Saturday, August 30, 2008

Build Me a Boat That Can Carry Two....

....and I'll make him do all the paddling! My wrists and forearms are broken. Too much kayaking on a lake in Wales...a lovely lake whose name I couldn't begin to spell, but probably has very few vowels, if any at all.

It's so gorgeous and green here and would be absolutely perfect if the sun would shine a bit more often.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Birthplace of the Beatles

When I was about 10 or so I wanted to marry Paul McCartney. Mom had to break my heart by telling me that he already had a wife. What a blow!

We're strolling around the streets of Liverpool today, taking in all the Beatles sites and a bit of shopping.

Monday, August 25, 2008


It's been cool and a bit rainy at times, but a very pretty place. Reminds me a bit of central California after a long winter of rain - everything is lush a green. It blows me away that these English pilots fly tasks in weather that most would never consider flying in...not dangerous, just stuff that looks like total crap. Not difficult to see why they're so good then. Today is the first day that was canned - they've had three decent tasks so far - better than I've heard is normal for a UK comp.

Met a lovely family of pilots - four sons and all either are flying or probably will be sooner or later. Makes me quite jealous. I always wished I could fly with my dad or brothers. Each of the boys is unbelievably bright and delightful to be around. Here Miles, the second of the four boys, just off launch.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Praying for time to Crawl....

Our great sailing adventure is over :-( Tim, German, Nico and Donna
are hanging out in Barcelona for a few more days then on to Bilboa.
I'm in a ridiculously long line to check in for my flight to
Liverpool. Never have I been so happy to be going to a cold, rainy,
grey place ;-)

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Canoa Open

I just heard from Raul Guerra, the organizer of the Canoa Open in Ecuador that this year's meet is going to be a blow out! They're offering $8000 is prize money - $4000 for first place in the open division!! Wow! It's already the most fun meet I go to all year and I think this prize money will draw a lot of the top guys. The dates are October 29th to November 2nd, but pilots need to arrive in Guayaquil by the 25th for some sort of media stuff...don't know what exactly, but the flying in Guayaquil is great fun too! I will be there for sure, along with Dustin Martin and the Jeffs. I'm guessing there will be plenty more coming to claim the big purse. Email me if you want more information on getting there, logistics, etc.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Smell the Sea and Feel the Sky...

We just arrived back on Mallorca after a full day of sailing from Menorca. Menorca is definitely my favorite of the two islands - much smaller and fewer people (although still rather touristy). We spent just two days there, but got to see quite a lot. Tomorrow we arrive back at the marina in Palma and have to give our little floating house back to it's owner. Sure has been nice.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Spending the day today on dry's nice, but everything seems to sway ;-) Too little time online to say much of anything...just a few pics from the last few days. The night sail was awesome...we discovered there was a full moon and eclipse that night. Laid on the deck watching for a shooting star until my eyes wouldn't stay open any longer.

One more night on Menorca, then tomorrow morning we start the trip back to Mallorca. It's about 8 solid hours of sailing.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

With a Little Luck

Its just past 10 and we are heading out on a night sail across from
Mallorca to Menorca. Today's seas are much mellow than yesterday's

We've been slowly winding our way around Mallorca going counter
clockwise with a quick stop yesterday at Cabrera, a nice little
national park island. So relaxed I can hardly stand it...just loads of
free time to plan the rest of my life ;-) Beautiful sky today.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Like a Herd of Turtles...

....we're off! Heading out of Palma finally. Beautiful day, not nearly
as hot as Barcelona. We met Mikey at the airport yesterday afternoon,
then got the royal tour of Palma from the owner of our boat. The rest
of the Spaniards arrived late last night and all 9 of us squeezed onto
our 40ft boat and on our way!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mullet Capital of the World

Tried to walk our pasta babies to death today...roamed all over Barcelona finding more Gaudi architecture. Most of it was much nicer than La Sagrada Familia (and yes, as a matter of fact I am the Spanish architecture critic!). Always on the lookout for graffiti, we found some decent stuff along with more mullets than I've seen in quite some time.

Swim in It....

...great advice from Timothy.

We leave Barcelona tomorrow for Mallorca. In the meantime, we're
loving the city. Found heaps of cool graffiti in the old city I will
put up later.

Monday, August 11, 2008

La Sagrada Familia

Nicole and I finally made our way to Barcelona from the Dolomites via Innsbruck and Zurich. We met up with Donna and German this afternoon and spent several hours at La Sagrada Familia Cathedral. As fascinated as I have always been with this place, unfortunately, I can't say that it's beautiful. I would say hideous is a better word choice. I am a huge fan of Gaudi, but I've never seen anything more ugly than this cathedral. It is a spectacular site, no doubt, just not my thing so much. I have heard several people say that they will finish building it in the next several years, but I can't imagine how that could be possible. It has been in the works for more than 125 years and we read today that the completed cathedral will have 12 spires...there are 8 finished now. So, if it takes 125 years to build 8, I'd say it will take more than a few years to finish the last 4.

We will do another walking tour tomorrow and find some of his other more beautiful works. There's an apartment building I saw when I was here 15 years ago that was lovely...hopefully I can find that one again.

Timothy arrived tonight via train from France. Mikey and the three other Spaniards will meet us in Mallorca on Wednesday afternoon and we'll be off sailing Thursday morning!! I can't wait to be back on the boat again!

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Earlier this year I spent a month in and around Colima, Mexico. My brother married a beautiful, sweet Mexican girl from Trojes, in the mountains above Colima, and our family went to the wedding in this tiny mountain town. Today I learned that the lives of the family of my new sister-in-law are in grave danger from the drug cartel in the mountains. A few days ago her uncle was been shot and killed and two other other relatives were shot, but survived. The family has fled their home and everything they own. We are now desperate to find some way to get them to the US...any way at all. If there us anyone reading that can help in any way whatsoever, please contact me at the email address shown next to my profile.

Sent from my iPhone

In a World of Pure Imagination

How long an instant will last? Long enough to let our senses take in an emotion. The moment just before my index finger presses the button on my camera. The moment that can be as fast as a flash, as sweet as a child's hand, as safe as the eyes of a loyal dog.

Moving on again tonight...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Hat Will Never Talk!! amount of torture is gonna do it!

Death by Struedel

This is the view from Alex's gorgeous family hotel. We're so lucky to
be here and Alex has been the best host. After yesterday's hike,
Alex's family had a BBQ/party for him with lots of other entertaining

There are flying sites all over the place here. We saw several of them
yesterday and I was dying to have my glider with me. I will be back
next summer for sure. The views from a glider must be even more
magical. We may get lucky an have tandem flight in a PG sometime
today ;-))

Gran Paradiso

We've surely arrived in the most beautiful place on the planet. I've
seem some spectacular scenery in my travels, but there is just nothing
that compares to this area.

We took a funivia up to a mountaintop 10 minutes from Alex'a house
with a 360 degree view of heaven. Every direction the mountains
continued out of site. It just went on forever. I took a million
pictures, none of which could possibly capture it.

Monday, August 04, 2008

World Champion Comes Home

Today we made our way from Cucco to the Dolomites- San Casiano, Alex's
home town. As we started to get closer, Alex kept getting calls from
his family asking where he was and when he would be home. It became
clear they were having a bit of a surprise party for his return. It
was cute to see Alex nervous about the celebration. We were greeted
with champagne and all of Alex's family and close friends.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Nearly Perfect Day....

....just one thing missing.

Great time strolling around Gubbio and Perugia today. We did a bit of walking and general goofing off between feeding our pasta babies.

We're gonna burn in a very hot hell for being so irreverent at the turnpoint church. But really, what can you do when there's a corpse in the center of the alter?? We tried confession, but the priest said he just didn't have all day.

Caught a bus back to Gubbio in the evening, ate a bit more, then realized we didn't really have a way back to the hotel in Sigillo. What to do?.....walk!! Seemed close enough - I mean, we flew to that turnpoint several times and it was just across the small valley. Turns out its a bit further than we thought - 20 km - thanks to Alex for rescuing us. Otherwise, we would have been home sometime around sunrise ;-)

Nicole Makes her First Turnpoint!

Nico and I are on the bus to Perugia to do a bit of touristicating.
We had planned to do Assisi, via Gubbio and Peruggia, but soon realized we wouldn't fit it all in one day. We had two hours in Gubbio before our bus came so we took the funivia up to the church that was the turnpoint during the meet, licking our gelato cones all the way up like little two girls.

We found some scrumptous little sandwiches just in time to nearly miss our bus. Now we're sitting, fat and happy, on our way to the big city ;-)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Friday, August 01, 2008

Class 5 Winner- Alex Ploner

Alex gets a champagne shower from Regina!

Corinna Wins!

Same weather conditions as yesterday, but we launched anyway and had a lovely start before the storms started closing in. So they cancelled the task and we all flew back to the goal field where 80 or so gliders were landing at the same time..oh what fun!!

Last Day

Kind of sad around here. Even though yesterday was exhausting, I don't really want this to be over. What's new? ;-) We've got our longest task yet at 96km and I'm happy we're back at the south launch. I moved back up to 12th yesterday and if I really smoke it in today I could move into the top ten. Its a longshot, but that's what I'm going for. In any event our team is solidly in first place and that's super cool for all of us!

Damien has been an angel throughout the meet....flying so well and keeping right up with the topless gliders. Most important, he's kept me calm in sometimes very scary turbulence. I do love my baby :-)))