keep polite conversation and keep up the concentration needed to avoid trouble.

Living on the edge of the fen I am drawn to these places with the ‘big sky’ I’ll be back!

Useful facts on Ely Cathederal

About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
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3 Responses to In the wake of the ship: KAP at Ely

  1. jokerxl says:

    Superb location Bill!
    My KAP rig has arrived, will be tinkering with that this afternoon. Rain forecast for Sunday so will have to be patient.
    Also visit to the kite-shop in Nijmegen later, get some smaller square-meterage.

  2. Bill Blake says:

    Good luck with the rig, you can be sure Brooks Leffler has supplied the optimum, the EP1 fits in nicely! When you get to the kite shop see if they have an HQ flowform as a fresh wind option …and make sure you fly it with a drogue; it’s twitchy without one. Can you see if you can bag another Premier Flowfoil for me too?

  3. David Andrews says:

    It’s allways windy round York Minster. In fact a man was once blown through the window of a nearby tea room

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