Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog » http://tellthemisaidsomething.com Travel and life in a big digital ball Sun, 14 Sep 2014 13:51:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cool Calm Kiting at Sunset http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/09/14/cool-calm-kiting-sunset/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/09/14/cool-calm-kiting-sunset/#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 13:51:51 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5771 Feel like chilling out to some super smooth timelapse and slow motion kiting during the sunset over the Mexican Ocean with Xavier Rudd singing “Follow the sun”? Well you have come to the right place. I have made a short video of … Keep on reading

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Feel like chilling out to some super smooth timelapse and slow motion kiting during the sunset over the Mexican Ocean with Xavier Rudd singing “Follow the sun”? Well you have come to the right place. I have made a short video of my kiting yesterday at sunset but I take a definite back seat to the amazing scenery out here in Mexico.

As opposed to the recent video of my kiting my paraglider in crazy high wind, I have put together a video from two days later of me kiting at sunset in almost no wind. I am quite proud of this one just in that it has a nice calming effect and the slow motion and timelapse are quite striking.

low-wind-kiting-s

My forward launch Paraglider training attempts, although I believe admirable, just don’t compare to the amazing scenery, and I’m not even flying!

So if you think you might enjoy a chilled out couple minutes in your day please watch the video and when you are done subscribe to my Youtube channel here! Or follow my blog here.

My equipment is the Velocity Elektra Paraglider from Blackhawk Paramotors which I think I am getting pretty damn good at kiting now!

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Kiting the storm http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/09/11/kiting-storm/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/09/11/kiting-storm/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 00:07:42 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5766 Paramotoring is not all about flying, there is also a lot of ground work required if you want your launches and landings to be as pain free and even fun as possible. And the best way to practice Paramotor launches … Keep on reading

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Paramotoring is not all about flying, there is also a lot of ground work required if you want your launches and landings to be as pain free and even fun as possible. And the best way to practice Paramotor launches is by kiting your paraglider. Check out this quick kiting video I made to get an idea of how powerful a wing in high wind can be!

I have had an unusual amount of time kiting my wing because of a blown motor early on, and lately because storm season has hit the coast of Mexico and I find myself grounded most days. Yesterday I decided to turn this to my advantage, and noticing that the storm was bringing a nice bit of wind with it convinced Sarah to come down to the beach with me for a spot of High wind kiting!

Here in La Penita Mexico there is not a lot of wind, so I haven’t been able to kite my wing as much as I did early on, so although disappointed I could not get up in the sky, it was great to be able to dust off my kiting skills and work on my paraglider control.

high-wind-kiting-blur

I know it has helped already because by the end of the extremely tough session (imagine being a boat with a giant sail and trying to control it with only your weight to hold you down) I was getting lifted less and managing to keep still for longer, staying in one place requires a lot of control, especially in gusty wind. I even managed to get off the ground a few times (intentionally), and by the end was controlling the glider while floating horizontal, matrix bullet style!

Near the end the wind was getting around 15 mph and a little out of control, I had even let my trimmers out which puts the wing at maximum speed and was still just managing not to get dragged. So after a few more leaps into the air and pulling big ears on the ground (big ears helps you come down faster when flying), we packed up and went home.

About an hour later a massive storm hit and kept going all night. I may not have been able to fly my Paramotor, but at least I got to practice, and I am now that little bit more confident for when I actually do get to fly again.

I hope you enjoy the video. For more subscribe to my blog here, or subscribe to my Youtube channel here

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The hardest part of Powered Paragliding http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/09/03/hardest-part-powered-paragliding/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/09/03/hardest-part-powered-paragliding/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 17:42:20 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5759 Powered Paragliding Maintenance video, it is more interesting than it sounds, kind of… There are a few challenges that have presented themselves in this whole Powered paragliding game. The first of course was the training, which although being warned about … Keep on reading

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Powered Paragliding Maintenance video, it is more interesting than it sounds, kind of…

There are a few challenges that have presented themselves in this whole Powered paragliding game. The first of course was the training, which although being warned about was a lot harder on the body than I thought it would be.

I should be a bit more specific here and say my body as I have certain ailments which make Powered Paragliding a little tough, especially during training which involves walking around with about 60 pounds on your back for a few hours a day.

In particular my dodgy knees, bad shoulders and herniated neck disk. Having said that I did surprisingly well despite these little issues, and once the training is done ground time is minimal and becomes less of an issue.

The other difficulty, and in some ways the biggest one, is the maintenance of my Paramotor. Now for a lot of people I am sure this part seems simple, but for someone who can never figure out which hole the oil goes in in my car, this has been a big concern for me, and after the nightmare that was blowing my engine in Guatemala, I am more nervous about it than I probably need to be.

I am getting better though. Well, I am getting better at maintaining my Paramotor, but I still have no idea how most of it works. I just keep praying that it continues to do so despite my complete lack of mechanical know how.

Powered Paragliding maintenance

One of the ways I am warding off my incompetence is by having made a checklist which I go through before every flight. I usually do the checks the day before flying so that the nerves and distractions which come just before a flight don’t make me miss anything, and aside from potentially saving my life, it also makes me feel safer when I am running with a Powered Paraglider strapped to my back which could quite easily chop me into little pieces or drop me into the ocean (don’t worry mum, she’ll be right :).

So I thought I would put together a little video of how I go about doing a pre-flight on my Powered Paraglider. I have a Blackhawk BH 125 Paramotor but the checklist would fit almost any paramotor and I think is just a great way to add that little extra bit of confidence to other beginner pilots out there.

I wish I had found a few more things like this video in my early days and so hope it helps equally mechanically un-minded folks just getting into Powered Pragliding with their flying and maintenance. If any pros out there see this and have something to add I am always happy to hear it.

PS. I forgot to show checking the leg and chest straps which is vitally important and I always do.

For those who don’t own a paramotor it might be interesting for you to see how these things are built and what it takes to do just basic maintenance.

Enjoy, I hope it helps you and let me know what you think in the comments below and subscribe to my blog for more Powered Paragliding things, Travel things, and just plain cool things.

CHECK LIST

Fuel tank secure / lid, fuel line secure / leaks / cable ties, check in 3 places, Choke check, Muffler secure, Spark plug cap, Starter pulley secure, Cowling bolts X2, Head gasket leaks, Exhaust springs / bolts X10, Engine rubber mounts check X6, Prop bolts / Prop cracks, Temp/RPM gauge connections, Cage bends, Cage connections X21, Cage straps X2, Cage Velcros X2, Jbars secure/cracks and bends, Jbar safety strap and connector, Carabiner cracks and connections, Reserve secure X4 and cable ties X4, Agama secure, Harness straps top X2 / Back X3 / to Jbar X2, zips closed X3, leg straps and clips, chest straps and clips. Nothing for prop to strike, wing trimmers, lines clear, breaks clear.

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Stop listening to your brain. http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/08/27/stop-listening-brain/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/08/27/stop-listening-brain/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:31:43 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5746 It had been about a week since I had flown, and I was starting to get that feeling again, you know the one I mean, the one that says “You should really be doing such and such”. I still struggle with … Keep on reading

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It had been about a week since I had flown, and I was starting to get that feeling again, you know the one I mean, the one that says “You should really be doing such and such”. I still struggle with this sometimes. The feeling that there are certain things I am obligated to do.

Things which because I have an opportunity to do, or because I have put so much effort into, or because I told everyone (including myself) how amazing they were that I should be doing at every opportunity!

But, I am an extremely fickle person. One with numerous passions which I get ridiculously passionate about for a stretch of time, and then move on. Most of the time I just jump around between those passions adding the occasional new one in. I am an all or nothing kind of guy.

For example, I am on a tuna kick at the moment, which means I am eating two to four cans of tuna and crackers a day, before this I hadn’t eaten a can of tuna for around seven years!

I have just left my “Vampire Diaries” kick behind after watching about eight hours of it a day.

The Vampire Diaries

When I lived in London I did the usual London thing and got crazy into drugs and undoubtedly took it way too far. Now I am a teetotaler (I have never been a drinker and quit smoking) without any desire or craving for anything stronger than two cans of tuna and a packet of crackers!

When we were travelling through Thailand we took a few months in one place and I took the opportunity to learn how to make Computer Games. I basically spent about two months doing nothing but focusing on how to make a computer game (I never did, but I could), and I mean don’t leave the room kind of nothing else.

Then I wanted to learn to fly, and within a few months not only could I fly, but I owned my own flying machine!

And of course the big one, I couldn’t just take a year off and travel, Sarah and I had to do this thing one hundred percent for as long as we want to, or not at all (thank baby Jesus we chose one hundred percent!).

I am an extreme kind of guy.

All or nothing, but it works for me most of the time. I just need to learn when my brain is correct and when it is making things up based around the waffle it has absorbed over the last thirty three years.

Not everything and every thought needs to be judged or acted on. I am pretty sure that all humans share the insanity of an internal mind, the stuff that never leaves your mouth because not only could it cause an intense amount of destruction in your life and the life of others, but also because you don’t really mean it or feel that way.

Our brains do some seriously cool shit, including taking in all the stuff which goes on around you and in you during the day. All your past life and all your potential life are at least considered on the periphery of your grey matter to try and facilitate the best outcome for you, or the worst depending on how destructive you are feeling.

The hard part is sifting through a mountain of junk mail in search of the worthwhile things, which can be tough when you have a lifetime of Nigerian princes clogging up the works.

There are things I know, there are things I don’t know, and then there is the most inconvenient mush of all, the things I think I know which mixes in with the good stuff and makes it all very hard to get in order.

I know that I am free to do what I please and I know that I am able to do most of those things. What I don’t know a lot of the time, is which of them I actually want to do, which I feel obligated to do, and which I am just being to lazy to do.

And therein lies the problem. Well not really a problem so much as a natural by product of being human. Despite its obvious advantages, free will and the freedom of choice it gives us can be a real pain in the ass.

I am getting better at figuring out when I am feeling which emotion, when I am being too lazy, or when I am putting too much needless pressure on myself. But it is a work in progress.

Yesterday I made myself fly because I hadn’t for a week and was starting to feel some kind of guilt. I actually had to walk myself through a process of mind farts to figure out why and what I should do about it. This time I decided that it was laziness holding me back and not fear. If it was fear I would definitely fly, but sometimes I find laziness is a more acceptable reason not to do stuff.

Paramotor flying

In the end I did fly, and I had an awesome one, it was only about ten minutes as a storm blew in and I had to get out of the air pronto. But it felt good to have a great launch and landing and to have made the right decision. Also it felt good to have put on a pair of pants and have done something outside of a computer screen (just to be clear though, I love doing stuff inside a computer screen! I just get computer fever after a couple days).

I suppose the largely unintelligible point I am making is that I am not obligated to do anything, but with the storm cloud of farts / thoughts bumbling around our mushy purple minds it sometimes takes a bit of effort to figure out what we really want and why. Sometimes it is OK that I can’t be bothered to do the most amazing thing I have ever learned to do, because at the end of the day, it is my party, and dammit, I will only fly if I want to.

Yesterday I flew, today I wore underpants, I wasn’t obligated to do either, but I did both, and I’m OK with that. And PS, here is a video I made to prove it (the flying part). I think it is another really really good one, so tell me so in the comments :)

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The ALS ice bucket challenge http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/08/24/als-ice-bucket-challenge/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/08/24/als-ice-bucket-challenge/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 01:49:21 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5736 I feel like going into the ALS ice bucket challenge I may have had an unfair advantage. Being that my body temperature sits somewhere in the high billions of degrees, I am, or at least thought I was a little more … Keep on reading

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I feel like going into the ALS ice bucket challenge I may have had an unfair advantage. Being that my body temperature sits somewhere in the high billions of degrees, I am, or at least thought I was a little more immune to the effects of a bucket of freezing cold water filled with freezing cold cubes of freezing coldness.

I now realize that if I do have this advantage, then it must be a lot worse for everyone else!

ALS-ice-bucket-challenge

Actually after just finishing my paramotor flight along the beach here in La Penita de Jaltemba and packing up my gear in the intense afternoon sun, I was looking forward to a great dunking, always happy to oblige in making me do charitable things, Sarah took the opportunity to dunk a whole cooler box of ice water over my head.

It was simultaneously delightfully refreshing and intensely shocking, I walked away from this particular experience with not only soggy see through shorts, a slight shiver and a new respect for Inuits (damn I am thoughtful!), but also a fuzzy feeling where my heart is supposed to be from doing something good for someone else! It was nice.

PS. If you were looking for a more informative post about ALS I apologize, there are very real limits on my ability to focus on one thing for long, and then turn that thing into useful information, which is why it is great these guys do such a good job of it! www.alsa.org

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The best Paramotoring video yet, it’s soooo pretty http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/08/17/best-paramotoring-video-yet-soooo-pretty/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/08/17/best-paramotoring-video-yet-soooo-pretty/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 17:27:53 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5715 Oh my God that is the most awesome thing I have ever seen!!! …is what you will be saying by the end of this Paramotoring video. Actually I don’t mean to be flippant about these things, but I think this … Keep on reading

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Oh my God that is the most awesome thing I have ever seen!!!

…is what you will be saying by the end of this Paramotoring video.

Actually I don’t mean to be flippant about these things, but I think this is definitely the best paramotor video I have made yet. It has action, comedy, thrills, spills and a returning cast. Also the scenery is spectacular, the set design is second to none (or just none) and the script, well the script is as non existent as the set design.

And there are memorable moments like this one:

Paramotoring in Mexico

Weeeeeeee!

But the flying and the camera shots are pretty amazing. I am learning what make a good paramotor video (at least I think I am, let me know if you agree) and have some awesome shots of me flying along the beach and a view which needs to be seen to be believed from about three thousand feet up.

And then there is the soundtrack, what a soundtrack! The old one hit wonder classic “Spirit in the Sky” is ridiculously appropriate (except for the dying thing) and Icarus by Bastille is equally fitting for my Paramotoring adventures 3000 feet above the Earth (also aside from the bit where he dies and that).

So if you like these paramotoring videos and even if you don’t, I really think this one is worth a watch. You can let me know how right I am in the comments below, Happy Sunday everyone!

P.S. you should definitely watch it in 1080 or 720 quality, it is much prettier that way.

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The miraculous thing about dreams http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/08/10/miraculous-thing-dreams/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/08/10/miraculous-thing-dreams/#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 18:04:04 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5700 Making a change and allowing yourself to reach beyond an ordinary life opens up a miraculous world of entirely new possibilities which you could never imagine without taking that initial leap of faith. Although this miraculous-ness has made itself known … Keep on reading

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Making a change and allowing yourself to reach beyond an ordinary life opens up a miraculous world of entirely new possibilities which you could never imagine without taking that initial leap of faith.

Although this miraculous-ness has made itself known in my life since the early days of our new lifestyle, I have not truly grasped its significance until recently. Sure I have pondered and even posted about a similar vein of thought before, but it was not until a few almost innocuous things happened at once that it made me grasp what was actually going on in my world.

mexico travel

A world of possibilities

I have spoken about the possibilities which come from making a change, but I did not fully realize the gravity of that change and those possibilities until three things which went almost unnoticed in their singular form conspired to bring the idea to the fore.

First, I watched an interview on Facebook with Will Smith where he speaks about how if we truly want something in this life, and if we work hard and believe in our ability to achieve our desires, the universe will get out of the way and we will achieve those desires, anything and everything we want will be ours for the taking.

Secondly I walked onto the patio overlooking the beach and ocean which our travelling friends hungryescapades.com are staying in for a week (for free as part of a house sitting gig) and articulated to Rob how these amazing things seem to happen only because we have lifestyles which allow them to happen.

And third, Michelle from lightscameratravel.com commented on my blog, saying that she was still impressed that I had managed to make my dream of flying come true.

These three things just happened to occur at the right time, to make the right parts of my brain fire, to shine a light on that thing which has been floating around but never truly acknowledged in all its glory.

paramotor mexico

Dreams keep coming true

When you reach for glorious things and make the necessary changes, when you dare to dream big and work hard to make those dreams a reality, you do not just achieve one thing, you open up your reality to an entirely new and incredible world of possibilities.

I dreamed of having the life I wanted, a life where freedom was my primary goal and the shackles of an ordinary life were forever taken from me. After working hard and achieving that goal, everything else became so much easier.

Dreams no longer seem like the distant fog of possibility but rather the solid shapes of reality. Amazing things keep falling into place because rather than asking if we can, I ask if we want to, and if the answer is yes, then we simply do.

We set off on this journey not knowing if it was possible, and when we realized that it was, the whole world became ours. We wanted to travel the world our way, and so we are. I wanted to learn to fly, and so I did. Along with these achievements came and continue to come all kinds of unexpected miraculously fortuitous happenings.

Living in exotic places for free with our house sitting gigs. Finding hidden beaches while looking for places to fly from. Eating lobster while watching football matches with locals in an unexpected place and soon, driving across the US exploring and flying around some of the most incredible places on Earth.

Then there are all the little things which keep happening unexpectedly. Little bits of work popping up at random times to let us know that financially we will be OK. Finding new hobbies and passions to fuel the nights and days, weeks and months which are completely and wonderfully ours, and getting to share them with those we love and those we don’t even know through our blogs.

la penita jungle

Unexpected places and people

Today we are staying in a mansion on a hill overlooking the jungle and the ocean, for free! A couple days ago I had some of the most incredible ribs a meat eater could ever hope for. Yesterday I took to the skies on my Paramotor like a giant bird and spent an hour living entirely in the moment with my senses screaming at me in exhilarated bliss. Tomorrow, on a Monday morning, rather than going to a job I hate I might just spend the day watching the vampire diaries and snacking on my latest craze, tuna and crackers!

Because we dared to dream, because we overcame doubt and took the plunge, because we reached for instead of held on to, our lives are now an endless parade of possibilities.

The amazing punchline to all of this is the realization that once you achieve that which is your greatest desire, everything else is easy.

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Paramotor Training in Mexico (with a little video) http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/07/18/paramotor-training-mexico/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/07/18/paramotor-training-mexico/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:57:50 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5518 I flew again! (I never cease to be amazed at that statement), and here for your amusement are the fruits of my labor, and by labor I mean fun times! I have put together a little video of my Paramotoring adventure … Keep on reading

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I flew again! (I never cease to be amazed at that statement), and here for your amusement are the fruits of my labor, and by labor I mean fun times! I have put together a little video of my Paramotoring adventure in Mexico yesterday (it even has a deleted scene at the end), and hope you enjoy watching me fly even a smidgeon as much as I enjoyed flying! Let me know what you think in the comments below, or don’t, no pressure, but do… pressure.

*Change to 1080p at the little gearbox in the corner of the video for best viewing.

I sometimes have a very hard time motivating myself to do things, even if it is something I really want to do, in this case Paramotoring. Even though we are in the perfect place to fly right now I still hesitate every time. To be fair to myself it is a little too hot and rather than being an excuse it has been my lifelong cross to bear that I overheat at the drop of a hat. God bless air conditioning. Also I do worry a little bit about the very localized weather here as I am not very good at reading the sky just yet, and some odd turbulence has grabbed me a few times while I have been flying and shaken me about like a floating toy with a high pitched scream (toys scream right?).

Other than that though I couldn’t ask for much more. It starts cooling down in La Penita (just a little bit) at around five pm and the sun goes down at around nine pm, which gives me a good four hours to get a flight in. Sarah and I found the perfect place to launch from about twenty minutes drive from us where there are hardly any people, and aside from some poles which I am always in the air by the time I reach, there is a nice open sandy-grassy type field leading right out to the Pacific Ocean.

The wind picks up to a gentle three to five miles per hour around this time which makes launching and climbing pretty easy. In the mornings there is very little wind, and what wind there is blows out to sea so it is less than ideal for flying as I have to run like a gazelle trained in the arts of ballet and the one hundred meter sprint to get into the air (yes I truly am that graceful, watch the video if you don’t believe me). I did it anyway though as I was hoping it would help me overcome the afternoon lethargy which I have a hard time shaking in my middling years.

paramotor training in Mexico

I have to run like a graceful gazelle when there is no wind

The beach is a long one, and at this time of year and at this particular spot North of the main town, there is hardly anything around. A couple houses and the occassional local riding the dogs or walking the horses (sometimes I like to change reality around in my head a bit), but other than that sand and grass fields stretch all along between the beach and the strip of jungle before the main road, which itself runs alongside the foot of the mountains.

I mention all this because I still manage to find excuses to put the Paramotoring off, even with this perfect spot.

A few of my excuses are valid of course. I am playing it safe with the weather and I popped my shoulder out the other day and am having to rest it between flights or it gets pretty bad (middling age, what are you gonna do right), but to be honest, I am still scared of flying.

I am scared because there are so many things which could go wrong and if they did they could have very serious consequences. To add to that I am more scared because I am the one responsible for making sure they don’t go wrong! Almost everything I have ever had as hobby in life before Powered Paragliding has involved screens, hard-drives and software. There is not a lot of risk involved with being a digital nerd!

I know very little about engines that don’t have the word game in front of them, and after my previous scare in Guatemala when the Paramotor actually blew and I had to walk miles in the growing darkness to get back to my launch zone, I am very aware of the possibility that it could happen again. Too aware I think as it is often the main thing I am thinking about. This is not necessarily bad as having a landing spot planned could save my life if it did happen again, but it has definitely left a stain on my early days of Paramotoring which I am slowly but surely working through.

Don’t get me wrong though, I love being in the air! I am never more excited or more in the moment than when my feet leave the ground and I shift into my seat, and eventually the fear will go.

I know this because it is going more and more every time I fly. The better I get and the more focused I become, the more the joy takes over from the fear. I am also becoming a safer pilot as instead of just hanging on for dear life I am actually thinking more about what I am doing and checking all my straps and buckles are secure while in flight. I feel what the wind is doing to my Paramotor wing and react to it instead of getting freaked out every time it bucks me around a bit.

Basically I am becoming a better pilot.

On todays flight I even practiced some things rather than just flying around for a bit looking at the scenery. I practiced tightening up my turns, which would help if I needed to land unexpectedly or in a tight spot. I also practiced flying low and trying to maintain a certain height rather than constantly going up or down, which is a lot trickier than you might think.

I was even going to launch and land an extra few times in one session for extra practice, but the turbulence got freaky as the wind began picking up and changing direction so I had to make the decision to stop (they have a saying in the flying world, “Better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than in the air wishing you were on the ground.”).

learning to paramotor

Doing some low flying practice along the beach

It was a shame I didn’t go up again because a large group of birds seemed to be attracted to my wing in the air and had started circling near me. I was keen to get back up there with them and float around, maybe even try catching the thermals they were gliding in, that would have been pretty amazing. Next time.

All in all it was a great flight yesterday morning, and one I very nearly didn’t do because the nerves were getting the best of me. Fortunately Sarah said I had to fly or I would be miserable for the rest of the day (she was correct), and so I did. I am lucky to have her pushing me sometimes. I tend to have the crazy ideas, but she is often the one making sure I go through with the things I start. It works!

So I am definitely getting better. I am no doubt still a beginner in the world of Paramotoring, but I am improving rapidly. I just need to keep my nerve and try to maintain the engine as best I can. I need to keep pushing myself (or getting pushed) to get down to that beach, get the Paramotor set up, and run like hell because despite my reservations and anxieties, I have never done or felt anything more exhilarating than that moment when the ground falls away and the sky gets nearer.

It just goes to show that the best things in life really are the things you have to work hardest for (except carbohydrates, those are easy to get and they are the best things in life, also, I am on a diet right now…)

please share the love with anyone and everyone you have ever and might ever know, thanks :)

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The Mexican sun has a funny accent http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/07/15/mexican-sun-funny-accent/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/07/15/mexican-sun-funny-accent/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 14:43:10 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5502 As if to prove that I very often need to learn my life lessons more than once, today the Mexican sun burned the living shit out of me and quietly murmured in my ear (use a Mexican accent when you … Keep on reading

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As if to prove that I very often need to learn my life lessons more than once, today the Mexican sun burned the living shit out of me and quietly murmured in my ear (use a Mexican accent when you read this),

“Ha, ju stupido Gringo, eet ees the meedle of the day in sommer and ju ar jomping in thee son, time to burn and soffer ju foolish fool!!!” It then proceeded to dish out its abundance of hot stuff all over my exposed skin.

You would think after numerous burns and experiences with hot days in the last thirty three years I would by now have figured out that it gets hot in summer, especially at midday, but that is not the case. Especially because I wanted to make the most of what I thought was a good wind and go kite my paramotor wing on the beach, damn the consequences and damn the Mexican sun with its silly accent!

So Sarah and I packed a cooler with coke light and water (the essentials), chucked a beach umbrella and chair in the car, and headed down to our hidden beach where I have been flying my Paramotor from.

It was of course very hot, but knowing better than every bit of information I have ever been given, read, or seen on TV, I walked out into the blazing sun while Sarah sat under her umbrella, and proceeded to kite my Paramotor wing for about two long, hot, hours.

powered paraglider kiting Mexico

Now I did apply a bit of sunscreen before leaving the house ( I hate sunscreen, it is disgustingly greasy and yuck) so where I should be a melted mess of poeple goo, I am only a bit burned and dehydrated, but, at the end of that two hours I had a sudden crash when the intense heat suddenly sapped all my strength, and I could barely pack my paraglider wing away before collapsing into a horrible heap of messy sweat.

My mouth was as dry as an uprooted cactus in the driest desert in all the land, and my skin was reddening like Ra’s dying rays above a water less landscape of nothing but infinite dunes for as far as the eye can see. All about me vultures circled as I dug my torn fingers into the scorching sand and crawled inch by inch to nowhere, praying for a caravan of camels to pass by with friendly Middle Eastern riders carrying a refrigerator full of coke light and calorie free chocolate cake (I’m kinda on a diet).

Then Sarah said “Go get the umbrella”, and I woke from my heat induced fugue, climbed into the air conditioned car, and thanked the Lord above for saving me from my own stupidity by supplying me with a remarkably clever invention (does anyone know how air conditioners work? That is some serious witch craftery if you ask me) and a can of Coke Light.

Here now for your viewing pleasure, is the product of my sacrifice. A short video of me kiting on the beach while the Red Hot Chilli Peppers do a live set slightly off screen, the whole time. Enjoy.

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Paramotoring at it’s best! with a suptacular video http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/07/10/paramotoring-best/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/07/10/paramotoring-best/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:41:22 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5329 I have now gotten up in the air here in La Penita on two separate occasions. Both times I was on the verge of soiling my pants, but this last time I actually managed, in between large bouts of fear, … Keep on reading

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I have now gotten up in the air here in La Penita on two separate occasions. Both times I was on the verge of soiling my pants, but this last time I actually managed, in between large bouts of fear, not to soil my pants but to truly appreciate what it is I was doing, I was flying!

I took the Gopro up with me this time and managed to film my Paramotoring antics from the end of a long stick, despite the difficulty in getting the damn thing out of my pocket and trying not to pull or push something I shouldn’t and fall out of the sky, I think it was definitely worth it, and you can barely even notice the overly calm dead pan features of my face (in the video at the bottom of this page) as I try and smile for the camera.

beginner Paramotoring

beginner paramotor

Sarah and I drove down to the beach at around 6pm with a light wind blowing off the ocean. I had actually decided not to fly that day as I was feeling a bit ill and had a sore shoulder (and nerves), but as the evening drew closer I just couldn’t stop myself. In the early days of learning to Paramotor (at least for me) I find that the longer I put it off, the harder it is to overcome the fear of actually getting in the air again, so as soon as my courage finds a chink in fears armor, I squirm my way through and don’t stop squirming until it is too late to back down.

At the beach conditions were perfect, a light wind, only a little cloud cover, and the perfect take off area. We had also just been to home depot to buy a little fold up table so that I don’t have to try and lift 60 pounds off the floor with my chicken legs, now I can just plonk the Paramotor down on said table, and when I am ready, wiggle into it no mess no fuss, genius!

So I went through my routine of setting up; warm the engine and make sure everything is secure, fold out the wing and make sure the lines aren’t tangled, drink more water and try to get rid of the horrible tension induced dry mouth, and try not to feel pressure from the growing crowd of people watching from the outskirts (who ran like hell when I started taking off, even though I was nowhere near them).

My take-offs I think are pretty damn good now as when my Paramotor was out of commission I did a lot of kiting, and as a consequence I have a lot of control over my wing. So with very little fuss, I pulled the wing up, turned, and after several steps, I was flying!

I know I have said it before, but it still amazes me that I have the power to go and fly whenever the fancy takes me (weather permitting). To load up the car, head out and go for a quick fly with my own equipment.

velocity elektra paramotoring

I am still a beginner with paramotoring, but I am steadily getting better with every flight. This time I practiced some turns and they are getting sharper and more precise. I stopped revving at a few hundred feet and tried to land near Sarah as if without the motor running to see how accurate I could be, and I came pretty close from that height, and I always land on my feet now.

Afterwards some local kids were hanging about looking at my Paramotor, so to get them involved they “helped” me carry it back to the car, then strap it up and carried my wing for me, then Sarah gave them 50 pesos for ice cream.

At that point I realized, I’m “the guy”. You know the one. That guy who is doing something cool and unique and people come to watch, that guy who seems to be doing something that you yourself could never in a million years do. Well it didn’t even take a million years, and now I am the guy!

The one I used to watch growing up, who traveled, or did crazy skateboard tricks, or who sung in a band, skydived, body-popped or some other crazy thing that you never think you could do. I had the realization, I am now doing one of those amazing things I never thought I could do. When I take off and fly over people everyone stops what they are doing and waves non-stop, a little crowd gathers when I am prepping to fly or come in to land and everyone has questions (albeit Spanish questions which I spend most of my time responding to with “Los Siento, Me Espanol es no bueno!” or “Sorry, my Spanish is no good!”).

Paramotoring itself is pretty amazing, but the achievement I feel from having completed something so difficult, and something so far from ordinary is almost as amazing as the flying itself.

So without further ado, the best Paramotoring video I have made so far, please share the post and/or let me know what you think in the comments below.

Peace

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equipment from Blackhawk Paramotors: Blackhawk BH 125 paramotor, Velocity Elektra paramotor wing

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