Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Home Sweet Home

It always feels so good to be home again (even though there is a very high likelihood that in two weeks I'll be itching to leave ;-). We were threatened by Ernesto a few days ago, but that has now been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm to a tropical depression. So, with any luck, we'll hardly even notice it. Despite the constant hurricane threat this time of year, I love it here when things are so quiet and mellow. The flying is really smooth and relaxing, the Thai food is plentiful, the grass is green and the sunsets are spectacular! Here are two shots of my "front yard" last night.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Cruising the Cozumel Coastline

Me Atop a Mayan Pyramid

Gerolf Conquers the Mayans

Happy Goalies on the 255km Task

Glen Volk Tries to Land on Me!

Gorgeous Texas Sky

Jonny Having Some Fun

Waaaaaaay Behind

We just finished up the pre-worlds in Big Spring and finally I'm getting a spare moment to give an update. Texas was good (as good as it can be ;-) and the meet ran pretty smoothly. I think we could use about twice as many tugs next year, but luckily I think people were pretty patient this time and everyone got in the air eventually. The weather wasn't as perfect as it has been in years past, but in the end they flew all but one day - with 4 tasks total (2 days cancelled after launch). Attila Bertok from Hungary won and that was good because he seems to be David's favorite international competitor.

It was good to see the town of Big Spring come out and welcome all of us. They had bleachers set up next to the runway and on the weekends, the bleachers were packed with spectators - amazing considering it was close to 100 degrees every day. They also had signs up all over town welcoming the hang gliders. I believe we were on the cover of the Big Spring newspaper every day - not totally sure, but I bought about 4 papers and hang gliders were on the cover of every one I bought. The restaurants even agreed to stay open past 8pm for us ;-)...incredible actually, for a town that rolls up the street at 8 normally.

After a couple of days of decompression after the meet ended, we headed off to Mexico for a little holiday. We have spent the last four days in Playa del Carmen, a somewhat small town on the Yucatan Penninsula about 45 minutes south of Cancun. Thanks to a great tip from Jeff O'Brien, we went right past Cancun and all the barfing spring break types to this smaller town, with slightly fewer barfers. It is still pretty touristy and everybody and his brother wants to sell you something, but it has been quite nice.

Our first whole day here we took the fairy out to Cozumel and rented scooters to putt around the island. The carribean water is beautiful clear blue and as warm as bath water. We made the circle around the island stopping along the way a few times for swimming and snorkling. That was such an exhausting day being out in the sun all day that we opted for a day in town at the local beach yesterday. Couldn't do much other than alternate swimming and snoozing on the beach.

Today, our last day, was pretty cool. We rented a car and took off for the 3 hour drive to Chichen Itza. The Mexican's don't make it easy to rent a car here and if I had it to do over again, I would definitely take a tour bus. The drive was long on roads with potholes bigger that my bathtub, but we made it there. What a cool site Chichen Itza would be without all the tourists ;-) They no longer allow people to climb the main pyramid so we were a bit disappointed that we couldn't go to the top. But, we made up for it by stopping at another smaller set of ruins on the way home. They have a pyramid much taller than the one at Chichen Itza and we were able to climb to the top of it and stand there imagining how it might be to launch into a big fat thermal and float around above it.