Skydog Sports

Hang Gliding Stories From


The Chris Bratsis Report

Greenpoint October 16, 2010

Sunday was good! I left my house at 6:00 am and pulled into Greenpoint by 10:15.
The wind was strong enough but not too much...about 15 - 17 mph. only problem was
it was just a bit too northwesterly. So I waited around for about an hour then decided
to go to A&W in Frankfort and have my annual foot long Coney dog & breaded
mushrooms for lunch with a bit frosty mug of root beer...yum! After lunch I went down
to the break water in Frankfort and saw it was still NW and thought I better drive up to
Empire. The wind seemed to be straight in on the beach in Empire but couldn't see
anyone up on the bluff so I drove to the trail head. As I was 1/4 mile in I received a call
from Chris Christophersen who said he was setting up at Greenpoint and I should 
get my ass down there. So I turned around, hopped in my van and headed south to Greenpoint. 
Once I got there Chris was just launching with only his girl friend Kathy helping. He got off
fine. The wind was still a bit from the northwest but now inside the corner of the ramp. I
began to set up but was a tad nervous due to not launching there in like 10 years and also
only having ONE wire person. But luck have it, Craig Carlson and Willy Lee showed
up soon after and gracefully baby sat me off the ramp. I was white knuckled for a minute on
launch but once I yelled clear I was fine. What a blast! It had been so long since I flown
on the bluff I can now remember why it's so cool. It was such a clear day you could see
all the way north to Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Manitou Islands. It seemed like You should be
able to fly there. And Arcadia bluff just seems a lot closer than I remembered once in the air.
If the winds were stronger and could have gotten higher over the bluff I might have gone for it.
As it was, the air was cycling and Craig & I only got to 500 ft over in a thermal. Most of the time
we were only 200 ft over. At one point I noticed Christophersen had headed north to Elberta
during a low cycle and he landed short of the landing zone. Craig and I hung out at Greenpoint
and watched as Mike (sorry no last name) was launching his Falcon. By now the cycles were
dying and Craig headed to Elberta so I decided to follow his lead and go land. It was so cool
on the way cuz I had to hug very close to the trees to stay in the lift. I noticed up ahead as Craig just
made it to the landing zone. I was determined, so I hugged a bit closer on a NW facing bowl and
was able to climb up above the Elberta overlook by about 100 ft. I turned back and kinda flopped
my landing but all was good. Behind Mike in his Falcon landed about a third of a mile short.
So, I still consider myself a Bluff Buzzard even though It's been such a long time. Oh I almost
forgot, as I was setting up the were two Bald Eagles flying with Chris. A mature one and a
juvenile. He was so lucky. I wish I had my camera! What a Great weekend! It was fun flying
with you on Saturday. Thanks for talking me into going again...that's what friends are for.

Hope to see you soon!


I Just Couldn't Go Without Photos

Photos Below by Wayne Bergman - Muskegon, Michigan

JimJim Anderson - Greenpoint, Michigan


SetJim Anderson Diving the Cliff-up


BrianKeith Riemersma Soaring Greenpoint

Photos Below by Jim Gibson

BrianJim Gibson Soaring Greenpoint


BrianJim Gibson Soaring Greenpoint Looking South



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