Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 11th: Palo Buque - Thermaling!

Today was a good learning day for Palo Buque. It consisted of mostly beating the crap out of Roxy by kiting her "in the window" up the hill to launch. If you are good at this, you'll just bring up your wing from 10 o'clock to 1030 and just let it take you up the hill while you balance the wing and shifts in wind direction. Easier said than done! If you can't smoothly accomplish this, you play a game of leap frog where you bring your wing up, control it as long as you can, then drop it down when you are tired or out of control.

The lower part of the hill is mostly sand. But as you get higher, gravel and larger rocks present themselves as "interesting" challenges to face on your way up. The lighter it is, the further you have to go up. It can be a hot sweaty affair to be sure.

I managed to get myself up high enough to launch. Had a great launch and Luis talked me through my first actual controlled and mellow thermal. Very cool. I got into it and circled around and got some altitude and got comfortable with the concept of thermalling, minus the traffic and jockeying that usually goes on at crowded sites.

Had a really great flight, didn't push it and had a nice landing down near the vans....

Lessons learned: sometimes you need to get away from the hill a bit to get to the thermals. Thermals aren't all piss and vinegar, they can be mellow and welcoming as well.

Really enjoyed the flight, and life was good.....


  1. Kiting up a sand dune until the wind picks you up and carries you up the rest of the way: that's a dream for many paraglider pilots! Glad you are getting the chance to live that dream at least for a little while! If only we had any real dunes on Oahu. At least we do have thermals! Can't wait to see you come back and apply your newfound knowledge and skills to your local flying.

  2. Yup that's what Woody teaches on the beach. But I would love to do it going up a sand dune that you can fly off after.

    I saw you take 2 Go-Pros with you. We gonna see any sites of this place? Not that I am bitching or annything.

    Sounds like you got a good one, oh hows the new harness? You like?

    JJ Jaameson