Sunday, January 8, 2012

Potomac 101

It took a while to get to sleep after having the image of that river imprinted in my brain but fatigue took over and I finally drifted off, it was a short night because there was work to do in the morning before I took my hover to meet my challenge. On the way to Brunswick we ran through one monsoon after another and my hover filled up with water so I had to clean that out. After cleaning 5 inches of water out of the inner hull of my hover I lubed all the cables and made sure my oil injector tank was full, I was about as ready as I was ever going to be so I returned to the dinning area of the motel and had a quick bite of breakfast and it was time to leave. I figured crossing back over the Potomac in the daylight would reveal less of a challenge that the dim light of evening had exposed but in daylight all I saw was more boulders and white water. I told my wife I didn't think it would be that bad I had flown over stuff similar to that back in Illinois and this was just more of it, the truth was I wasn't sure I could even do it but hey ya can't let your woman know that sort of thing so I decided to make it seem like it was really nothing. We arrived at the firehouse and met our host answered a lot of questions they had about the hover and laid out a plan for the demonstration. When we got to the river launch two firemen were going with me on the demonstration. I hadn't gotten very far into the launch when I knew it was not going to be pretty. My hover for whatever reason was not running on full power and it barely got the three of us up on cushion. I went about 200 yards and we faced the first hurdle. As I approached the first of a series of whitewater areas I was surveying the incline and the force of the water dropping down the three foot drop through a shoot about ten feet wide. I new under full power my hover could fly over it but since things weren't going so well in the power supply of my machine I had serious doubts about making it over this first waterfall. Now I really wanted to impress these guys but I also wanted us to be safe so I had to make a decision about whether we would progress or not. I shut the hover down and asked my passengers if they would mind if I let them off on some rocks at the base of this first rock challenge while I flew through the shoot to test it out. Since the hover was already struggling and neither of them wanted to jeopardize our safety they agreed to land and dismount the hover while I attempted this first obstacle. I dropped off my passengers and pointed the hover toward the waterfall hoping the engine would take me through to the top.

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