Saturday, November 18, 2006

Scuba Diving New Zealand: Poor Knights Islands

I took my first scuba diving class at the Orakei Dive Shop.

The next weekend we went to the Poor Knights and it was fabulous. The fish and the rock formations were incredible. I was really nervous about diving. It's actually really scary breathing under water for the first time. But, I highly recommend it. It's definitely a mental and physical exercise.

Poor Knight Pictures Here

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Gliding at Matamata for Labour Day Weekend

As you all know Roberta and I have been learning to glide and were invited to take a trip to Matamata for Labour Day weekend to glide away from home our home field of Whenuapai.

The weather forecast was looking bad but everyone decided to go anyway. To transport the gliders you have to derig them by pulling the wings off and putting them on trailers. It is actually easier than it seems to pull them apart. Just pull a couple pins out and POP, the wings fall out.

One of the gliders was towed behind the towplane on the trip down. I volunteered to ride shotgun but one of the other students beat me to it. Luckily they went because the trip down to Matamata in the air sounded scary with low clouds and rain.

We got down to Matamata and started putting the planes back together. They are much harder to put together than to take apart. Especially the Grob Twin Astir. There were about eight of us working to get the wings on for about an hour. Luckily all of us were chiefs. Right before we gave up the wing clicked into place. We should have thought about giving up earlier.

In Matamata there is a huge ridge about 3kms from the gliding field and when the conditions are right you can head over there and fly all day. The conditions were not good that weekend. Most of the time you could barely see the ridge because of the clouds. Oh well, it was interesting trying to land on a small field with regular landmarks.

Roberta's first flight was devoted to loops and spins and stalls and such. The instructor took her up to 3k feet and tried to scare the crap out of her. It didn't work. Roberta is coming along with the flying, she will be doing the Aerotow next time she flies.

Here are some pictures of the weekend.
Clikc for pictures