Story By Rick Spurgeon
Photos by Rick and Diane Spurgeon or Stolen From Flickr
All photos clickable for larger versions
We missed the Ocean Beach Kite Festival in May in order to attend the KAP In California 2016 event (KAPICA 2016) which was held near San Francisco. It was a bummer to miss the kite festival but KAPICA events are held infrequently and so became the priority. Besides, Diane is always looking for an excuse to load up the Miata and head out on a road trip.
We loaded up the Miata at 0DARK30 on Thursday morning and headed north in hopes of beating most of the LA traffic. Although that plan wasn’t entirely successful we made it to Santa Monica without much delay and picked up Hwy1 and dropped the top on the Miata. The weather on this trip wasn’t the best and waiting until the first rest stop to drop the top would be the norm for this trip. Once we picked up Hwy1 the pace slowed and we eventually made it to Morro Bay for the night.
The next morning we hit the road at a much more reasonable time and wandered up the coast to Pacifica where we would meet up with the other KAPICA participants. We made a stop at Pidgeon Point lighthouse to try and get the camera in the air. We meet another KAPer there who was just giving up due to a lack of wind and headed out. This was my third try to KAP at Pidgeon Point, the first two tries ended with no pictures. I was just able to get the camera up and get some pictures so the trip was officially now a success and so we continued on north.
So what is KAPICA 2016? Well KAP events vary but this one was a fairly informal gathering of Kite Aerial Photographers who hang out at Chris Benton’s discussion group (link below), and share photos in a Flickr group (link below). This event was actually a nine day event but we were only able to attend the first two days.
KAPICA 2016 was scheduled to coincide with World Wide Kite Aerial Photography Week (WWKAPW). WWKAPW is yet another informal event help for the last several years in which KAPers from around the world take photos during a specific time period and share the photos in yet another Flickr group (link below). This isn’t necessarily your best pictures but what you could do in this specific week. Some years a print on demand book has been put together.
If that wasn’t enough it was also arranged to have the World Wide KAP Community Banner on hand for the week. The banner travels the world from KAPer to KAPer who hold it for a week or so and take pictures with the banner in it. It is then mailed to the next KAPer. The banner has been traveling the world for several years and I was lucky enough to have it in San Diego in May 2012 for WWKAPW.
Back to KAPICA 2016….
We eventually made it to Pacifica and meet up with the other attendees for dinner. Although I knew a lot about the other attendees (or at least a lot about their KAP habits) I had never met any of them in person. I was a little bit out of my element here, these are some serious KAPers. I just barely dabble a bit. In fact my main motive for being here was to see real KAPers in action as I almost never meet other KAPers.
As I said these are some serious KAPers and Saturday morning before breakfast my phone starting chiming with messages from people headed out for early morning photos. Diane is a good sport but KAP before breakfast is not an option. We headed out a little later and meet up at Crissy Field in San Francisco. The skies were overcast and the wind up and down but most of us got cameras up with varying amounts of success. One brave soul got chased away for being too close to the Golden Gate Bridge. After lunch we headed over the bridge to Marin Headlands Park where conditions were worse and I didn’t even get a kite out although others did. Dinner was in Half Moon Bay at an imitation English Pub which didn’t amuse the three people who just finished flying many many hours from England. However, once they found out their favorite obscure local brew was available they warmed up to the pub.
Most of Sunday was spent at Bedwell Bayfront Park. The park is made up of reclaimed land and is surrounded by salt ponds that are being returned to their natural state. Back to Half Moon Bay for dinner at an Italian restaurant that ended up staying open late just for us (we can’t go to dinner now we can get sunset photos!). Then we said our goodbyes and got ready to head home.
I was only a little jealous that the rest had another week to go. But really, KAPing for three days was plenty for me. I know at least one person ended up taking over 15000 (yes thousand) photos during the week. I haven’t taken anywhere near that many photos in nine years of KAPing. I am just a dabbler, they are serious KAPers.
For this event we had KAPers from California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Scotland, England, South Africa, and Tahiti. Other people arrived after we had left.
Now you might be asking yourself why would Diane agree to a six day trip to hang out with crazy kite aerial photographers on our 28th anniversary (Did I mention that)? Well besides liking a road trip and being a general all around good sport I had an idea that won back major bonus points for me. She is a big Harry Potter fan and it occurred to me that a Tuesday before schools let out and vacations start would be a great time to visit Universal Studios. So that is what we did.
Anyone interested in learning to be a crazy KAPer so I don’t have to travel so far for company?
See you at Ocean Beach next year.
The Promised Links To The Kap World On The Internet:
—Cris Benton Discusstion Group HERE
—TheKiteDude on Flickr HERE
—The KAPICA 2016 Group on Flickr Here
—The Kite Aerial Photography Group on Flickr HERE
—The World Wide KAP Week on Flickr HERE
—The World Wide KAP Project (Banner) on Flickr HERE
—A Source For KAP kits and bits and pieces HERE