Saturday, December 29, 2007

Perfect spring day!

We went up and soared the tandem glider this afternoon and I could
have swore it was April. We climbed at 400fpm all the way into the
clouds at 4000ft. Ah....I love Florida.


I got to spend the holiday with my brother and sister-in-law and
little Maxie in Charleston. Maxie is quite the swinger.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ways to hurt one's self when we can't fly!

....kiting, man towing, snake boarding....

Who gets the first broken bone?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Reindeer Run

Mitch and I did another race this weekend. There were close to 2500 people in this one, so neither of us won our old people divisions ;-) Lots of interesting costumes though. These lady firefighters ran the whole race in their full gear weighing more than 30 pounds! I guess that's what it feels like for overweight people when they run ;-/

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Canyonlands, Utah

Here's a nice shot of Dad's from yesterday.

Long Train Running

Ran my first race with my buddy Mitch last week. I had to knock over a woman with a walker to secure second place in the old lady division ;-)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Full moon walking through the milky way...

Toto, we're definitely not in Florida anymore. I left shorts and t-shirt temps at home to spend the holiday with Mom, Dad, my brother Mathew and his best friend Jonathan in the southwest. We spent Thanksgiving day driving from southern California through Vegas to Hanksville, Utah. The plan was to hike into Horseshoe Canyon on Friday. We just forgot to put in for a decent forecast. We woke up to find a few inches of snow on the ground. No worries - the forecast wasn't for snow - surely it would stop soon. So, we left the hotel at 5:30am to drive out a 20+ mile dirt road to the trailhead. I carefully wrapped my running shoes in plastic bags - this equivalated (that's for you Jonny ;-) to strapping little, highly unstable sleds on my feet. If it wasn't steep and slippery enought, this would ensure that I ended up on my ass at some point. I don't think we went more than 500 meters in very poor visibility before we all thought better of the whole plan. Dad and Mathew are both photographers, so the point was to get some good shots of the petroglyphs on the walls of the canyon. With so much snow falling, we couldn't even take the cameras out of our packs. Well, it was a fun idea anyway - maybe next year.

Instead, we toured the Canyonlands from the warmth of our gigantic $3.50/gallon gas guzzling SUV, only getting out long enough to take a few shots until our fingers froze and we could hop back in the cozy car.

Friday night we headed toward the Grand Canyon thinking we might find a bit less snow there. There was less snow, but that didn't mean warmer temperatures. The wind was howling on the rim and even down the Kaibab trail. With the wind chill factor, I don't think we even made it into the double digits - they called for about 8 degreed Farenheit. But at least the sun was shining and they guys could get some good shots.

My loving family couldn't resist giving me a hard time about bringing my phone into the canyon. Of course, all but Mom had theirs too.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dustin Leaves 5!!!

....worse than an ignoramus :-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Carefree highway let me slip away on you

Dustin is visiting for a couple of weeks helping out with tandems at Quest. In between weekends, we're at the beach enjoying the scenery and working on my long punchlist. Dustin spent the whole day installing my baseboard....what a sweetie he is.

I'm learning about red tide the last few days. Red tide is caused by an organism brought by certain winds and Gulf Stream currents. The organism produces a toxin that can kill fish and in extreme cases, turns the water red. Apparently this is somewhat common in Florida in October and November - we should have stayed a bit longer in Ecuador. The beach smells nasty and with the doors open working on the baseboard all day, we were hacking and sneezing away. I hope it doesn't stick around too much longer. Either way, I still love it here ;-)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Another Park(ing lot) Another Sunday

The drive back to Guayaquil was long and slow yesterday. We headed home along with half the country after the long holiday weekend on a two lane highway that turned into a four lane parking lot- with all four lanes going into town. Anyone who wanted to get out of town had to drive on the was hilarious. Eduardo Sr. had his Sunday drive with plenty of natural air conditioning (aka no windshield!). On the way home from the party Saturday night on a dark street in Canoa Beach, he backed into a gigantic hole the town had been digging for days....and this was really a huge hole! I had seen it every day walking into town to the internet cafe and had even thought to myself that it was so big it could swallow a car. Well, it did. The SUV slipped in and rolled onto its top, breaking the windshield and denting nearly every panel. It took 5 guys, 2 4wd cars and 3 hours to get it out again. The next morning they dusted it off, loaded the gliders on and put it back into service.

All week in Canoa we watched two birds in a cage hanging from our patio. They belonged to one of the caretakers of the hotel and each day he would open the cage that was barely big enough for them to turn around and toss a piece of fruit in for them to eat. It was breaking our hearts, especially under the circumstances. We were out flying our butts off all day, every day and they were trapped in there. So, Dustin headed up the effort to free them. We all pitched in a little and offered the caretaker $50 for the birds and the cage. We loaded the cage into the back of the truck and headed far enough out of town that they wouldn't be found again. We freed them out on a dirt road we had flown over every day...all the while thinking they might immediately be snached up by a hungry hawk. Still, it seems a better way than the imprisonment they endured before.

I hate saying goodbye. Here is our international gang this year (Ecuadorians, Colombians and Americans), from left to right, Eduardo Jr., Mike, Garrillo, Claudia, Dustin, Raul, Me, Jack, Sharon and Eduardo Sr.

Falta Mucho?

We're back in Guayaquil after a fantastic final day at the Canoa Open. After light winds early on, we had to push the start back to 5pm to make sure everyone had time to get in the air. As always, the boys raced all the way till then end, despite the lighter than normal conditions. Claudia and I were mostly just concerned with not sinking out.

In the end it was Dustin first on a T2, Mike Glennon second on his new Litespeed RS and Raul Guerra third on a T2. Eduardo Sr., one of our hosts finished first in the sport class for the second year in a row. Chris Greblo and I were the top placing women in the sport and open classes.

Only 51 more weeks till next time ;-) I can't wait. I would encourage anyone who possibly can to come down next year. Just as I said last year, this is the most fun meet I have ever been to. It's relaxed racing with a warm friendly group of people that are becoming like family to me.

Here are a few of pictures by Mike's sweetie Sharon.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Day 2

....rain, rain, rain. Not exactly downpours, but enough that my instruments were wet and my gloves were eventually drenched from trying to keep my goggles semi-clear. Not enough to stop many from flying the course anyway. I didn't like the poor visibility, so I landed along with a few others thinking the day was cancelled. Turns out it wasn't, but would later be cancelled by the Meet Director (I think - it's hard to tell for sure around here ;-)

If for some reason it isn't cancelled, Mike Glennon won the day on his Litespeed. According to Dustin, his gps coverage went out at the start and again at the first turnpoint, so he didn't want to chance not getting them and flew further than he needed to and this enabled Mike to pass him up.

Still no scores, but tomorrow is the last day and tomorrow night the prize-giving, so I guess we'll have scores then.

Here's Joe Greblo riding shotgun to launch!

Day 1

Great race day yesterday! The ceiling lifted slightly from the day before and the winds picked up a bit more strength...just perfect conditions. I don't have any official scores yet (they were having cable difficulties last night), but I do know that Dustin won the day on his T2 and Colombian Mike Glennon came in second on a Litespeed RS. They are pretty closely matched I would say. Only problem is that Dusty has this knack for getting a perfect start and that is so much of this race. In this entry start (or is it technically an exit start??) you have to enter the cylander via a wingover precisely at 4:30 and then take off full speed down the ridge. Dustin is a master at this and I think he will be hard to beat.

For anyone interested in the G v M (or M v I, or J v C, or however you want to look at it) race, I am relieved to report that I beat Claudia ;-) We both had pretty pitiful starts, but her's was much better than mine, so I had to do some catching up on the first leg (pretty easy on my lightning fast Litesport ;-) When Claudia saw me overtaking her from above, she stuffed the bar a bit too much and nearly landed halfway into the first leg. But, she stuck it into the ridge and managed to get up again, but by that time I had gained maybe 10 minutes on her that would be really tough to make up.

Fastest times are generally in the 35 to 40 minute range. I think I was at about 50 minutes yesterday, so I have some serious improving to do. I hope to have scores later today.

Here's me with my biggest (probably only ;-) fan!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Race is On!

The race starts today and we're hoping for improved conditions. We've had two practice days in lighter than normal winds. I like it this way ;-) Unfortunately, yesterday we had a very low ceiling and I spent half the flight way out over the Pacific trying to stay out of the pea soup.

A big group arrived from Quito yesterday with some more Americans. Joe and Chris Greblo are here along with Scott Orland from LA and Scott Berry who came last year. It will fun to have some competition for the top female spot. This year we are four instead of just two.

Another Litespeed showed up yesterday, so we now have 3 Moyes gliders in the race!! But, we are definitely in Wills Wing territory here.

Breakfast ;-)


Monday, October 29, 2007

Here we are....

....back at the scene of last year's ferry disaster. So far we've only
had to wait about 3 hours :-)) The adventure continues.

Rough Day at the Beach

Flying was awesome again yesterday, but the landings weren´t the greatest. The problem is that the flying is so great that you never want to land. And, unfortunately, the landing field gets smaller and smaller as the day went on. High tide was an hour later than yesterday, but it was still a few hours too early. There was very little beach left at 4pm when we all decided to land. Most of us pulled it off ok anyway, but two landed in the surf. The first one was super scary because Jack and I were the only ones there to try to pull him out....and I am already quite afraid of the waves. By the time the second one came in, nearly all of us were on the ground and so we were right there ready to pull her out. The first glider was destroyed, the second one survived, just a little wet.

Here's Jack setting up to land in ankle deep water.

Moyes Kids

There aren't many Moyes gliders here in Ecuador. But, at least those that are here match beautifully (and will win the race at Canoa ;-)

It is killing Dustin that my harness is so much cleaner than his. Poor boy.

I do love my baby!

You´re Going Flying Agaaaaaain?

I always wonder if things are really as great as my recollection or if I just have an extremely positive memory. I'm sure it is a little of both. But, we arrived back in Guayaquil to the same royal treatment we had last year from Raul and Mike...airport pickup, glider hauling, a few drinks and lot of catching up. Because of the renunion concert of a famous Spanish band, all of the rooms in the city were taken and so we drove straight to Crucita, the small beach town were we tried to fly last year but couldn't. After an all night drive, we hurriedly assembled the gliders for an early flight. Our landing field would be covered by the high tide by 3, so we needed get a few hours in the air before that.

Last year when we were here the road up to launch was gated off and things were shut down up top due to, what we were told, some infighting among the drug lords ;-) Who knows if there was any truth to that - maybe it was a joke. But, this time, the road was open and the cafe/bar at launch was as well. Our group of 6 were the only hang gliders, but there was plenty of pantie flying going on.

I had another glorious flight in Ecuador. I was trying to figure out last night what it is I enjoy so much about this place. I think it is the complete lack of pressure and the easy easy easy flying conditions. Then, of course, there is the fact that we can hop in the ocean and have a swim after every flight....and go off to dinner and the disco every evening. Although from the looks of everyone this morning, I'm doubting the disco thing will happen again soon ;-) Last night was our second night in a row getting to bed at 4am. I'm too old for much more of that!

We will fly Crucita again today and then head straight to Canao for a few days of practice before the comp starts. I'm kind of missing the Guayaquil flying this year, but I know the beach will make up for it.

I'm enjoying what might be my last few days as HRH, the Queen of Ecuador :-( I have competition this year for the top female pilot ;-) Claudia is here from Colombia and I'm told she's flying fast! Uh oh!!! I might have to pull that VG all the way on this time!

I have a ton of pictures, but can't upload anything at the internet cafe in this little fishing village. Hopefully tomorrow when we reach Canoa.

Friday, October 26, 2007

On the way to Guayaquil.....tippy!

....and I think the gliders even made it on!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Shuttle Launch

Mom and dad stuck around an extra week to catch the shuttle launch. There won't be many more of these as they are ending the shuttle program in 2010, I think. So, we were lucky to catch this one. Since 9/11, you have to be someone very special to get terribly close to the launch pad, so we couldn't get as close as we would have liked. We drove about 15 minutes north along the beach to RonJon's surf shop where there is a 5 story parking garage. We watched from the top deck along with about 20 other people. Even from nearly 20 miles away, it was an exciting and impressive site.

Condo Update

Mom and Dad finally had to head home yesterday. It was really sad. We have had such a great time working on the house and really hope they decide to move out to Florida. They seemed to love it at the beach- they were out in the surf every evening.

The house is looking great. Dad did such a great job on everything. Here are a few pictures of the more finished rooms. There is still a lot to be done. But the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom are fully functional, so I can live here and finish things up at the same time.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

My crazy dorky sister sent me a special birthday song yesterday. Mom and dad took me to this lovely French restaurant in Melbourne and I got the message on my iPhone during dinner. We laughed so hard, our French waiter thought we had lost it (we had).

Thanks to Natalie!

Happy birthday to you
We welcome you to
The fabulous forties
Happy birthday to you

My sister is trying
To live her life flying
But before she descends
She may need Depends

She once was "trailer trash"
Tornadoes tried to smash
She now has a condo
Her mind may ritardando

Happy birthday to you
We welcome you to
The fabulous forties
Happy birthday to you


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Delta II

I got a text message this morning from my buddy Jim saying that there was another rocket launch this morning. I ran out the door just in time to see it half way up to the clouds.

This isn't my picture...couldn't grab the camera quick enough ;-)

The Delta II is the launch vehicle for a new Air Force GPS satellite which will replace on old warn out one. Apparently the satellite is housed inside the nose cone of the rocket...pretty cool! The Delta II launches with a kerosine main engine and six boosters generating over 700,000 pounds of thrust! The boosters separate after about a minute when the rocket is already 10 miles up. Then just over an hour after launch, the rocket spits out the satellite and it's work is done for the day!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Perfect sky today....

Sometimes it looks as though the tide will come right up into my
bedroom! The waves went from mostly flat yesterday to too big for me
to body surf today.

Rocket Man

An Atlas rocket launched from Cape Canaveral last week. From the patio there's a great view of Canaveral's launch pad across the water. It was a spectacular site and made me really anxious to see the shuttle launch that's scheduled for next week.

I have no idea how to photograph rockets, especially after dark, so nothing turned out really. But, here are a few anyway.


Mom and Dad, Mark and Myshel and Max arrived in Florida about a week and a half ago to start the work on my condo. We've been having fun and working hard (and swimming a lot in the in between time). Florida is having an unseasonably warm autumn that feels just like summer to me. Normally I would love that, but we just got the air conditioning in and working yesterday, so it's been sweaty going of it.

The walls that were coming down are down, the bathroom is nearly finished but for some little touchups. The travertine on the floor and in the shower is beautiful.

Dad did an awesome job of that and I'm guessing he won't want to lay travertine again anytime soon ;-) I've painted most of the walls yellow and baby blue. It looks at bit like a nursery to me, so I may need to repaint a more "adult" color.

The demolition was my favorite part!