Monday, 26 October 2015

Sand City

Another early morning message from Craig that it might be soarable at Sand City. No guarantees but he put the offer out. We hummed and hawed for a bit. Did we want to drive four hours on a gamble? We checked with Chris and Lorenzo and it looked like the only other thing on the agenda was the Elings training hill. Too overcast for Pine Mountain which is one of the places we really want to fly this trip! Sand City it was.

The trip there was humorous! All along the way, Craig was looking at the direction of the flags, how fast the wind turbines were moving, and getting Andrew to call the "wind talker" at the top of every hour for updates. He was like a little kid in his excitement to get there and potentially flyyyyy! It was a roller coaster ride of emotions thinking things were "on," "off," "on," "off." We really didn't know if we'd be able to fly until we got there.

At first, winds were light. Once Craig figured it was strong enough to soar, he took off and Andrew and I got launched shortly thereafter. We both got a couple short but reasonable flights. Andrew, the star student, even managed to get high enough to "cross the gap" in the dunes.

However, as the winds got stronger (and the soaring got better) it was more and more difficult for us  (especially me) to launch and land. As Craig said, we "paid a few dues" but at the same time learned a lot by getting dragged around a bit. Thankfully, getting dragged through sand is relatively low risk. Also thankfully, scuba diving is on the agenda next week so that by the time we get home I should have all the sand out of my ears!

Sand City dunes
Craig and Andrew waiting for the winds to pick up to soaring speed.
Craig waiting patiently and kiting up and down the hill.

Craig soaring!
On a positive note, it really was a great learning experience. Most of the time that I got dragged, I immediately knew what I did wrong and hopefully can correct it next time. Craig also taught us a few new tricks that will be of benefit the next time.

Such a great, humbling, experience!

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