Saturday, June 4, 2011

We're still here!

David has neglected the blog for almost three months, but here's a quick summary of the rest of March:

Long weekend of 12-14 March 2011 (the 14th was Canberra Day):  we went to Albury to visit Leigh Black (a science teacher who went on exchange to Kamloops a couple of years ago), and then on to the mountains near Bright, where we camped at a beautiful spot by the Buckland River in the Riverview Caravan Park, and toured the gorgeous gorge on Mount Buffalo.
Our magnificent second-hand tent
Delicious beers at the Bright Brewery on Sunday evening (Jen really liked the raspberry lambic), and most excellent fish & chips in Corryong on the way home.
Just one of many spectacular views of the gorge on Mt. Buffalo
The Snowy Mountains are truly amazing, a vast area of bleached dead trees owing to the massive fire of 2003.

16-19 March 2011:  four consecutive days of flying!

20 March 2011:  occasional light showers, so we had a look at the Molongo River gorge just outside Queanbeyan. Not as grand as the one at Mt. Buffalo, but a very pretty sight just the same.
Molongo River near Queanbeyan

25-27 March 2011:  the long-awaited visit to Jervis Bay!  We visited the Botanic Gardens, did some snorkelling, and saw lots of rosellas and rainbow lorikeets (as well as kangaroos, wallabies, and an echidna).

Jen in her glory
Deep in the Botanic Gardens

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Flight log, continued...

Tuesday (8 March) - two flights at Spring Hill, the first unexpectedly short (about 5 minutes) on a gorgeous afternoon of good thermalling conditions, and the second unexpectedly long (about 10 minutes) in the evening after the wind had become very light.  Unlucky lull in the first instance, and surprising "buoyancy" in the second.

Wednesday (9 March) - beautiful ~1.75 hours of mixed thermalling and ridge soaring at Spring Hill.
Spring Hill launch, looking towards landing paddock

Monday, March 7, 2011

A little up time

Thursday (3 March) was a frustrating afternoon of watching the wind blow a little too hard at Spring Hill, but on Friday, after some more watching and waiting, David was finally able to launch safely around 17h30 or so and had a very smooth and pleasurable flight.

Al and Faith Bailey
Meanwhile, Jen's friends and former NorKam colleagues (before they retired), Al and Faith Bailey, had come to pay a visit.  They wanted to see some kangaroos, and their wish was granted!  We enjoyed seeing them and hearing about their adventures, and it was a pity they had to hit the road again in the morning.

But Lake George was very much on on that Saturday (5 March), and David had a wonderful 2.5-hour flight from Geary's, up to the Collector launch and beyond, and back, in fairly strong thermal conditions.  Sunday also was good, though it took him two tries to get a soaring flight in, and that was a late ridge-soaring event.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A little down time

Short but good flight on Saturday (26 February) while Jen went to an exchange teacher event at Batemans Bay.  Perhaps eventually she'll blog regarding the gold mining history and Aboriginal "bush tucker" skills she learned about.  Or perhaps not.  She seems a bit too busy living life here to blog about it so far.

One of our dear readers, on the other hand, manages to enjoy life a great deal and blog about it in detail.  Anne-Marie and Les Sainsbury (Les is a hang glider pilot, of course) live in Victoria, BC, and Anne-Marie writes about her daily experiences at

Jen at Bicentennial Park
Back here in the Canberra area, Sunday (27 February) through Tuesday (1 March) have been devoted to non-flying activities, in a departure from the recent norm.  Sunday we climbed Mount Jerrabomberra, which is an easy walk from here.  We took perhaps two hours or so for the excursion.  Monday we strolled over to the nearby Bicentennial Park.  Tuesday evening was the monthly ACTHPA (Australian Capital Territory Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association) meeting.  Today, Wednesday (2 March), David has finished playing his violin for now and made his lunch, and is waiting to see whether the wind direction at Geary's will improve enough to justify a visit there this afternoon.  Meanwhile, there are always things that need doing on the computer, and lots of nice books here...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Life is sweet

David certainly hasn't had much to complain about lately.  Violin in the morning, flying in the afternoon, Jen's charming company in the evening, every day this week so far.  There is scarcely time left for blogging!

Here, mainly for the interest of any pilots that might be reading this, is a summary of the last 6 days' flying:

Sunday (20 February):  first flight at Spring Hill, mentioned in the previous post.  [track log]

Monday:  first (ridge-assisted) thermalling flight in the Litesport, at Spring Hill.  [track log]

Tuesday:  ridge-assisted thermalling at Collector in the afternoon, and ridge soaring at Geary's in the evening sea breeze.  [track log]

Wednesday:  sled run at Geary's in the evening, followed by a barbecue at the home of a pilot (the one from whom I had borrowed the Moyes Mission previously) and his fiancĂ©e.  Nic is quite a character, and has built several "tall bikes" by welding frames together and in one case constructing a very special hexagonal frame.

Thursday:  two great hours at Spring Hill in the afternoon.  [track log]

Friday:  short flight at Spring Hill in the early evening.

Things are looking promising for today (Saturday, 26 February) too!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fun in the Litesport

Saturday (19 February) was an early shopping day, and a rainy afternoon during which Jen did some school prep work.  We had a beautiful walk in the evening after the rain cleared.

Sunday was windy, but Jen was keen to see a bit more of the countryside, so we packed sandwiches and a glider and headed up to Spring Hill.  Even windier there, so we stopped in at a place called Poacher's Pantry just across the road from the flying site, where Jen did a bit of wine-tasting and we each had a tiny lunch on a huge plate.  Lovely spot, and very good food, but rather pricey.

Colours not quite as bright as dB usually
likes, but a great glider all the same.
The wind was by then hinting at diminishing a bit, so we went up the hill.  And after getting set up and doing a lot of hang-waiting, David was finally able to launch in suitably mellow conditions for a soaring flight that could have gone on a lot longer but was terminated before dark in an unusual spasm of prudence on the part of the pilot in ostensible command.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

David gets his new glider

On Thursday (17 February), David picked up the long-awaited Litesport 4 from Phil Robinson, who was kind enough to transport it from Stanwell Park, a popular coastal soaring site near Sydney, where none other than Steve Moyes (of Moyes Gliders) had brought it.  Phil owns the top (launch) and landing field at Spring Hill, where he shares a house with his wife Marian and currently their 25-year-old son (their other two kids are in their mid-thirties and have moved out).  Spring Hill is a great flying site, but a bit tricky for doing a first flight in a relatively unfamiliar glider (David only once flew a Litesport before, and that was many years ago in Florida), so observation rather than participation was the watchword (pardon the pun) on Thursday evening.

But then Friday (18 February) turned out to be perfect at Geary's, where the launch is easy and the landing "paddock" is the vast Lake George bed.  The glider immediately inspired confidence, and David flew many miles along the ridge to the north (just past the Collector launch) and back.  Track picked up as usual by and recorded in altitude-colourized detail for Google Earth viewing here.  No pictures of the glider yet...perhaps today!