A mini adventure today! On the beach at Dawlish Warren where the waves were fierce, the sun bright, and the sharp wind made it barely tolerable. We had scrambled past the fifth groin when we saw some green things, one flapping on the next groin and another being taken in and out by the waves.
It soon became clear that it was kite related and I hurried to get a closer look and found that someone was trying to untangle it, and getting wet in the process. He managed to get it onto the sand but it was being blown in all directions and wanted to take him along for the ride.
The two pieces were tangled together with a cobweb of line that wanted to weave around our legs so I helped to drag it up the beach. It fought back. The section I tried to control was about eighteen feet wide and I could distinguish it from a power kite by the air-filled sausage that wanted to render me horizontal.
Rescue man, being a lot stronger than me managed to locate the pully-outy thing to let the air out on his, which was bigger, then we restrained mine and I strangled it with its own lines. He hadn’t really worked out what sort of beast he’d subdued so I pointed a few miles across the estuary where a few kite surfers were still on the water out of Cockle Sands. We discussed what to do with it, he mentioned the words ‘salvage’ and ‘ebay’, I think he was joking, because he turned it round quickly when I said that I knew a tiny bit about the kiting community, because my daughter has power kites. I told him that I was fairly certain the owner could be found and hoped to God he was also in one piece.
Carrying our loads we headed back to the car park, deciding on the way that he would take it home for safekeeping. Because of his first reaction and knowing the kite’s value, part of me wanted to take it but he had got it out of the water so it didn’t feel right to take over. Instead I took his email address and said that I would do some detective work.
Back home I checked the internet forums, that I knew were out there, again because of my daughter, registered on a local site and posted a message to say it was found. Within an hour I got a reply from someone who knew the owner, a guy who had had to release his kit today while trying to help someone else who was in trouble. I’m really not surprised by that – it was very rough out there and the channel is known for its treacherous currents. Anyway the guy is okay and he will be reunited with his gear so all is well.