The time ran out for me and time was spent getting Bruce settled into the Antares. He then took a launch just for fun and to check himself out.
Meanwhile Roy and I prepared the ventus for shipping, and suffered one final indignity - having to look at a rather beautiful sky develop as we walked down the airbridge to board the Buenos Aires flight.
So while we were settling into the airbus Bruce did a 600km checkflight including a 100km triangle in a whisker over half an hour. And as we discovered from olc later KO was completing the first ever 1750km triangle. The big triangle season has been outstanding and who knows if this game of ping-pong is yet over?
Like spectators leaving a match early the sound of applause in the stadium behind us is a little disconcerting - but we have to leave sometime and today's the day to exit Argentina, unfinished business or not.
There is more to be done, and the appetite not quite sated. Bruce, enjoy the Antares, I hope weather does give you the chance to do more big things.
Best wishes to all who have browsed this blog, and heartfelt thanks to all our friends in Argentina who have made the last two and a half months such a stimulating adventure.
Over and out.
Well the big winds haven't quite arrived, though we flew yesterday in pretty, warm wave for a last soak in Andean vistas.
This morning was up early to check the weather (and really for packing). But the boxes are filled, and we have delayed our flight to Baires until this evening, and there is a wee chance of something in the meantime...
Might there be a quick 500 o\r without risking the flight home? We need a bit more cloud here at Bariloche, but it sure looks nice at Esquel (about level with the biggest Chilean island) again.
If it doesn't go I can do no more than refer you to Roy's blog - he's done his last post and just summed it all up beautifully - nothing I could add.
Today was, we hope, the last of the super calms for a while. It does have minor benefits, like the views and tourist weather down at Llao Llao. Bruce and Roy seemed to approve of that.
Having kept half an eye on UK weather reports and gliding club webcams we think that asking for sympathy for our lack of soaring weather might not be so well received. Its not really a hardship posting.
But now the attention turns to our remaining 72 hrs in Bariloche. There is decent wind coming, but fast enough? Tomorrow will have some upper wind developing through the day and despite a lack of moisture may show the pattern for an earlier launch into a better chance of a cloud marked sky on Tuesday.
And Wednesday is looking rather good - but we're booked to fly to B'aires that day. The weather has forced some re-examination of that and we think we can change to a later flight at 1900hrs. If so dare we risk a big flight in the maximum 11hrs of soaring from 0600 to say 1700 before an airport dash?
We know what we want - Roy would love a crack at a 1500 and I'd love a crack at a speed task. Will we have the sense\stupidity to go for it and not land out a long way away with that deadline? Just have to wait and see. As Oscar Wilde said "we can resist everything except temptation".
Its been a quiet few days and the urgency of personal battery charging has turned to concern about final glides. This time next week Roy and I will be in much colder places, and despite the current calms and another ludicrous high trying to reach Antarctica we are hoping for just one more chance to play. Right now that needs a shift in the forecast and a relatively small one would do. Something to tempt us to risk landing out 3 days drive away just before our flights leave for B'aires might be enough of a perverse incentive to make it happen?
Meanwhile we force ourselves to sit in the sun (some parts are already beyond medium-rare) and contemplate the colours of the sunset.
Sitting on the sofa yesterday afternoon, pen in hand to write Antares briefing notes for Bruce, and was overtaken by a strong, almost nauseous dizziness. Began to think I'd better start to put more water in it when I noticed the heavy pendant light was swinging through 20 degrees.
As comes naturally one reaches for google in such circumstances - and within minutes we were looking at seismic charts showing that the epicentre of a 7.1 magnitude quake was only 250km away in Chile. No damage here, just a reminder that the power of nature in these parts is not confined to the sky.
The new year came in very quietly - at least from a Patagonian wind perspective - and the totally calm surface of Lago Nahuel confirms it this 1-1-11 morning. Otherwise there were plenty of loud fireworks and a fine spread of food provided chez JMC and Anne-Marie C - muchas gracias.
Watching the forecast weather with particular interest - this time the question has a certain finality about it. Will we get one more blast at good wave before we leave? If the models are right there is a possibility of that sometime around next weekend. Both Roy and I have things we'd really like to do before the long trek back to colder darker climes.
Best wishes to all for 2011, and success in striving after your goals. The sculptor Henry Moore once commented that the secret of life was to have a task - and the most important thing was that it should be something you could not possibly achieve. Maybe its a good day to re-set.