Paragliding Map

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Snatched Chance

Today was a little hectic starting with a drive to Akrotiri in order that I could sign out 2 gliders from the store to Mick and Henry or the Army Air corps band.  I also had in mind that later I had promised the twins I'd take them to buy new Tennis rackets and even play with them for a while on the court.  With this in mind I quickly sorted out the two gliders with surprising ease.  2 Alphas and Charlie Harness'.  Mick could not be there due to being locked out of his room after letting the door close behind him on his way to the shower! School boy error in my opinion but also very funny to think of him wrapped in his towel screaming at the door to open!
Once the gliders had been issued I swung past Curium to see if it was flyable and to my joy Halsey was already in the air and climbing.  I hung around for a couple of minutes as is my way.  I like to get a rough idea of what the air is doing in my mind before I fly.  Then I took a walk to the sandpit as there were a few strongish gusts passing through on the top but nothing I was worried about.
In the sandpit the wind was far more palatable, and I took off in a very sandpit manner, dragging my backside in the sand for a few moments whilst I steadied the wing.  Once I could get my feet down again, I was off and the lift was strong and steady almost everywhere I went.  I immediately flew over to the stables and then out over the sea with relative ease.  I managed to return to the hill at launch height and then headed to top launch where the lift was strongest.  Up I went flying nicely alongside Halsey for a little while.

After about 15 minutes I could see that the sea was just beginning to white cap and so I decided that I would need to land soon.  I stayed up a while longer keeping my eye on the sea and after another 15 minutes I was on the beach and spent 5 minutes ground handling for the tourists before packing away and yomping back to the top.  Another 33 minutes for my log!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Unexpected direction

Yes yes! I know it's been quite some time since my last post.  I know you've all got fed up and left me, and I know that you're now trying to find another blog that is just as interesting as this one but having little joy! Well hear I am.  I'm back for a little while as I don't have any work commitments for the next few weeks!

Well today started off a little early considering I'm supposed to be on leave and I left the house at 09:00 so that I could open the club up and sort a few little admin points out before Baz and Pete arrived to pick up their kits.  One of the admin points was which gliders can I actually issue out?  luckily they are all nicely labeled and the broken ones were easy to pick out.  I can't help thinking that it's a pitty we don't have a little extra petty cash to get the older wings replaced or at least repaired.  Tim's working on that issue with the sale of the clubs 20 or so Hang Gliders.  Terrible to think of them going really, but with the military pulling their support for that sport, there is little point keeping them.  We have a buyer but again the administration is what's stopping us right now.  Tim is away in the UK for a couple more weeks and until he gets back we can do nothing!  Come back Tim!
I'd looked at the Met before I left in the morning and was dismayed to find it forecast N to NE erly at 10kph.  I lugged the glider into the car anyway just in case!! and I also threw in a yellow firebird which we plan on decorating the clubhouse with.
When I reached Kollossi I'd forgotten about the diversion they've implemented and so I decided to go one junction early and head in the general direction of a large fire I had been watching for the last 15 miles. I could see a Helix flying about with a bladder of water underslung and realised the the Akrotiri peninsular was pretty much on fire in a big way! well needless to say half an hour later I was still trying to find my way over to the fire and getting nowhere! bloody Cypriot diversions! they give you one sign to follow and then at the next junction just don't bother telling you anything! my saviour came in the form of a water park! Fassoula! how I love thee! once I clocked the water park I was home!
I met up with Baz and after a short wait Pete too and both were happy with their kit so I decided that as I had my wing with me and that I was already 98% of the way there I may as well have a look at the top just to see how bad it was!  Baz followed me up and neither of us expected to see the wind blowing onto the hill! we'd seen the smoke from the fire drifting out to sea to the South so we could see that it was most definitely a N to NE wind! but as is the Curium way not only was it blowing directly onto the hill but it was quite strong too!in fact some of the gusts were too strong and so I decided to wait half an hour and Baz and I walked to the sand pit to discuss our options.
In the sandpit the wind was lighter but much the same when it came to the gusts; and so in  my head I had already made the decision to can it for the day and just take the hit! as is often the way for me.
we trudged back to the top and could feel that it was maybe just a touch lighter than before but still in my mind too strong.  Baz asked if I wouldn't mind helping him set up his speed system, I agreed and pulled out the hanger.  It took us about 20 minutes to get it just right, in that time the wind speed had decreased yet further! I stood up and looked at the smoke rising from the fire in the distance, it was going straight up! the funny patterns (that I have not mentioned yet) on the sea had all gone away and the gusts were not really strong at all!
I walked to my car and within the space of me leaving the launch and getting to my car the smoke had started to drift in the opposite direction!  I said to Baz, I'm gonna give it a go!  if I can't top land don't worry just wait to see if I say it's nice or not and then launch!
We strode to the sandpit as it was still a little strong for a top launch and found the wind to be very much in our favour now! :) I'm feeling the little buzz I get from the sport about now and whipped out my wing! with a little input the wing lifted up in front of me and I got ready to be dragged kicking and screaming into the air.  But it didn't happen, the wing just popped up, I turned, and up I went! perfect....ish!  The air was lifting nicely and very smoothly and before I knew it I was at 400ft above! a little too high in my book to carry out effective Coaching of a newly qualified CP.  Big ears in and float away from the hill a little, it was smooth with the odd thermal kicking off but nothing too strong!  As soon as my ears were out I was back at 400ft, so I continued beating back and forth with ears in, then out, then in and finally out again just so I could keep my eye on Baz as he carried out a superb sandpit launch with no sign of being ripped off his feet or getting dragged through the bush, which is the case with so many new CP's myself included!
We flew together for the next hour and also with Christos in very buoyant air!  giving me the opportunity for some wingovers and some stall appreciation exercises! I just love days like this where you can lose so much height doing wingovers and then within a few seconds you're back at 400ft looking at the next exercise!
All in all a great day, only spoiled by the Cypriot Bank holiday meaning Panicos Ice-cream was not there to greet me!  and after I'd promised him I'd buy one the next time I was there!

Tight Lines everyone!

 Look!! No Ice-cream Man!!

Dudley Out.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

It's not 'Flying' it's Falling with style!

Well Dave, Tim and I have been loosely talking about visiting the North of the Island for well over a year now, but up until last weekend we had struggled to find a time when everyone was available due mainly, to Tim and I working shifts and Dave only working lazy mornings.
Due to Dave not having to do any work at all for most of the time, he has flown on that side of the Island before and indeed at almost every flyable site in the South.  Anyway as I have already mentioned last weekend we did find time and Dave and Tim drove up to the border where they picked me up.
Once watered and with all the kit packed we headed over the border and drove to St Hilarion and onward to Paradise launch.
The wind was on the strong side but with long gentle lulls and we decided to wait a while to see what happened.
While we waited Dave took it upon himself to brief Tim and I about the potential hazards and what to expect given the wind conditions.  Thanks Dave!  Due to Ozgur not being available to drive us Dave had said that Tim and I should fly first as he knew how to get to the landing area by road and that would be the easiest option however due to the strong nature of some of the gusts I elected to stay temporarily on the ground and let the experience lead the way.  An instructor of mine always told me never to be the wind dummy! and this thought was very much shining through as being the most important to me.  Dave of course accepted my offer to drive as I had mapped out the route from looking at the road from the hill.
We decided that the gusts were getting weaker and the lulls were longer now than before though still a bit of a worry.  Dave went first with a really nicely controlled launch followed by what I can shall describe as a bumpy departure from the hill.  Tim was watching and thinking much the same as me which was "hmmmm! that looks uncomfortable!" but this we later discovered was only Dave faffing with his camera and other paraphernalia.  Well as Dave climbed it appeared to to smooth out and Tim was happy that he could launch and fly and so launched into very nice calm air and played nicely around the front of launch with Dave.

I wasted no time and jumped into the Red Rocket for the drive down and radioed to let the others know that I would be in the field for them when they landed.  The drive down took me into radio shadow and so I was uncontactable for I guess 5 minutes.  As I came around the hill and back into radio range I heard Dave brokenly and he said "Talk to me Tim!" I was still just out of range to talk to them and was around 8 minutes drive away.  Dave then radioed that he was going to land and I answered that I would be there soon.
I found the field without too much problem and walked over to where Dave was but I could not see Tim.  I asked Dave on the radio if Tim was still in the air and he replied "Negative" an that Tim had landed quite expertly on a road some way up the hill.  After helping Dave pack I radioed Tim and he answered that he was shaken but that he was OK and had had a bit of a heafty landing.  I told him that we would be with him shortly.  We found him on a very narrow track with tall trees either side, he was standing up and looking quite forlorn as we pulled along side him.  We packed his kit into the Red rocket and went to have assess Tims last moments in the air.  We'd been looking around for about 2 minutes when Dave announced that he had a nose bleed! well I just had to get a snap!
Tim said he'd had a few issues fairly low and ended up having a collapse at the top of the trees about 12 - 15 feet I would estimate.
I'm glad to say that after a few beers Tim seemed to be sore but fine! as you can see from the picture (left).
We had a spot of lunch in a rip off Burger King called "Burger City", not my ideal choice of venue but given the circumstances it was fine! then we headed back to the top to have another look with the thought that I could have a fly.
On arrival we noticed that the wind had dropped completely leaving me the choice of, fly top to bottom with no chance of playing or gaff it off as a bad job and go find another site.  Well I was not going to pass up the chance to fly so I quickly set up and took the only breath of wind left on the hill to launch into a really pleaseant top to bottom.  I had pleanty of time to look around and even over fly the area that Tim dobbed into and also to fly a short way along the new motorway and do a couple of 360's before I found myself at approach height.
As ever I found that I had misjudged my height and needed to use alot more of the landing field than I would have liked but still had plenty of room if I'd needed it.  I must work on this skill and try to judge a lower approach angle.  See my track log here.
Well after that the guys drove to pick me up from the bottom and we went shopping for the evenings supplies.  We drove from Kyrenia to Cantara castle where we found a convenient field out of the way and right on the coast in which to pitch our tent.  The area was lovely with a nice clamber down to the sea and a spit of sand stone jutting out into a small bay  35°26'21.02"N  33°56'39.74"E.
We ate and drank well into the night under a very starry sky and at one point had to take cover as the local coast guard came along with search lights and were shining them at us quite alot.  I think if we'd just have carried on as normal we'd have been fine but the alchohol made us all stand very still and even lie down on the rocks.  Unfortunately the alchohol made me very loud and i couldn't stop talking even though we could hear the guys on the boat! oops!
Well after a nice night we headed first to Kantara Castle to try to find the launch.  The weather was pants and so we had a walk around the castle which was nice,  on the way down the wind  screen washers got blocked so I went to wipe the windscreen and Dave decided it would be a good laugh to drive off with me on the bonnet!  Video to follow.  Then it was off to Golden Sands to see if it was flyable there!  Unfortunately the wind was well off to the East and when Dave gave it a go he went straight down for a play in the dunes.  Once he'd finished we strolled back to the top and drove to the beech to have a look there.  That was no good either though I did get a few pics.
After that we drove home a really great weekend!

Cheers Guys and Credit to both Dave and Tim as I have captured some of my photos off their videos.  You'll have to follow Tim's blog if you want to know more about his mishap.  Whether he shares his video I'll leave that up to him!

On the way home we noticed a sign that we just couldn't work out!  The Car wash name just makes no sence at all!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

One heck of a long day!

Well today was something of a great success to say the least!  Last week I would never have predicted it as the weather has been so bad recently.
Yesterday was an absolute hoot and Dave and I were convinced that after that today should pretty much be a carbon copy of yesterday, after all the Met was similar.
Well this morning I looked at the Met from Akrotiri and Wunderground and it did not look good, in fact it looked terrible.  Well I had already told Anthony first thing not to get on the bus from school and that I would pick him up afterward and maybe take him to Curium.  Oops! I thought but it was too late and so I readied the car and waited for the Younger kids to finish school 1230 and 1300 so we could all make a day of it,  Just as Rachel had finished, Dave called from Episkopi and I told him that we were just about to leave just as soon as Rachel was out of her school clothes and into something a little more beechy.  After telling him this, I could sense an air of trepidation in Daves breathing and his next words were "I don't want to be the harbinger of doom!" I switched off at this point and told him I was coming anyway and to blazes with the weather It could blow Easterly all it liked but that wasnot going to stop me!  I wasn't about to drive 20 minutes just to pick Anthony up and then come home again!  I have a bus that does that for me and he wasn't using it today because I told him not to!  I felt a little pang of guilt and a touch of remorse as I hung up the phone, but I pushed this aside and told Lisa the bad news.  I can't say she took it entirely well and she spent the first couple of miles thinking what a waste of time this was all going to be.  So now we're headed to Dhekelia to pick up Anthony (who complained that I had left him standing for 30 seconds and this was ages) and I thought I'd lighten the mood by telling Lisa that the front tires both need replacing, especially the one on her side as it has a crack right across it (A sure sign it's about to delaminate).  That wasn't the best thing to say as she then spent then next 5 miles telling me how I should get them changed tomorrow and that maybe I should swap the spare with the bad tyre.  I ignored  most of that and put her mind at rest by telling her I'd see George (The local mechanic) in the morning.  She pondered this for most of the rest of the journey.  About 5 minutes away from the hill (just as you leave the main Motorway and head into Erimi) is where I start to get a feel for the wind speed and direction as this stretch of road looks in pretty much the same direction as the hill and there are a few tall trees that give subtle hints about the conditions, this is where Lisa decides to start to talk again but I think she was trying not to think about the tyres and so started asking me stuff about the Bungalow back in the UK!  and our savings and stuff!  This was all stuff that we need to talk about but that was totally the wrong time for me and so I mmhmmmed and agreed for most of the the rest of that bit of journey whilst I tried to determine if it was all going to be worthwhile and joy of joys I pointed out a tree to Lisa and explained why I was so distantand in that instant the treetop was blown in a southerly direction!  Yippee! I thought but then I thought there was a little Eastlerly in it and I started to come down off my high.  Oh well I'm here now I might as well look at the top!
On arrival I meet Mark Jones who had just walked up from the bottom after a short flight and he looked at me, pointed at the streamer on the stop sign and said "Says it all really!".  I'm sorry Mark but all I could feel was the sweet taste of success!  I'd brought my family here against the odds and it had payed off Anthony was going to get a Top to Bottom!  hoorahhh!!  the endless nagging will stop now he will have actually flown with Uncle Dave and have something to tell his mates at school!
Dave arrived as I was unloading my kit and said I could set up behind him!  "Cheeky Git!" I thought but actually it made perfect sense and I immediately retracted my thought from my mouth! I layed my glider on the top of launch and set up the helmet camera before helping Dave get his rig sorted and Anthony into his (Sorry Kyles) small harness.  Anthony was extremely excited, moreso that any boy should be especially if they are like Anthony, his lips would not stop moving and words kept flooding out at a rate that I couldn't cope with and his legs kept moving and he had virtually no control over them to the point that even when told not to walk in the lines he continued to walk furter into them.  It was all getting a bit much but then came the moment when Dave called him to point! his mind was focused he walked calmly over and stood exactly where he was suposed to, he did everything as he was told to and after one snaggy failure had a perfect launch from the top of curium and a flight out over the Eastern cliffs, higher than anybody else could get.  He loved every minute of it.  Thank you very much Dave you lovely, lovely man!  from Anthony and myself and Lisa really Thank you!

I launched moments after the Tandem and Mark said he was convinced for another go and so launched 5 minutes after me.  You will be able to see my flight at the usual place soon  until then have a look at the photos.