Linda Salamone's Blog

Sunday, April 25, 2010

After too many days of not blogging – I will try to catch this comp up now that it has ended. Sitting in a Laundromat in La Belle with not much else to do anyhow.
Tuesday’s task was a dogleg to the west and then NW, and I flew with the big boys for just a little bit at the beginning. I can only get my VG on around halfway on this day, and only a few times before my arm just can’t pull it anymore. So I lose a lot on the glides, but I can climb pretty well. Mark decked it pretty early and I watched him land not too far from my sugar cane field from Monday and I was flying alone into an ever darkening sky. I saw rain to the south and got low when everything shaded over. I had a beautiful no wind landing in a huge flat field (everything is flat here) and had a horse really interested and excited by my landing. I thought the landowner was pissed about that when he walked over but he was super cool and laughing about his crazy horse. He and his daughter kept me company and helped me get my glider to his front yard to break it down while I waited for Dana to come get me. Really nice people and really nice dogs and a few mini goats to boot.
I worked on my VG with Ben’s help and got it to go a little more easily, but Wednesday’s flight I was able to get only a little more pull- just over half- and got it done a few more times. The task was to the east, and the sky looked like shit, so Jamie and I waited around to see what would happen. I was last to launch besides a few re-lights and I got on the cart and waited for the tugs to refuel. Almost every glider had left the flight park to start the task so I was impatient now. My tow started off great, until about ten feet off the cart. Then the tug landed and the line went slack. My first thought was- surely he’ll take off again and fix this- but no… I was too low and late to get upright so I just figured I’d roll it in. But no again… the wheels dug in and didn’t roll and face first I hit the dirt. In seconds there was a bunch of people pulling the glider upright for me and since I whacked near the road, I had a strange moment when I saw a slew of emergency vehicles enter the field. What the hell were they doing here so fast??? Later I found out that someone had called earlier thinking a diving tug was in trouble. But the whole thing really freaked me out and I had a ‘girl moment’. The tug pilot was so apologetic- he hadn’t put the fuel line back in after filling up so he had run out of gas- then he waited just for me until I got back on the cart. I had a great tow behind him this time and bobbled on out of the start gate. I made the first WP and had a couple more decent climbs but got low just before a stretch of unlandable stuff. I went to where a bunch of other gliders had landed and a huge thermal was just breaking off. I was below 175meters so I didn’t dare push it. I am always reminded of my bad decisions with too-low saves and I realize now it’s just not worth the risk. This meet is just my ‘warm up’ and I gotta stay in one piece for Germany. I landed way way way across the field as I was lifter pretty much all the way across. It was really wet and I carried my glider through calf-deep water for what seemed like forever while the others watched and wondered what the f*ck I was doing landing like a 747….But hey, it was a really sweet splashdown anyhow. I found out later that no one made goal and I actually had a sort of decent finish.
Thursday- long task to the west and then doubling back over the same points. 7 WPs all together including the start. Julia only put 6 in her instrument and missed the last one even though she made it back to goal at the Ridge. I was struggling for along time low and alone (as usual) after I got ditched early. My gliding sucks at less than ¾ VG. After 4 hours, I was in pain. My arm was hurting for the first time in the air and I couldn’t get my camelback. I kept grabbing behind my neck and just coming up with my braid. The camelback remained elusive and I was dry as a bone. I made the way far out turnpoint and got stupid low again, but Steve Larsen was climbing nearby and I found something to get high and cold in. I picked my way back and hit two more WPs and had just goal to make, but I had nothing left and the day was over- it was close to 7pm when I set up my 747 approach over a HUGE field (with a dead cow in the middle) and had a great landing. I had a pretty good carry and when I got it to the road, I was covered in mosquitoes. A couple kids pulled over wide-eyed and happily drove me to the store for bug spray. Mark picked me up before I was completely broke down because I seem to have lost my driver…. To FLYING. Because she told me she was busy taking tandems and couldn’t be bothered!!!! I had landed 18K short…
Friday morning Dana took another tandem and while I wasn’t watching- soloed!!! I saw her landing and her second solo flight. She got towed to the moon and boated on down. Perfectly.
The task was an even longer one Friday, and it got changed 3 times so we all got started late. Mark and I flew together for a while at the start but then we separated and got low in different areas. I counted him as out, but he rallied back, and when I decked it with 25K to go to goal, I watched him fly over my head totally specked out. That sucked! But I had a great flight with some screaming 1500fpm climbs and another great 747 landing.
Dana continues to do solos and landed on her feet this morning to Davis’ amazement. Two parties later and we’re ready to begin the Race and Rally. Too bad the weather is not cooperating at the moment.


  • amazing, linda. i'm so amazed by all of this. so you're not in german yet? well - maybe by now...since you're last post? you about gave me a heart attack with that post about flying in the rain. i can't believe the experiences you have out there. they sound beautiful.

    - amber

    By Blogger amber, at 12:02 PM  

  • ...and.....??? where the heck are ya?

    By Blogger amber, at 11:58 AM  

  • sorry! crashed my laptop.had to get another! now i have updated! thanks for your comments. now i am in germany and i will try to do more consistant writing. and pictures!!!

    By Blogger Linda Salamone, at 9:30 PM  

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