The RUI Negril on the West coast of Jamaica.
All of us competed serious sessions of sport tanning. Myself, a proponent of active tanning could not help but to appreciate the facilities, this was certainly the most well appointed “Static Tanning Veneu” in the Caribbean. There was an in-pool bar to keep everybody hydrated and talented performers working the crowd. We were entertained by “paddle board jousting”, trivia, beer chugging, water aerobics and the occasional good book.
One word of warning. The only way to get a drink was to swim to the bar. Be careful to empty your pockets before strolling over to the bar to get your partner a drink. Sport Tanning wasn’t the only activity, between our competition to achieve a beautiful bronze, we enjoyed scuba diving , sea yakking, snorkeling and lots of catamaran sailing.
This end of the island is primarily private homes and resorts with little in way of commerce. There were a few restaurants but not so much in the way of traditional brick and mortar. Negril retail has evolved into bamboo shacks lined up at water line between the resorts. A walk along the beach was an adventure in the art of hustling Any transaction you might desire, the Jamaicans were honor bound to provide, if you were looking for clothing or trinkets, cheap beaded jewelry or wood carving … No Problem Man. Maybe a little ganja? Hash? Women? Men? Speedboat ride? Ya Mon…. No Problem… I have a friend who has a boat.
Excursions of note:
Taxi ride around the West End. We visited a bar called Xtaba who featured a stairway leading down from the bar to a cave that is open to the sea. We only stayed for a minute but I swear that it’s on my bucket list for another visit.
A booze cruise out to Famous Rick’s Cafe to buy T-shirts and watch the Cliff Divers.
The pictures are going to be from GoPro and possibly sea Life digital.
At the RIU Resort in Negril Jamaica. It’s a lot like being
IMorning flights at Placida and Shell Creek respectively.
This morning at Shell Creek it was spitting rain, I cut it short when I noticed the winds starting to pick up. It was 25 mph at 350 feet while stil very light at the surface. Winds were from the east. Since “Big Anne”, has an issue with me touching her landing zone I was forced to make a short landing across the runway.
Here is the whole 7 minute video
I YPlacida is one of the nicest places I’ve ever flown. Forty years ago it was one mans dream of riches and paradise and another mans real estate nightmare.
Ever hear? …….I’ve got swamp land in Florida that’s going to make us both rich”.
These days, it’s just miles of open land with nothing but narrow ribbons of asphalt that that were to be the streets of a community that was never built. Truly a PPG Trike paradise, nice little runways in all directions. No curbs trying to catch wheel and no wires waiting to pluck you from the sky. No matter which way the wind is blowing, it’s a simple matter to set up in a cul de sac so that you have a the first hundred feet into the wind.
Today was special because in was blowing right down the road. I was able to inflate the wing and stay on the asphalt until I’d built enough speed that the wing literally jumped into the air.
Today’s mission was to fly the arrow cam through some moderately steep turns both under power and without. The idea was to figure out how the Paramotor would be framed during different manuvers and depending on whether the cam was on the inside or the outside of the turn.
As far as videos go, it’s a real stinker, I spiced it up with a great Lannie Garrett song to make it tolerable. so…. This movie is all about the soundtrack.
Technical note …. The cage had a weld break loose which Mike Lange graciously repaired in short order. When it happened I felt it ! I didn’t know what it was but I sensed something and the first thing I did after landing was grab the frame to give it a shake and there was the break, right there in my hand.
I spoke with Terry about the belt which I’m thinking should be replaced. He told me to measure the center to center of the hubs if I could not find the numbers. Well dispite not seeing them the last time I looked, there they were, big as hell.
Three flights with the arrow cam. The first two were at Placida with the two Mikes. The first launch was dicey. I didn’t walk out the runway and hit a good sized depression just before takeoff. My feet were knocked off the pegs and the trike started to yaw to the left. I was half expecting to see the front wheel slam down starting a wheelbarrow flip but I was going fast enough that by keeping the he power on I was able to launch. It wasn’t pretty.
None of us had radios so I wasn’t able to get any great footage but it was good. I launched a second time just for the heck of it.
The third flight was the next morning at shell creek. The launch was clean. I circled the sand quarry and turned east. The air was a cool 40* allowing for a nice quick climb up to 1000 feet. When I arrived at the motocross track I spiraled down and played around the park.
This cam has a much shorter lead so that it won’t swing into the prop. It is mounted on the right side about 5 feet in from the tip. When turning to the left the cam is on the outside; as the wing banks the cam lifts making the trike appear to decend. It’s a cool effect that I’m going to be fun to play with. On the next flight I’m going to do several turns with and without power. It will be fun to see what it can do.
Lannie Garrett gave me permission to use her songs which is going to be fun. I’m going to check with a few other friends who have cut CDs so that I’ll have some good background music.
Here is the video of the first two flights with the two Mikes
Here is the video of the Shell Creek flight
It took three trips out to the field before I was able to log number 859. Monday night I was at Shell Creek but the winds never came down. Tuesday morning I drove to Placida and stood in thick fog until 8:30. But Tuesday afternoon I watched the winds go from 18 to 15, when the hit 12 mph I jumped in the truck and booked it to Placida.
The wind was right at the edge of my comfort level, but it’s a wide open area without rotor and it wasn’t gusting. I decided to go for it. The launch was a non-event, the wing came up clean and we were off in a flash. The first 300 feet was bumpy but once at altitude it was smooth and there was less wind than at the surface. I flew out to the causeway and noticed for the first time a jet was taxing around the jet port. He never approached the runway but I kept an eye on him When I reached the Gulf I turned back because I was alone and didn’t want to try a water passage without back-up. The flight back was in calm air.
I’d cobbled together a new chase cam using only an aluminum hunting arrow. It flew great and I look forward to getting some awesome video. Below is the Vimeo link.