Saturday, December 26, 2009

International Christmas

One that always pleases me about the hang gliding community is how international it is. At various times over the last year. This Christmas was a perfect example. I spent Christmas Eve and morning with a group of four Swiss friends (mother, daughter, and their two boyfriends, l. to r. Fredy, Dolores, Ashanta, Jörg) and then spend the rest of Christmas day exploring a dune soaring site with (below, l. to r.) Zhenya (Russian), Noma (Japanese), Gerolf (Austria) and Kathryn (Irish).

This December has been one of as full of flight as I could ever fantasize, be it from cliff sites like Stanwell Park, where one flies hundreds of meters above the surf, or at dune soaring sites, such as Redhead Beach near Newcastle, where I flew with my wingtip only a meter or two away from the sloping sand dunes, then choosing to stop and hover, then levitate back down to earth whenever I chose.

With all my time in the air and even more among the best of friends, this has been one month of endless days of happiness; hanging out with Curt and Louise in Stanwell, Scott and Monica in Newcastle, the Swiss, and so many others.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stanwell Park, Australia

I had a two hour flight yesterday off of Stanwell Park's Bald Hill, cruising up and down dramatic cliffs pounded by exploding surf 700 meters below me. Absolutely stunning. Absolutely glorious.

Zhenya was there, too, in her new job as a test pilot for the Moyes factory. She was testing a prototype of the smaller version (for women and lightweight men) of the same glider I just bought.

Though I took the photos above, I didn't make the video below. But it was made at the same place I flew. Take it's five minute length and multiply it times 24 and you'll have an idea of the amazing experience I had yesterday.

Today was a bit of simpler fun: dune gooning at Wollongong beach (90 minutes south of Sydney). I made this short video of Curt surfing the wave in the air off the bushes at the end of the dune.