I had a great flight from Stanwell yesterday with Curt, Dave and Jonathan. My favourite flight in that area by a long shot. I didn’t quite get as far North or South as them but I was stoked to be up in the air with mates. I even got 4m/s on the thermal averager near Bulli pass. Classic day on the coast!
The fact it was a Monday and most people were at work made it even sweeter
But a funny thing happened on my way home from where I landed near Dapto, past Port Kembla. A great day could have ended up a total disaster.
I left my hang glider packed up in a field on a quiet road. I left it on the field side of a barbed wire fence, half hidden.
I left it because I had to go get a train or some mode of transport back to Stanwell. When I got to Dapto it turned out the trains were not running so I started to hitch on this back road near Dapto train station.
5 minutes later a truck stopped to pick me up. I saw a long blue thing in the back of his open truck. My first thought was …oh great another hang glider! But I had an uncomfortable feeling because it looked new…like MY glider bag. I was a bit confused so I opened the door and asked him was he a hang glider. He said no…then I ran to the back of the truck to confirm my thoughts and came back and said…you have my glider in the back of your truck, what’s the deal?
After a slight pause and a change of facial expressions he said… Oh I just saw it in the field and picked it up, thought I’d put it in my workshop and advertise it.
I was confused and didn’t know what to think or do. Was he for real? Was he stealing my glider and then telling me he had stolen my glider? What did he mean by advertising it? If I take my glider now where do I put it? Did he follow me from the field and then pretend he just picked it up by accident?
So I asked him where his workshop was…he said it was about 5 kms down the road and that he was knocking off for the day (he worked as a concreter). I thought, ah fuck it…and told him if I paid him would he take me back to Stanwell. Maybe I was crazy to ask this potential crim, but I ended up getting him to drive me all the way back to Stanwell. I had a hootknife in my pocket if anything went wrong! He seemed an OK sort of person, even though he kept saying how lucky I was he had picked me up. Yeah, very lucky. The guy steals a glider then picks up the girl he steals it from. You couldn’t script that.
It ended well, this time. But there is a moral of the story: hide your glider well if you have to leave it behind, esp around the Dapto/Albion Park area.