Saturday, November 24, 2007
Xavier has posted some pictures on the net at the following locations.
PS My UPS shipment that I sent down prior to leaving has just been return yesterday... seems there were a few flaws in the customs process... all in good order though.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Our connecting flight was waiting for us and we were one of the last people on board. With the crappy weather making a considerable impact on operations at Pearson Airport we final got airborne at 11:02 local or 2 hours late after they sprayed the airplane…. I believe there were lots of delays today.
Our flight out of Vancouver to Victoria was changed to accommodate the delayed arrival but we just headed right to the gate as there was a flight leaving in 20 minutes (12:00). We were given new boarding passes and headed to the plane. The baggage and planes had already been loaded!!! I have to say it was an awesome job by the Air Canada folks.
Lauren and Sid met us at the airport and we gathered all our stuff. Said our goodbyes to Mark & Robyn and headed home. Checked the planes out (well actually I had to unpack the planes so Kelly could get at her shopping and everything was in good shape. We are all beat from the long trip and will relax the day away… a nap may be in order.
I’ll plan a review of my trip in the coming days….. suffice to say it exceeded my expectations beyond anything I imagined.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
In short order we were on No 25 De Mayo and heading directly to the airport. A quick fuel stop ensued and we hit the departure area. The Thrifty Car guy showed up and after some paperwork was done we headed for the check in counter with all our gear.
Ok so it’s 13:30 and the check in counter opens at 15:00.??? So much for the “Get there early” stuff we were told.. arrghh. We were pretty much first in line and one of the baggage guys help us get the plane boxes squared away and prepped. He also helped out with the agent when it came time to put them through security. He was most helpful and received a nice tip $$.
We headed back towards the gate and spotted the Australian Team with all their planes in deep discussion with an airline official. Turns out they did not remove their 4 stroke engines (only cleaned them out.) We tried to help but all our tools (Allen keys) had already been checked. We wished them luck and went to the gate feeling a little remorseful for not being able to help out their team. It may be a long night for those folks.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The plan is to split up this morning as they have several shops scoped out that they want to visit. Kelly wants to do the other half of the pedestrian street that we have not seen yet. I will …gulp… do my duty and shop with her for the morning at least. Hey it’s a small sacrifice and how often do you get a chance to do it in Buenos Aires… besides I am planning on picking up an MZ-14 so brownie points count!
We headed for dinner but to my amazement, (not really :-) Kelly had recovered slightly from her “shopper shock” and managed to hit a couple shops before we ate. We return to the airport tomorrow and, as we have a noon check out time, we have made arrangements for a 13:00 car drop. This is going to give us lots of time to clear Argentinean Customs and get all our stuff checked in before our departure. I am betting Kelly’s bag(s) will be overweight :-)
Here are a couple pictures as we walked about. Sometimes a strange mix of old & new buildings.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Kelly took this shot of me infront of the Obelisco... I figure its at the top of the box :-)
We walked many miles today and my legs are feeling it! Mark got his 400th geocahe at a very interesting Argentinian Tall Ship.
#400! Very cool.
Here is the gang in the cab. We strolled around, took some more night pictures and then loaded up on pasta. It was delicious and very filling.
Kelly and I on the pedestrian bridge.
Kelly and Robyn in front of this neat neon art deco “sculpture”.
We said our goodbye’s to my fellow team members and friends before leaving the winds of Santa Fe and the now simple sanctity of one plane and one pilot working the flight box. We trade that for the super pedestrian shopping area of Buenos Aires and the chance to rub elbows with half a million other shoppers! Even my wife is in S.S. mode…. “Shopper Shock”. Every fancy shopping store is located in a special walking area in the heart of the city just off the main street of #9 De Julio. Now when I say “Main Street” I am not kidding…. it has more lanes than our very own BC Ferries parking lot.
Team Suriname heads down the highway.
Anyway I did actually pick up some men’s cologne as my previous scent had long since mellowed since my glow powered days:-) .
We had a good look around and found some great parks close by. We plan to check them out over the coming days.
We had a great steak dinner (best so far) at a restaurant close to our hotel in the walking district. They have a huge BBQ pit going and it was incredible service from start to finish. We decide after dinner that it will be our “last meal” location prior to leaving Wednesday.
We walked back to the hotel on a great evening. We are beat so it's early to bed for all of us. We plan on doing some geocaching tomorrow.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
QQ puts in his final unknown round at the competition. He flew very well as did all the pilots at this level.
Team Canada had a large cheering section infront of USA. We had very high temperatures at 33F and the girls made a nice long trip back to the car for an "air conditioning check".
Chad dresses up really good as we socialize at the banquet. We ate very late but everyone seemed to enjoy the event. Every one was very tired!
They put on a very nice dancing show to entertain the guests. Other than the late hour it was very well done. We headed back to the hotel around 00:30 and watched a dazzling light show of lightning. Xavier has some great pictures that I hope to post.
We will head to Buenos Aires in the morning for a couple days of sightseeing and down time. I'll update this blog with some comments as time permits.
Friday, November 16, 2007
The US guys also gather prior to the start of the flying session. Much discussion about the winds... winds... winds.
Chad has his batteries checked while the Swiss competitor ahead of Chad appears to be a no show. He may be going much earlier than originally scheduled. Not a big deal as he is well prepared to fly. The Swiss flyer Marc Rubin casually walked over and asked if Chad was next up as the ready box beside Chad was empty. They said "no your up next." and the Swiss team went into into overdrive as they quickly brought up their plane and equipment.
Chad's plane was once again sound tested (every plane was checked prior to flight) and passed the test.
The scores..... well I am no expert on this judging thing at this level. Although I have flown in many contests as well as judged many flights over my RC career I must say I, along with Mark, were absolutely mystified at the scores award to some pilots. Flights that were much worse than Chad's scored higher! (?) Now I could go on about the judging but I am Canadian after all, and we are known as friendly, easy going, peace loving people that don't get wrapped up in the semantics of issues. So with some wise words of wisdom I had from my parents as a youth.... If you have nothing nice to say... don't say anything at all. So with that in mind I will remain very, very, quiet.
As we await the scores, Rosemary Ells, Brian Northeast, Mr Jesky and Mark relax in the shade of the lift gate.
When the dust settled (literally!) Chad was in 22nd position overall. The top 10 pilots will now head to the Holiday Inn (main hotel for the event) and choose their unknown manoeuvres for the finals tomorrow..... it will be a long night for them as they try to figure it all out. We, on the other hand, hosted a nice enjoyable "social" in our hotel room before heading out for dinner .
Thursday, November 15, 2007
We expect to see the Japanese and Italian teams practicing as well. The girls are going shopping of course.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Ok I am back! It was carnage in Santa Fe when we arrived at the airport this morning. Strong winds prevailed.. Mark says the winds on Sunday, added to Monday & Tuesday equaled what was experienced today! 8 t0 9 meters per second with gusts to 13 created havoc for landings in particular. The first 11 fliers on line "B" had finished their flights with no less that 5 of them suffering damage to both wings and gear. The worst was Bernhard Schaden's Onyx that suffered major damage when the prop hit the ground.
Xavier did a pretty good job of capturing the moment?don't you think.