|Oct 01, 2012, 08:15 AM|
AvB's visit to Christchurch NZ Oct 2012
Well after lots of talking about it, it's finally time. I'm packed to leave for Christchurch in the morning. After hearing Alex going on about how good their conditions are, I've been keen for a long time. Then going to Weldon with him, it was clear that he was even more sure that he has some of the best sites and conditions in the world, so I got much keener. Then recently he found the Tekapo site and took my crappy old Scratcho to 269mph ("probably near 300 ... most laps were missed") ... well that's too much to resist. With a slightly unwanted gap in our work I sussed out the missus about the chances of going over and she was positive. "Let's go broke in style". What a woman.
I finally booked for a 3rd Oct (Wed) departure. Then last Friday Alex messaged me "hey, it looks big for Tekapo on Wednesday ... do EVERYTHING you can to get here a day earlier! I'll even pay your flight change fee!!" Well with lots of pressure already on to be ready in time for Wed, I crawled back to Janet "Honey, Alex says ..." she got the story. And replied "well, you have to play to win, so you might as well go early". Wow. I'm suspecting she must be having an affair or something.
The box is packed with 5 planes ... Wizard DSX, Shockwave, Very Heavy USA Scratcho, Willow and Light Scratcho. It was hard to get it all in with the 23kg weight limits, and I had to ditch some stuff. Planes, ballast, radar gun and gear take priority over clothes! But the thermal underwear was definitely packed. I am also taking over a 3rd baggage item, which is a beautifully made, solid ply box containing RadaclRob's new Willow, sent to me by Andrew B, so I can get it to Rob cheaply.
Strangely I'm really nervous about this trip … much more than for California. I guess with Socal I paid the bucks to have a car and a house and I knew what I was getting myself into but this trip is more loosely organised and being run on a budget. I am already very thankful to the guys in NZ who've offered me to stay with them. Peter France is putting me up for a lot of the time. Alex has been working madly to get me there. Nick, Andrew, Rob and others are all keen to help in various ways and it looks like we're all meeting up at Tekapo on Wed! There will probably be 6 of us on that hill, and it sounds like it's going to be big wind, from the right direction, for a few days.
Also nervous about hitting Tekapo in a gale … there's no soft option … it's go hard or go home and I hope I can keep it all together with my planes in those conditions and get some speeds!
|Oct 01, 2012, 03:38 PM|
lol only an aussie would pack thermal underwear for down here this time of year! It's positively toasty, some days the temperature even gets into the low teens!
Be sure to drop in for a coffee at Eat in Fairlie on the way through, best coffee in the Mackenzie.
My weather predictor is saying 40 knots on Friday...
|Oct 01, 2012, 06:38 PM|
Well I'm on the plane now, window seat. The plane is only less than half full - I have nobody beside me! Still darn hard to fit the laptop in and type.
Need more sleep ... stayed up too late sorting out work stuff and then pfaffing around with packing. Kept waking up during the night thinking of things to take/ do, so I write them on a notepad beside the bed so I can get back to sleep. Then I woke about 1 1/2 hours too early and couldn't sleep. Got up and repacked stuff, adding the things from my bedside list. At the last minute I threw in one of those clear compartment boxes (like you store nuts and bolts in) so I can keep my stuff organized. I am not taking the "magic toolbox" so all my tools, parts, spares etc were jumbled into one big Tupperware box. At least now I have a chance of finding "that little thing".
No dramas getting thru the checkin and customs etc. All of my items were "just a bit" overweight but no problems. One good thing is that the carryon baggage is a 7kg bag plus a few other items like a laptop, so I was able to shove a few more things in.
One bummer is that I had to leave the nice Nikon SLR at home ... just not enough weight spare. I have the TM900 camcorder. It can take photos too, but the quality is crap. Oh well, that's life.
Can't believe I'm doing this. Ooops gotta go now. Tim, Kev, Sean, Ez, Asto, Rhys, Dave, etc I wish I had all of you guys with me. Although Tim up the far end due to his bad farts. See ya
|Oct 01, 2012, 08:01 PM|
I have been frantically searching around today, prior to Andrews arrival, for some m2.5 bolts to do the linkages on Andrew P's JW. Gave up and am doing good ol' 4-40 with clevises.
Just went to grab some coffee supplies for Andrew, 2 bags of my favorite coffee, some sugar and milk. So no more early morning coffee stops at the local cafe so Andrew can chat up the coffee girl
Rob is meeting us at the airport so he can get to fondle his new toy He just couldn't wait haha
Then we are off to the Mall to get Andrew a Sim card for his phone and we will be sorted
Wind is looking fantastic for tomorrow: http://www.windfinder.com/forecast/twizel_lake_pukaki
|Oct 01, 2012, 09:02 PM|
Hey hey.....easy up on the fart jokes... Your glad I'm not there today , had Chinese cabbage soup for tea last night...wowza.. was that me..
I'm in the shed, roller door open one end and door the other.
Cross flow ventilation a must.
Hurry up and get up there. Can not wait for reports everyday..
|Oct 02, 2012, 06:38 AM|
Quick report … sore back got really bad last week so the airplane seat was not terribly comfortable, but I got to stretch across the empty seats … still not comfortable! It was a Virgin 737 – 800 and you had to pay $7 for a tiny sandwich so I was glad of the Arnotts Shapes bikkies and snack bars I took.
Set the clock forward 3 hrs (they are on daylight savings) and pretended to sleep. At 2:30pm they announced that we were about to cross the NZ coast at Greymouth, and soon we saw huge lines of surf along the coast. It was windy!
Then a mass of solid cloud with a couple of snowcapped peaks sticking through. Then the cloud broke up and we got a hugely spectacular view right into the Alps … huge snowcapped peaks with deep dark valleys between. A glacier river. Then it flattened to a patchwork quilt of green and brown farms, with the huge braided river spread out flowing thru the centre towards Christchurch. Everywhere amongst the geometrical shapes were solid rows of tall trees as windbreaks. There are heaps of treeline DS opportunities!
The air got bumpy and the Kiwi hostie advised that if you felt a bit “squidgy” the best thing was to turn the air vent to blow on you and look fixedly at one spot in front … “you’ll find ut hilps a lettle”.
Then it was bigger roads, a car racing track, suburb and airport, flaps down and with a mighty roar we were down. Amazing. I was in Christchurch. There was the blue “US Antarctic Division” building to remind you how far south I was. Thought I’d left my phone in the seat and had to go back to search. Out thru baggage, collect boxes, thru customs and out to Alex and Rob waiting outside. I felt rather stunned and very spoilt to be there.
Alex had parked at his work, a few hundred metres away, so we took a long cross country trip with the airport trolley piled with boxes and bags! Crossing roads and gutters, but we got there. Rob was delighted to take his new Willow home to unpack and Alex and I headed for a mall to get a sim card for my iphone. Everywhere there are models of cars with funny names I’ve never seen before.
I won’t try to tell the full story, but we couldn’t get it to work and the first shop told me the phone was locked. Using roaming, I finally got thru about 4 Philipino operators to talk to Telstra and ascertained that the phone wasn’t locked. But this took about ¾ hr. Alex was getting antsy because we were on a timeline. Anyway, finally it got sorted and I have a new number.
We got to Peter F’s place just on time and he and wife Rose really welcomed me, but we were quickly back on our way to his parents’ place for a family dinner. Crossing Christchurch over bumpy roads they began to describe the earthquake damage and the enormous task of rebuilding. They’re really only just starting.
Wow, what a great night. Excellent food, excellent company, a beautiful house. His Dad is a model maker/ pattern maker and you just can’t believe the amazing stuff he has made. I can’t begin to describe the awesome things in that house, including a full sized registered copy of a Merc 500K from the 1930’s. Model yachts (which he races), and lots more.
Back home we unpacked the glider box, pulled out the 6kg or so of ballast and joiner bars from my suitcase, and fixed Peter’s JW in readiness for tomorrow. It’s late here but only 8:30pm at home, but when I get up in the morning it will only be like 4am at home! I think I’ll be shagged tomorrow. But fortunately Peter has a coffee machine too.
That’s it from me. Looking forward to a big day tomorrow at Tekapo. There are 5 of us going.
|Oct 02, 2012, 09:08 AM|
Joined Oct 2004
Bring on the winds and detailed reports Andrew. Looking forward to some good speeds.
Thanks again for taking the Willow over. Saved a few dollars and Rob seems pretty happy.
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