Thursday, April 7, 2011

Leaving others behind

Hovertechnics Hoverstar Sportsman with 100 HP liquid cooled engine a lot of fun all in one!
A short time ago I took two friends with me who had never been in a hovercraft before. We were flying out of Rockton IL up to the dam I figured it would take me about 20 minutes to reach my destination and it was a nice warm day sunny and not much of a breeze. I was flying my Hovertechnics Hoverstar, which allows up to 3 people so we were at capacity. When you travel north on the Rock River from Loves park the river is fairly deep or at least deep enough to run boats but when you get north up by Rockton the level drops and you can almost walk across it in spots during August. There was virtually no boat traffic and the boats I was seeing at that point were pontoons and they were lazily moored to the docks along the river. Just as I was turning right at the fork of the Rock and Pecatonica River a couple of jet skis blasted past me as if to say “hey slow poke eat our dust” they were manned by a couple of young punks who were obviously impressed with themselves and their high horse powered skis. I just let them pass without much interest however when they came back by me egging me on as if they wanted to race they became annoying. It was okay because I knew where I was going they could not go so I just let them have their fun, besides I’m no match on open water with a jet ski. Within a couple of miles I reached the point of my adventure and they of course were sitting there at the base of the dam mocking me. They were both sitting on a large rock at the base of this low head dam and that was as far as they could go. For me this was the point I was heading so I could start my adventure.
As they sat there I approached the dam and reduced speed and slowly surveyed the slope of the dam and the obstacles at its base. Where these two guys were sitting was about 5 feet from where I decided was the best spot to make my move so I did a quick 180 and headed away from the base of the dam. If you are not familiar with hovercrafts then you may not know that a Hoverstar from Hovertechnics can climb hills even if that hill is a dam and as long as you have some water running over it there really isn’t much difference flying up the dam than flying on the river it’s all water and it is the surface the hover flies over. With that in mind I turned toward the dam and gunned the hover and picked up a little speed hit the base of the dam and shot up over it like it wasn’t there. I wish I had a camera so I could have captured the look on my two little jet ski buddies faces at that point. It was priceless! On top of the dam I spun a couple of 360’s and then pointed the craft toward Beloit WI and as I did I turned the craft into a 90 degree side slide looked back at the two jet ski guys and motioned for them to follow me. They just stood there shaking their heads. With that I was off to Beloit. I reached Beloit and turned around at the dam there because it is topped with a road that prevents me from going any further up river without exiting the water and running on the city streets for a block or so. I turned and headed back toward Rockton Illinois. This trip was priceless because of the two jet ski guys but it got even better when I got back to the dam in Rockton and found the two of them pushing the jet ski’s up the face of the dam. They had one of them sitting on top of the dam and the other was about half way up with both of them pushing the thing. They looked so helpless and I must admit at this point the devil inside me kicked in as I approached the dam. I thought isn’t this funny it’s been forty minutes or so and these two guys almost have their fancy jet ski’s on top of the dam so they can follow me. Now I’m back from my trip over the dam up the river and back again guess the speed of the jet ski’s isn’t so impressive after all. With a couple of 360’s and a bit of a smile (ok it was more of a smirk) I zipped down the dam turned a 180 flew backward for a few yards waved at them and took off back down river. I must say my two passengers were more than impressed with my Hoverstar I had provided them with a fun day hovering. The two helpless young men, the last I saw of them they were standing there looking really foolish one up and one down the dam. This was a fun day hovering and flying over the dam!

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