Mittwoch, 23. Dezember 2015

25. Nov. 2015 - Iquique




After having repaired my back yesterday in the baños of Mamiña, esp. in the one called Baños Ipla, I have new and big goals for today. My idea is to fly 220 to 250 kms from Alto Hospicio for a new local record. As soon as Sune is in the air and rising I start and enlarge my airport-leg by flying to Punto Cruz first. But the day is very calm in the beginning and back in front of Alto Hospicio I cannot achieve high altitudes. It comes into my mind to try to fly the complete bend of Baja Molle close to ridge. low over ground towards Punto Ballenera, what I had done with old big Octanes often, but never with the M6 and it works just fine - obviously the right answer to the calm air today. Punto Gruesa presents itself very peaceful and so does the region to the airport and back. At Lands End, the low point north of the harbor of Iquique, I still miss the altitudes I am used to from this november 2016 and the winds are felt very southerly and the condensate building is very deep. Until here winds did not exist in my recognizing, now south and low … So, what to do ? I do not want to fly back to the beach and end the flying day - my back is fine, the area of Pisaqua is not closed any more for military reasons, so I decide to fly on to the north. At Punta Guaneras I am still way to low and here, this is not good at all. But backwards the wind is to southerly now and forwards the upper ridge, the one I usually use, is completely in condensate. In this following bay there are three ridges like big steps in the landscape and when I failed last year and sat on the beach in Calheta Buena on the 12th of october 2014, the mess began right there at Punta Guaneras. Bad memories, but this time I carry enough water, food and batteries with me, so what …. ? I regret my decision as soon as I pass Punta Guaneras. I get spilled down, but I will fight. It looks like the whole bay is in the lee of Punta Guaneras ( thats why I am flying here above the third step in the landscape usually .. ) and I flee forward to the end of the middle step. Fighting with permanent collapses in the rough lee side upwind I can hardly achieve any additional height, but before I give up I find some uprise and can fly deeper in the lee pocket and there it is a bit less turbulent and I can manage to soar up a bit more and come around Punta Almacenes and it is getting a bit easier here and I try to achieve as much altitude as possible before overflying Punta Ballena into Calheta Buena. And this is a good decision as I sink into Calheta Buena for a long glide. As I know this place now so well, I know, where to fly to and I receive the lifting release just in the right moment, where I suspected it to be. From Calheta Buena to Calheta Junin flying begins to be more regular and this is nice as now, there is more or less unlandable territory underneath me. Overflying the peninsula of Pisaqua and overflying the Tiliviche river is rather lower than usual, but o.k. North of the Tiliviche the flying gets very regular. I try to get as much altitude as possible approaching the dark chocolate dunes at Calheta Chica and overfly the low territory very nicely with huge pushed-up condensate in front of me. Climbing there is very easy, but at the next corner, at Punta Gorda I can hardly stand against the wind as I turn around for a try about half way accelerated. Does not build good anticipation for the big camarones lee and / or the overflying of the camarones valley. Anyway I fly on and try to stand against the wind at Punta Camarones, the very last corner before the harbour of Camarones to achieve some additional height, but do not receive a lot and turn around and surprisingly nice I am gliding above the dangerous zone over this harbour. Arriving the north side of the camarones valley it gets tricky to stay in the air and not end on the beach, but I can. Being over the corner, which is called Punta Norte, I can look into the beautiful no-mens-land between the valley of Camarones and the valley of Vitor. The first part is blue because of leeward sinking air and after the first bay there is again huge pushed-up condensate to be seen. I head there, flying fast and sinking a lot. Underneath the condensate I raise, but … not as good as I thought. Here there are very strong almost ridge-parallel winds with not as much upside components as wished. I overfly Punta Cabeza de Carnero but the wind situation gets even worse and my courage gets lost : I turn around. To achieve 250 km+ I should fly on some 20 to 30 kms and come back. But coming back is really in jeopardy with these wind conditions. It is hard to reach Punta Norte again, but I do and now I am hanging above this nice corner, above such nice landscape, still have some hours flight time left, but do not know, how to proceed. First I decide to enjoy the sight and just hang around, but as airflow gets smoother I think, that now, enlarging to the north should be easier and try again. But this time my courage gets lost even before Punta Cabeza de Carnero and I turn around again. Once again above Punta Norte I am a bit desperate about my situation and park myself again above this lovely view point. I realize a flag in the village of Calheta Camarones, that is fluttering roughly, so I decide to wait here in the air a bit longer, before flying back to Cuya, which I want to do close to sundown. Finally to late I decide to fly over to the south side and turn into the valley towards the Panamericana. The winds slow down to fast and I cannot fly the rather short distance, but am on the ground after some kms and have to walk from landing to the main road about 6 kms. To much respect today ? - I think it was a wrong assumption from my side - probably the strong, very southerly current, that  impressed me, did not mount into strong valley winds, because of the west-to-east direction of the valley. Who knows - could be a lot more kms in hindsight, is astonishing, that it is so many kms with all those averse circumstances here and there during the flight and : it is the new local record from Alto Hospicio at this time. Not 220-250 kms, but 212. ( Next goal, next year …..  ;-))  )