Sunset Sail

A huge thanks to Mel & Simon who gave us some vouchers for a Sunset Sail with Escapade Ecotours for our tenth wedding anniversary. We took the cruise on the 16th and the weather could not have been better. According to the BOM we had approx 9knots ESE and the ocean was about as close to billiard table flat as an ocean gets I think.

We left the fishing boat harbour, sailed up the inner harbour for a little while then spent the remainder of the time out on the ocean as the sun slowly set. It was awesome, about the best afternoon out we’ve had in a long time. It was so relaxing sitting on the deck or laying on the trampoline as the cat gently rose and fell with the water bubbling at the bows. The crew served some tasty nibbles and softies were on the house. As you can see we had fun with the camera, being silly and trying to get some arty shots. Once the sun set we made our way back to the harbour and followed up our voyage with fish and chips from Cicerello’s. What a perfect end to the week.

Now we’ve just got to figure out how to make enough dosh so we can afford to do this sort of thing every day! All donations gratefully accepted.

For those that are interested, the Cat is a Seawind 1200 and has to be seen to be believed. I get that 12m is big, but even compared to our little Windrush 14 this thing is a tardis. Luxurious too. The cabin, living and entertaining spaces are huge and really well appointed. So the big question is do we have another 8 friends or family willing to share the $1900 required to secure this beauty for a day trip to Rotto next season? Because I can’t wait to go again.

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More Goodies for the Bike

The new bike is going really well and the new accessories are starting to grow slowly. I’ve added some pages in the V-Strom section for my new Top Box setup and a page for Stickers which are both for function and eye candy.

I’ve got a heap of goodies on order to build up the new switch plate I got from Dan Vesel. When complete I should have a 12v cigarette lighter socket, a battery voltage and charging status LED and a permanent 3V supply for my eTrex GPS, all with independent switching. I can’t wait to crack out the soldering iron again, it’s been a while.

Farkle my V-Strom

Here’s something cool I’ve been up to. A Farkle for my V-Strom (no that’s not a rude word – look it up *Edit 21Mar21 – OK, so maybe one use of the word is really rude, but the rest are clean I promise). I now have a luggage guard for my bike so it’s ready to accept a set of soft panniers 🙂

Made by Dan Vesel in the US, this is a first prototype and bolted straight on thanks do Dan’s meticulous workmanship.

Click to see more about my Luggage Guard, or have a look at all the other products Dan makes for V-Stroms of all years.

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Welcome back me!

Phew, that was a close call. I’ve been pretty inactive here lately and by chance a colleague asked me a few days ago if I still had my domain / blog. I said yes – because I thought I did.

So I loaded the URL just for a peek at what I’d posted here last and got a shock. My beautiful blog had been replaced by one of those bullshit ‘looks legit but is just a page of adverts’ pages. It did have a pretty girl holding some textbooks at what looked like a University which was nice. But I have a wife who is even prettier and she has textbooks of her own so I didn’t really need to keep advertising girl around for any longer than necessary.

Turns out my host / domain registrar stuffed up but I was terrified someone else had bought  the domain and that was the end of it for me. After some anxious emails and one cranky support ticked submission it was all resolved within 24 hours of discovery. The moral of the story – if you own a domain stay on top of the registration and check it regularly, even if you ‘know it’s up to date’.

So if you’re reading this blog, and have made it this far into a thoroughly boring post then you must enjoy my random and sporadic waffle. In that case I have a treat  in store for you! I’ve got a few news worthy things to post soon so stay tuned 🙂

Oooh goody it’s new toy time

DL650AL2After some time to recuperate, some lessons with a professional instructor for my R class license (<250cc) and hopefully in two weeks a ‘pass’ I should be back on a bike again.

<- I’ve put a deposit on this beauty. It’s a DL650AL2 Suzuki V-Strom in ‘Metallic Fox Orange’. When we looked online I was not really taken with the orange, I definitely didn’t want black and decided that the white might be better on visibility grounds. But have a look at the way the sunlight sets that tank off! I’m getting the orange because it’s the last one left on the floor, but after seeing it in the flesh I think it’s the best of the three colours.

Let’s hope those big twin discs at the front and the ABS helps me keep out of trouble and that this one spends its entire life ‘right way up’.

Not Again!

Broken Motorbike

New and (not) improved short-wheelbase-SuperSherpa

Bloody hell it’s happened again. This time I’m equally as lucky but the damage is a bit worse. My shiny new Shoei TZR doesn’t look too bad but I’ll bin it anyway, I’m now limping and the Sherpa is a write off.

I was on my way home on Kalamunda rd when out of nowhere a car turned right across my lane – right in front of me. I had enough time to start applying brakes but there was no room or time to try anything more evasive. I slammed into the passenger side and was thrown over the car and down the road. Thank goodness there was only a little sliding, lots of rolling and most importantly no bones breaking. Once again all my gear did it’s job. My worst injuries are to my left leg; a bit of skin missing, some of the biggest nastiest bruises I’ve ever seen and a stiff knee. Oh and here’s one nobody warned me about – the seating arrangement means the crown jewels took a beating, they did get their own back by tearing off my tank bag and mirror as I went past though! Read the rest of this entry »

The Gentle Advancer – Out of Mothballs (again)

Gentle AdvancerVery early on in the life of this blog I posted a couple of pieces about my ‘Gentle Advancer’ which is a marriage of Quiet Advancer wings and a Gentle Lady fuselage. Both of these gliders are simple 2 metre span 2 channel rudder / elevator gliders with flat bottom Aquilla aerofoils. Re-reading them again has reminded me of the excitement I felt at the time I got her back into the air.

I mentioned that I intended to try my hand at slope soaring. Well it turns out I did and that led to my love of sloping and models like the Duck, Alula and Zip55. However on that initial exploratory flight I broke her 🙁 it was a great landing by any standards in very blustery conditions but the short landing slide on the granite outcrop stove in the leading edge when it caught a wayward rock. The wings were already a bit the worse for wear and I mentioned I wanted to do a rebuild anyway but this forced my hand. Read the rest of this entry »

Zip55 and Slope Soaring in Albany

Zip55 Maiden LaunchThis story starts in Oct 2010 when I saw a build thread on RC Groups for a new model called a Zip55 from Zaerotech in Hawaii. After a few weeks of reading & lusting and a few emails to Kevin about shipping costs I had one on the way. This model appealed for a number of reasons. I was already on the lookout for a higher performance slope soarer now that I’m getting more confident with the Alula and Duck. I love the idea of a model that packs up small and I also love to build from a kit or from scratch. On top of this, the Zip55 has some extraordinary design features including a removable, foldable V-Tail with automatic control surface connections and a magnetic wing retention system. Last of all the Zip55 is a wingeron which means the entire wing rotates about the main spar to provide roll control instead of using ailerons. This video is worth watching to see all the nifty features.

We visited Albany recently to go to a mates wedding. I couldn’t resist packing the models and all my slopers got some good airtime. Kristy was really good, not only did she put up with my incessant quest for an into-wind slope, she performed camera duty and drew some serious blood from those lovely legs while retrieving the Alula from the scrub. Yes she volunteered for that but I guess my answer should have been “No honey that’s OK” instead of “Thanks honey, I’ll just launch the Duck now since the wind is good”. That all happened on the first outing when we flew at the blowholes.

On the second outing an Easterly of approx 10kts was blowing so the Salmon Holes seemed to be the best spot. What ensued can best be described as a ‘slopegasm’. The lift was like nothing I’ve flown in before. I did dumb thumb the Duck into the bushes twice (yes I did my own retrievals) but it was such a hoot screaming around the curve of the slope, scraping the bushes and trying to get close for the camera. I haven’t really had the Duck grooving like this before, usually I’m working hard to stay up because conditions are light and I’m just desperate for a flight.

Then came the climax that still has a silly grin plastered all over my face. I assembled the Zip55, Kristy took what I was sure would be its final photos and I plucked up the courage to launch all my hard work off the edge. I had already clocked up 1 hour with the Zip55 at Mullaloo on her maiden flight but that didn’t ease the nerves. I needn’t have worried because she behaved impeccably from the moment she left my hand. I thought the Duck was good in the conditions but the Zip55 was amazing. It’s very clean aerodynamically and those thin high aspect ratio wings really get moving compared with a lump of flying foam. It seems to pull through tight turns really hard without showing signs of stalling and the energy retention is incredible. I had heaps of fun flying half pipes – doing passes along the slope as fast as I could before pulling vertical into a stall turn, diving back down and doing it all again. Possibly the most exciting part was the landing though. Top landing didn’t seem like an option so I got Kristy to guide me down the steps to the beach below while I flew high and stayed out of trouble. The next challenge was to bleed off enough energy to get it low and slow over the beach. Of course the only way to do that is fly far enough out over the ocean where there’s no slope lift….. The video below tells the story.

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Triple J Hottest 100

CD CoverI can’t help boasting about this one, I’m grinning from ear to ear still. The first disc of Triple J’s Hottest 100 vol. 18 is blasting out of my Altec Lansings so loud I can’t hear my keyboard going clickety-clack as I type. Hopefully it’s also loud enough that the neighbors can’t hear me singing along too.

Last weekend we took the opportunity for a much needed break and decided to go camping by the ocean. So we found ourselves northbound on the Mitchell Carpark. The radio was tuned to Triple J because a) it’s the only FM station that would have reception the whole way there   and  b) it’s the only FM station worth listening to!

Super Request was on and Rosie was spruiking Hottest 100 packs for listeners from WA. Kristy whipped out her trusty HTC Desire and got requesting. The request was Drapht’s Rapunzel and while we didn’t hear it than night it was a great trip and even better weekend in Cervantes with the beach only 60 seconds walk away.

Fast forward to Monday, I get home from work to find Kristy hanging up the phone because the J’s had called her back to put her on air that night! And so it came to be that my beautiful angel got herself on the radio and won us a Hottest 100 vol. 18 CD. Today the mailman made good on Rosie’s promise, there was even a sticker in there too 🙂

Second EVA Biplane Video

Well it has been ages since I last posted here, but I haven’t disappeared! Life has been busy with all sorts of things including a new job 🙂 One thing I haven’t had so much time for lately is getting some RC flying in, but I did have a fantastic flight with the EVA Biplane recently.

A Tropical Cyclone was predicted to hit Perth, which is unusual because they don’t normally venture this far south. The evening preceding the impending arrival of TC Bianca was humid and very still, barely a breath of wind. So I quickly charged a pack for the EVA and took her to the nearest oval. This was also the first time I tried my new ‘Helmet Cam’. Basically it’s a 1/4″ whitworth bolt wedged into the top of my old bike helmet. This lets me screw my little Sony still camera on top. I’m quite pleased with the results.

The flight in this video is the sort of stuff I really like to do with my parkflyers. Nothing really fancy, nice and relaxing and good fun. Some touch and go’s, simple aero’s and a beautiful evening sky. Does it get any better than this?

Mountain Models EVA Biplane from Aidan on Vimeo.