Stick flying, surf, apartment hunting

After a few days on the Beach in Jervis Bay (Check out the link to see the world’s whitest sand) we headed back to Sydney, to see if we could find a place to stay permanently. The property market is not easy in this city, and we have not found anything yet, but if we pay a bit more than planned it should work out in the end. I was hoping to get a one bedroom furnished apartment for around $2000 per month, but the competition is hard for those and since we only need it for 4-5 months it seems we cannot win. We could get a serviced apartment close to Bondi beach for around $2400, and those are OK to rent for shorter periods.

We stayed at Atilla’s place those days, and for the weekend Atilla and me drove up to the Lake Keepit sailplane club close to Manilla to see if we could get some flying. Atilla wanted to renew his license, and I have not done any formal training on sailplanes before.

The guys at the Lake Keepit club were super cool, we were well received and got straight into the air. I got 4 flights on Saturday, and 2 on Sunday. The first flight was nice as I took controls right after takeoff and stayed behind the tug.  In Australia they stay below the slipstream of the tug, which was a bit strange for me as I’m used to have the tug on the horizon while towing a hangglider. I released in good lift and spent the next 30 minutes thermaling around the airstrip while Dave in the back seat did a good job of helping me get rid of bad habits from flying the Dragonfly and hanggliders. I did three more takeoffs and landings doing the flying myself, to experiment with the effect of airbrakes and handling the landing procedures.

The conditions were very good, but it got windy in the afternoon, I was surprised that the Paragliders got off Mt. Borah as we had gusts over 30 knots.

Atilla took off on a XC flight after getting his check flights and got signed out, he stayed up until dusk and called back on the mobile to let us know he was still flying as the radio was dead. I took one of the quad bikes and went out on the strip to chase the groups of kangaroos that come out to feed on the grass in the evenings. There were at least 30 kangaroos, and it would be a Bad Thing to hit one while landing a sailplane.

After packing up we went to Manilla and had dinner at the RSL club, the motel was booked because of the Paragliding comp and a wedding, so we spent the night in Tamworth. The next day was not such a great day weatherwise, but we had good thermals between the showers around us. I got two more flights in the Grob, the first was 1:15 hours in nice thermals, with good training in banking up and centering thermals. I only need to train spins and emergency aborts on tow before I can fly solo now. I hope to get this done when we go to Manilla for the comp in a week.

Right now we are at the Gold Coast in Queensland, in a town called Surfers paradise. So of course Georgia and I had to sign up for surf class. Paying for a 2 hour lesson from a pro surf school was a good idea as we got a very efficient lesson, and we both managed to actually stay up on the board surfing the waves in the last part of the session. How cool is that? I have the pictures to prove it, will post them later when I get them from the school.