Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Cat's-Paw IV is the little white blob in the bottom right hand corner of the picture

We are still in Laurieton, we were ready to leave but connected on the radio to Nanook of the North (a boat formerly owned by our good friends Maurice and Katie Cloughley). They were headed in the next day so we decided to stay longer. It was a good thing we did; we have had a wonderful time. Yesterday I went to the local pool and participated in an aquacizes class. It was a good workout and all the women were really close to my age, they were having a Christmas lunch for the group and I was invited to join. What fun, listening to the banter they threw back and forth at each other was a joy and getting to know some of the women from a different walk of life was very interesting. The instructor, although she didn’t attend had ordered 2 bottles of sparkling wine for the group so it was even better!!

Today we walked up that very large hill I have been going on about. There were 4 of us and we had a great time. Grant from Nanook is a boat builder and knew a lot about the trees that were growing, we saw some crimson rosella’s and some wallaby scat. We did not spot any koala bears so were a bit disappointed about that but the view from the top of the hill is spectacular.

There was an added bonus though; the top of the hill is the launching spot for paragliders. We were just about to leave when a car pulled up and three guys piled out, one young, one middle aged and one old (75). We must have stayed there an hour and chatted with them about their sport, how much experience they had and the weather conditions on that hill. The young guy took out a fancy sporty kite that you could do tricks with and played with it, manipulating it all around. The middle aged guy lay on the grass and explained to us what was going on while he waited for a nasty cloud with unpredictable winds to blow by. The old guy was a bit skeptical about his chance of gliding today because of the conditions and the fact that he had been scared silly the last time he was up when he went into a cloud and could not see anything and experienced vertigo, not knowing which way was up. The conditions became more favourable and the middle aged fellow took off, then the older gentleman had a go. It took him 3 or 4 tries to get off in gusty conditions, but he did not give up and was rewarded with a wonderful ride. The young man had had an operation of his head putting in a metal piece to correct an old injury so he very wisely chose not to fly today; he was the chase car driver. This really fired up my desire to go paragliding, people talk about a bucket list and I am pretty sure this is on mine. Barry even was enthralled claiming it would not hurt his ankle to do that sport. He wanted to sell the boat and take up hang gliding. That was until the young guy informed him that he had broken his ankle on a landing 3 months before, but he said he still flew with a walking cast on, Barry would only need one ankle to land!!! What a great day!

P.S. Barry posted a video of the old guy taking off on YouTube, check out the link at the side of our blog.