Saturday, May 9, 2009

Last day - Bald Eagle Encounter

Start circle - how many gliders can you see?

Today was the last day, a 140km out and back task. A handful made it and a few more were just short, including Zippy, who's hitching a ride with us. He came in second overall, Glen Volk won the meet. Ollie won the rigids.

I was flying with the top dogs for a few climbs, then I got pretty low and they left me then it was a battle into a cross/head wind. I came about 8 miles short of the waypoint, not sure what I came in overall.

The start was fun with everyone together. Jonny did a loop right in front of me while we were all waiting for the first start. Then shortly after that a mature bald eagle flew directly at me and at the last minute flared its wings out to stop itself and swing its talons forward just to show me what he/she's got! Then it dove off below me. It was one of the coolest things I've ever witnessed/been a participant of. It was a reminder to me that we aren't meant to be up there, which is a part of hang gliding's appeal to me.

Can you find the bald eagle in this picture? It's the same one that tried to attack me. (if you can't find it, hint at the bottom of the post)

The Flytec Rally was an awesome meet - I can't believe we made it so far into Georgia and only thunderstorms turned us around. Jamie says they'll have it next year except it will be similar to what Jonny described they do in Australia as a 'mystery tour,' where instead of a planned route, like this year was, that we would just fly to wherever the weather would be favorable.

Now, I have hours of footage to sort through and come up with some fun videos, so stayed tuned for those. Bobby Bailey also mentioned he would send me some footage he has too from the tug's perspective.

Jeff Shapiro with full moon

hint to find bald eagle: look in the middle left of photo


Anonymous said...

maybe the eagle had a nest close by?