Saturday, July 07, 2007

Today I was entrusted with the duty of waking everyone up at 9 am. By 10 we were successfully out of the house (which is some feat with 6 loud and only moderately awake guys in the house with two showers). Had breakfast and off to launch. The usual launch did not look good with moderate backward winds. So, we strolled over to the South Launch about 3 minute walk away. The winds seemed tame with a low inversion layer promising only limited chances for cross country flying. No clouds made looking for thermals only that much harder. Smiley asked me to be a more than willing guinea pig and explore the winds on landing “but if you catch something… good luck!” It did not take long. The moment I got off the mic telling Smiley of a somewhat turbulent air near take off a sweet 4 m/s honker picked me up. It is always a show of confidence and degree of positive impression when within moments three more gliders were joining me in the air. It also seemed that the previous day’s story was about to repeat itself (albeit in a far less turbulent manner). The best flight of the day, though with about same final distance belonged to a relative beginner, Sasha. He stayed the highest the longest, gingerly working his way thought the valley and two mountain ridges. An hour and 13 km later I was landing, ahead of Sasha and Alek about 2 km short of Ribnik that we left only 12 hours ago. 5 more pilots eventually made their way to the same village while I was garnering the good will and more beer and yogurt. By 4 we were all back at Krushevo getting ready for another flight and enjoying a well earned lunch.

Then, the lauded soaring in Krushevo. We stayed up for hours, flying in generous evening thermals and ridge soaring and I even got to show off a SAT and some asymmetric spirals high above the hills. Marko and myself even had time to take a breather, top land, take some pictures and head back out again for an extremely easy and relaxing flight. At some point we both felt as if we are in a scene of some James Bond flick, flying in and out the hills, taking pictures and generally feeling on top of the world… with sun and hills and winds and our friends patiently waiting below while mercilessly being consumed by some of the most vicious representatives of the mosquito family this side of the Atlantic. Then, with usual yelps of joy we returned back to Krushevo for a huge pile of grilled meat. Our adventure is once again coming to the close… but not before we fly again tomorrow. Over and out.

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