Mittwoch, 23. Dezember 2015

21. Nov. 2015 - Cabo Paquica




Yesterday I got robbed by trick thieves at the Turbus terminal in Iquique and all my electronc gear is gone. Some awesome GoProMovs from overflights is now in their hands as well and as - most important - my flight instruments. Without my GPS I cannot record any flight and so I spent the whole yesterday buying all those little things, that were in my stolen bag and trying to borrow from other pilots, what was not possible to being bought. And of course I had to spend some hours first at the carabineros headquater. There I was assisted from a nice english speaking skydiver officer, who was very interested in paragliding. Late afternoon Ralphy gave me his C-pilot for the rest of my stay. ( Thanks a lot, Ralfph! ) So I was equipped with a flight instrument and in a night ride with the Turbus I finally went to Cabo Paquica 12 hours delayed. During the night I went up to 400 m asl and slept there. In the morningg dawn I proceed in my ascent to the 700 m take-off. The day looks good and I start and fly some 800 m against the south to enlarge my track as much as is easily possible. Back to take-off I can climb in the morning thermal above 800 and turn to the north and speed away. But about 7 kms to the north the C-pilot-screen turns black as its sounds stop. What to do ? Fly back ? Will it shot off in 5 minutes again ? I decide to turn it on again and just fly on. It starts and will stay recording until landing in the evening. If it works, it is a super assistance to flying, the way it informs the pilot and presents data - never had a instrument like this. The day is not just good is proves to be the best day, I ever faced in the atacama in the last 15 years of flying there. The flying altitude is higher than usual, much less thermalling is needed to stay in those heights, shortcuts can be flown above almost every corner. Lateron Ralphy and other pilots will tell me, in their opinion it is the same : never before a day like this … 5 hours after start I have already passed Iquique, means more than 200 kms, means more then 40 km/h average speed. And it keeps going on like this, at least until Pisaqua. On Cerro Torre I cannot soar up, but once more enough height to overfly its balcony area and cruise on. I am rather deep after the dark chocolate dunes, but one soar length back and forth is enough to fly on. At the last corner before camarones valley I realize, that my forward speed against the wind is in the single digits, accelerated, so entering camarones will be rough as I anticipate. If I finally throw away my nerves I can land safely on the beach, but I decide to fight as best as I can to hold the small spot in the lee side turbulances, that sometimes work. Getting there I have to accept, that today the spot is very, very small, about 50 m broad and about 30 m high. Okay, I can park there in the air, but not leave - exiting this tiny spot ends in big collapses, no matter in which direction. What to do ? Well, I flew so far and it is a lot of sunshine time left, so I will just stay there, I decide. But the sun sinks lower, the air flow gets smoother and I can work on gaining a little more altitude and turn into the valley towards the police control point at Cuya. Fast with the wind into the valley venturi. When i turn around in front of the police station, full speed is needed to come down vertical, at least better than getting blown backwards. On the ground I pull the canopy into Bstall, but am not able to hold it, have to run with the glider, until it falls into a lee side pump behind a bush. The C-pilot shows 305 km since recording began. I guess, it means direct distance, so with some waypoints included it should be a new chilenian record. But what about the shut off, some kms after start ? Is it measured from there ? I don't know. If I would ride back to take-off in Cabo Paquica during the night, hike up in the morning dawn and if tomorrow will be as terrific as today, I could duplicate this flight, comes into my mind while collecting and packing my gear - I decide to try so.