Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Apple of My Eye

I couldn't help myself...just went out and bought an iPhone. I've spent the last few hours playing with and thought I would see how well it works with blogger. I am planning to post regular updates from goal each day at the worlds and am hoping it will be easy enough to do with the new phone. Looks like the only bummer is that I can't post photos directly from the camera in the phone...but I couldnt get that to work from the Blackberry either.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

New Sites

I was lucky to have a flying host to take me around to a few new sites in Austria and Italy this summer. No record breaking flights, but it is always a good thing when I can muster the courage to try a new place. The Monte Cucco area was gorgeous. The first few days the wind wasn't quite right, so we spent a bit of time hiking around and taking in the crisp clean air. But, eventually things turned around and we flew both Monte Cucco and another nearby launch site (can't think of the name of it). It was quite entertaining watching the Austrian team tune their gliders and prepare for the worlds next month. Out of respect, I won't post the best pictures ;-)

We flew Gerolf's home site just outside of Graz on a couple of unusually hot Austrian days. While the landing field left a bit to be desired (somewhat small, surrounded by trees and not the least bit flat), I managed ok and my reward for pulling it off was a long hike back up the mountain to retrieve the car :-/

Yesterday and the day before I spent in Greifenburg with Corinna. Friday was crazy windy and of the 50 or so gliders set up on lunch only 5 flex and 2 rigids flew. Oddly enough all of the flexies that flew were Combats. Boy those Aeros pilots must be the really tough guys. We used the no fly day to put Corinna's new sail and stickers on. Neither of us exactly knew what we were doing, but I had watched Gerolf a few weeks before replacing his sail and so I had some vague idea of how it was supposed to work. In the end it didn't take us more than an hour or so and with three test flights, it flew perfectly straight. Corinna was very pleased.

Happily the winds mellowed for yesterday and I got two flights in - one a bit too early when there was pretty much no lift yet and a second one midday when it was beautiful. I see why the Europeans love this site so much. When it's not windy or blowing out of the north (which seems to be a lot of the time), it is spectacular. The bumps up high made me think of Kari and Seppi and most recently Oleg, so I tried to say around mountain top level where it tended to be much smoother.

We finished off the day with a hike into the mountains to look for mushrooms to cook up in Corinna's risotto for dinner. They weren't as easy to find as I would have expected, but this last one popped up just as we were giving up and called out our names. These are quite expensive both in the US and in Europe. We estimated this one would cost about $20.

Croatia Again

I'm back in Munich after a few weeks of flying here and there and I started going through my thousands of pictures of the Croatian sailing trip. I thought I might post a few more. Tim also has some nice shots on his blog at

The water was crystal clear at these little marinas where we would dock and spend the nights. Piskera was a very small island, part of the Kornati National Park. We arrived there just before a beautiful thunderstorm hit. It was a bit late for a 4th of July celebration, but the light show was the closest thing we had.

On Piskera we hiked to the top of a rocky hill to watch Bill take the big plunge. German had made his way in the dingy around to where Bill would jump to check the depth first.

Monday, July 16, 2007

More Monte Cucco

Monte Cucco was even more beautiful than the pictures I've seen from the worlds in 1999. The air was especially clear the whole time we were there, not a bit of haziness and perfect visibility all the way out to the Adriatic.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More Croatia Pictures

From Monte Cucco

I've been trying to get some pictures and stories posted from the Croatia trip, but the internet here is less than reliable. I'm in Monte Cucco, Italy where the worlds were held back in 1999. This place is spectacularly beautiful, although the weather hasn't cooperated for flying yet. We had a hike to the top of the mountain yesterday waiting for the wind to switch. Today we might try another site that's an hour or so from here.

In the meantime, here is a shot of the Raine and Becky getting crazy on the dock in Sibenik.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Wasabi - International Duck of Leisure

Jeffo put Wasabi on a flight to meet up with me in Florida so that he could join us in Europe this summer. He has had a blast and most importantly, fell in love. He and Raine hit it off immediately and were inseperable the whole time we were on the boat. Although he developed a bit of a drinking problem, we really loved having him. Everyone loves chatting him up and having their picture taken with him.

The picture of a woman holding Wasabi is cool. Her name is Leni and she is the best waitress in the world- according to us! We stopped two different nights on the island of Zlarin at this yummy restaurant on the water. Leni was a sweatheart and Wasabi instantly took a liking and started flirting with her. We tried hard to convince her to join us for our lst few days of sailing but she said we were just too crazy for her. What's new!

Apparently, Wasabi has been out of his natural habitat for a bit too long because we learned that he can't even swim!!! Shocking! He did try a bit of snorkling, but the mask didn't fit so well over his beak.

Just in...

We just got back into port in Zadar last night (and back to the internet). Today is clean out the boat day, so just pictures for now. I'll post some stories later. Bottom line, the trip was as close to perfect as we could have hoped for. A fantastic crew and overall fun group that got along beautifully, especially considering the close quarters for a week straight (7 people on a 37 foot boat).

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Croatian Graffiti for Jeff

If I Had A Boat, I'd Go Out on the Ocean and If I Had a Pony, I'd Ride Him on my Boat

First night on the boat last night. We stayed in port because we didn't arrive here and provision up until late. The 8 hour train trip was great fun with the whole group. With an hour plus stopover along the way, we got to explore a little nearly abandoned town. Half the buildings were bombed out and had never been rebuilt after the war. It looked like people preferred to just go elsewhere over rebuilding their homes.