Last Saturday I finally managed to meet up with Ben and Mel (and Thomas) to visit one of the Byron Bay / Northern Rivers PG sites.

Conny was with us, too, and took a lot of photos (somewhat ironically we ended up with only one pic of her...). The site we went to is called Montes (or similar, the NRHGP folks will hopefully pardon my mangling their site's name), just outside of Mullumbimby.

Not very high, easy access and retrieve (with a bit of almost-4WD track to the top), and a very nice view towards the coast and Byron Bay.

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It was a bit windy and quite southerly, so Ben and I practiced our parawaiting skills.

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At times a bit of galehanging went on above launch, with the fresh southerly keeping everybody parked. The first photo was taken facing towards the NE/N. The southerly wind also made for slightly interesting conditions for face landings; one the second photo one of the locals is floating in facing the wind. The launch faces E; slightly to the right you can see Byron Bay.

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Eventually I decided that conditions were nice enough for a ridge soar, and Conny duly documented the procedure. My trusty Oasis worked fine, the launch went off perfectly and which it was bumpy, it wasn't bad out there. I enjoyed myself.

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As an added unexpected benefit Conny got a (tandem) flight, too! It turned out that Andrew and the NRHGP ran a Women's paragliding day thingie on that day, where they gave a large number of girls free tandem flights. In the end a spot in the last set got allocated to Conny and she had a very nice, long flight with Lindsay in this tandem:


When they launched conditions were quite strong and my help was needed to make sure that Conny stays on her feet during launch, so the photo above was of some other girl's launch.

I also had just flown a while when Conny's turn came up - and Andrew got on the radio telling me that I needed to top-land to fill in the waiver paperwork (which we had collectively forgotten before I went up). I was not especially thrilled to do a face landing, on a strong day with slightly bumpy, cross air and on my very first flight at that site, but it worked out perfectly: I came in with ears on and 100% cross launch, and did a perfect touchdown. Making sure that Cornelia gets her first PG flight without problems obviously was motivating enough to let me not stuff this landing up.

Conny had a good flight, but forgot to undo the zoom on the camera and thus we got only a few "usable" photos of her airborne. She was a lot happier in reality, too, especially after managing to get back into the harness properly :-)

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[ published on Thu 13.03.2008 00:06 | filed in interests/flying | ]
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