Paragliding Map

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.

Monday, 10 January 2011

The long wait is over!

Some of you may be wondering "What the hell has happened to Dudley?"  well let me tell you, this is what happens if you live at the wrong end of Cyprus:
1.  You're 1 1/2 hours from arguably the best Paragliding site on island.  This means you have to be spot on with your Met or you'll spend alot of time on the road and not much in the air.
2.  Your on Shift! This means that no matter how good you are at deciding weather it's good to fly, you are invariably at work or due to long hours your sleeping off (I have been flying on my sleep day but I can't reccomend it).
There is a 3rd but it was my choice to have a family and I love them dearly.

Well today I woke up late (around 10:45) and went downstairs to make some toast and have a look at what was going on on FaceBook and also to check the weather as is my way.  I had thought about flying today but after looking on weather underground was just thinking I should maybe can it when Dave popped up on FB chat and said he thought it was spot on and he reckoned it would be like that for at least another 3 hours.  Well not one to pass up an oportunity to fly, I ate my toast and salami, finished my cup of coffee and jumped in the car.
On arrival (about 14:00) I could see it was doable but on the stronger side so I had a little walk to the sandpit to assess the conditions there and found it to be perfect.  I rushed back to get my kit and headed down to the sand pit to try out the latest addition to my kit.  A GoPro Helmet Hero (Video to follow).
I was amazed how easily my wing came up and was also surprised how I didn't get torn off my feet as is the norm in the sandpit on stronger days.  I just pulled on the A's, braked and turned around, by then I was off my feet and gently floating around the sky.  There was lift everywhere and I managed to fly out to the beech a number of times with ease and no fear about making it back to the hill.
Around 15:30 Dave arrived and minced around take off waiting for a tandem passenger he had lined up.  Elenor had to leave and so Dave shouted up to see if I could give him a lift home.  I told him I could as long as he thought he could get all his kit in with mine as I was dubius. a few minutes later his pax arrived and they launched with very little difficulty and were able to fly around for about half an hour and I even noticed some pitch and roll control manoeuvers.
After a couple of hours I was getting quite cold so I headed for the beech to land, it took quite alot of effort getting down but I manged to land on the beech. nothing exciting to report today but a very nice day topped by Tea at Daves and Cauliflower Cheese and carrots which had been lovingly prepared by Elena, Thank you guys for a great day!