Yes, that’s a whale pod flying near the Two Rivers harbor last week. The astonishing sight was courtesy of kiter Jared Smith.
It was the first time Smith had flown all five of his blue whales at the same time. He had spotted other kiters using the field, and determined it was large enough to accommodate his group. A good wind day came along, and he got them set up and in the air. Fellow kiter George Jacobsen pitched in when some lines got tangled, and Smith’s mom, Annette, was on hand to assist taking the big kites down.
The maxi whale is 52 feet long, and the four smaller ones are each 26 feet. They were designed and made by Peter Lynn Kites in New Zealand, a company renowned for producing show kites. The blue whale banner in the photograph was made by Linda Sanders of OZFeathers in Australia.
Smith only started flying kites in 2017. He joined the Wisconsin Kiters Club in 2019. He wanted to get into bigger show kites, and ordered a Peter Lynn gecko through Chow Chong at Unique Flying Objects. As he awaited the new arrival, a really big opportunity came along.
“I saw that the big whale was being sold by another Wisconsin Kiter, so I got it,” Smith said. “My gecko came in the following day!”
This past June, he learned of another fellow kiter selling his collection. Smith asked what he had, and lo and behold: four midi whales and the banner!
The enthusiast is currently awaiting a 44-foot crocodile he ordered through UFO. And he’s not ruling out a bigger whale.
“I’m considering the idea of getting the ‘over large’ blue whale,'” he said.
That’s over 98 feet of kite, which will require two or three people to get it off the ground.
Smith doesn’t remember even flying kites as a kid, so never imagined developing this particular passion. He got the bug when he attended the 2017 party where his sister was flying a kite. He quickly made plans to visit UFO, and decided upon two items in the shop: a Prism Quantum stunt kite with a seven-foot wingspan and an eight-foot Rocky Mountain DC.
As evidenced by whales undulating on the currents of a stiff lakeshore breeze, BIG things have come to pass since that first foray into flight!