A funny thing happened…

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.

9 thoughts on “A funny thing happened…”

  1. haaaaaaaaa, Kathryn, you must be kidding! A guy steels your glider and stops to pick you up!!!! And you paid him to take you back to Stanwell!!!!
    AAAAAA!!! I’ve got a feeling I’m reading a B-movie script. The logical end of this scenario would be the marriage in a couple of weeks, huh??? :))) (sorry hope it’s not too rude… I’m just a foreigner, after all)

    What can I say. My harness was stolen 5 years ago in France – a country that I (wrongly) considered as absolutely safe. This lesson helped me to save the glider at least once. The moral is – never, never relax, and “half hiding” the glider is not enough.

  2. Forgot to add – glad your glider is still with you! That’s really the best part of the story. Sometimes magic happens (not for that guy, huh. The dumbest thief ever :)))

  3. Lol, yeah I should write a book. Hang gliding has it all….mystery, suspense, romance, fighting and of course comedy (que our clueless thief).

    Sometimes things just work out well. I was sooo lucky – another valuable lesson learned!

    Kathryn

  4. Jeez, that’s my glider! So this creep tried to steal from both of us, a double crime! Shit I sometimes feel quite spastic when I cover my glider with grass etc. so normally I don’t do it, I still have lots of faith in the honesty of my fellow human beings. But when it comes to gliders, it’s probably better to be safe then sorry. Btw I hitchhike a lot again since I started xc-flying, and I always think my best protection is my smell after a long and sweaty flight…;-)

  5. That’s bizarre. Creepy really, but at least it all went well. Anyway, I’m so glad everything ended OK. You need someone dedicated to retrieving you on days like that!
    HG is exciting enough without additional excitement on the ground.

  6. You read too many murder mysteries mom :)
    I promise, no more hitching unless I’m escaping from an angry farmer with a machete ;)

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