June 24, 2009

Non-Flying Notes

I arrived in Helsinki on Friday in pouring rain after having spent a week in England in sunshine. Finland seemed cold and dismal in comparison, and the gliding club seemed wet and windy. Then the sun came out, and the practice days have been delightful – beautiful soaring weather, warm weather for the crew to relax in, and many friendly people to meet.

The landscape reminds me of Muskoka or Haliburton – pine trees and white/silver birch trees and lakes. The lakes have swans on them, not loons. The terrain is flatter than Canada and there are more farmers’ fields, but no granite rocks. Road signs warn of moose crossing the road, so we do find many things familiar. Andy and I went fishing last night and we managed to catch a pike, but that was after we tipped the boat while retrieving a lure, nearly fell in, took water on board and had wet bottoms!

Chris and Andy seemed to be organized and ready for the contest. Chris had good flights on the first and second practice days, and is off on the first real day as I write this. It’s a long task, 531 km, but the sky looks good.

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