Author Topic: Viv's Blog 2017  (Read 2243 times)

Offline Paul York

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2017, 13:10:06 PM »
DON'T even think about it Viv.

What else will give you this feeling . . . " A nice long flight, pleasant walk and constant birdsong nearly made me burst with joy.".

I'm so jealous when all the long term pilots tell me how you used to be able to plan a couple of weeks in advance and get a week of flying days on the trot.

But I'm glad that this unpredictable weather is all I've know because I can imagine how much more frustrating it must be for others used and expecting more.

I just wish I'd started years ago.

Keep it up Viv. See you soon :)

Offline Jon Munro

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2017, 09:56:08 AM »
Yep, don't give up!


Just pick your days and approach it with a 'flying isn't everything attitude' ...


For me, getting out in the hills is what it is really all about. The flying is just the icing on the cake.


That's what I love about lightweight kit. It's less cumbersome and less hassle.


We would all miss you dearly :-)

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2017, 14:34:07 PM »
I guess we all feel like that at times, Viv. I think if you did sell up, you'd regret it :( I've seen how much pleasure it gives you when you've had a good flight. There's also the 'plus side' of being amongst the beautiful outdoor scenery; even when  para-waiting. We all moan when it's not flyable, but the chances are that we have a stunning view out  in front of us. As I age the joy-factor of paragliding does diminish (to a certain extent), but mindfulness of the surroundings increases. Re. hours, my average over the last few years is about 12 hrs....I don't venture out anymore if it's marginal (too weak/too strong).
One thing I'm sure of though, is when your feet lift off the ground after launching all the memories of para-waiting etc drift away :) As Leonardo quoted '.........you'll always walk the earth with your head turned skyward'.


Offline Chris Dusgate

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2017, 11:43:49 AM »
Please don't hang up your boots Viv, you've made real progress this year.

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2017, 13:48:47 PM »
 Summary of my flying year to date: 42 flights solo, 2 tandem. Airtime 18.5 hrs. Doesn't seem much in total, but the club trip abroad was the highlight of the year, giving me the confidence to push my boundaries on the new wing, learning that the lightweight kit narrows my launch window in the wind strength. With the weather patterns becoming more extreme perhaps due to global warming and my increasing age I wonder if it is time to hang up my boots and flog the lot.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 17:23:46 PM by Viv Birchgrove »
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2017, 16:11:57 PM »
6th Oct. Rhosili. A half dozen flying above the ridge as I drive across the common, good sign methinks. Several more pilots on the pimple, I set up as they go off and after a couple of inflations I launch into a wing-stiffener of a breeze and buzz along to the campsite, then more slowly back to the cliffs as it's into wind. The tide is out and the air off the beach is buoyant although it's rather cloudy. Several more passes in front of the hill and a nice constant aspect approach to land precisely back where I started. 40 mins airtime, and as the wind increased most landed.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Gron Jones

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2017, 09:47:59 AM »
Waxing lyrical again, Viv!!   Good stuff!   

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2017, 23:46:01 PM »
26th Sept. Bryncaws. A claggy morning, visibility clearing enough for NickR to drag me out for a look, we negotiate the deteriorating farmyard and park by the feed station after the last gate, walk the rest of the way and plant the windsock to find that it is on, in a fickle kind of way. The lush pasture is soaking, no groundhandling or parawaitng, we launch at 1500hrs and I follow him along to the trees, am nearly decked as I pass around the far end over the profuse brambles, but manage to scratch round and up to the trees again, a few beats and I am above the treeline, practising weight shift turns being more effective than hauling on the controls, then bimble along to the seaward end of the site, no mast or people to avoid, I espy a kite out over the track and go there, rewarded with enough lift to get back to the trees, staying close to the top and pushing out over the shelves to catch the updraught there, circling in the intermittent lift as the sun pops in and out, eventually going too far behind the shelf and coming in for a nice landing behind the last bend. I reinflate for another go but the rotor wrings the wing too near the barbed wire fence, so I pack up smartly, the wing is dampened by the long wet grass. I retrieve the windsock, Nick lands nearby in a stiffer breeze, and I take the sheep track down to the car, trimming the distance to walk by more than two turds!  45 mins. A nice long flight, pleasant walk and constant birdsong nearly made me burst with joy.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2017, 17:38:21 PM »
19th Sept. Nant-y-Moel. A torturous drive up the valley through the roadworks has us ready for launch in light wind with lovely fluffy streets promising XC. I launch 3rd of 5 pilots and staying close to the hill to avoid bombing out, tickle along to the gully and back then to the far edge of the cliff by the trees, then again a little higher, and on the 3rd beat the sun went in and I scratched up to the windsock for a slope landing. As I sipped my tea the wind came back on and most got high and far in all directions. The wind did not abate for me to launch and as a speck of rain fell I quickly mushroomed the wing into the stuffsac. The boys were looking pinned, too top-end for me now, then a really massive cu-nim passed by and everyone landed. With the strong breeze and looming clouds we canned it. 10 mins. I have had boiled sweets that lasted longer.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 23:02:50 PM by Viv Birchgrove »
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2017, 00:21:14 AM »
17th Sept. Heol Senni. Arrive late morning to find overcast sky, few vehicles and a chill wind. No gliders aloft so I parawait in car with book and flask for awhile, then stroll up the track which is now a stream of runoff to see around the front of the hill, just as the early birds take flight at last. I labour up the soggy hill mid-afternoon to find conditions perfect now that the sun is shining, a constant light breeze. I set up, do checks and a practice inflation, then lob off without looking at the sky or turning the vario on. After a mere couple of beats along the front I head to the far side of the quarry where I was told there was good lift, just as a huge grey cloud encroaches to block the buoyancy, and I tickle down the far shoulder and back, sinking all the way. At the quarry I view my landing options with dismay and drift out into the sodden valley to luckily land on a hillock by the track. Pack up, feel a speck of rain, see most pilots have made it to the LZ and decide to call it a day. A 10 min extended t.t.b. around the whole site. A beer by the fire with NickR at the Ancient Briton is my solace. Take my wing home to relax and warm up on it's own sofa. Time to put the central heating on for the winter methinks.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2017, 15:47:26 PM »
28th August. Nant-y-Moel. The bank holiday traffic slows my journey, but am rewarded by the sight of 10 or so gliders aloft. The gate is only closed by a loop of rope, and by early evening I am ready to launch, just waiting for a lull in the 20mph+ gusts. My first leg is along the front of launch and back, then push out into the valley almost to the village, then back to the mast end and close the triangle to land where I started. 20 mins of fun in the lively air.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2017, 10:26:21 AM »
10th August. Fan G. Going the long way round due to road closure, and a diversion to see if Seven Sisters is on, Nick and I arrive for a late lunch while assessing conditions and after he tests the air I push off after some groundhandling, beating back and fore and top landing when a helicopter passes across the top of the hill. I relaunch in a slightly stiffer breeze and this time push out over the valley, to my dismay the breeze shuts off in cloud and I sink ever lower, trying to catch a low save from the bowl by the road doesn't work but I am high enough to cross the road and land in the waist high undergrowth opposite the layby. Unfortunately there is no space to turn into wind and the wing flops over the barbed wire fence, and I am dragged into the stone wall. I pull myself together and watch Nick boating about at cloudbase, then cadge a lift to the Ancient Briton from a holidaymaker who is enjoying a cuppa in the layby. I spread the kit out on the grass there to check for damage, none apparent, and soothe my bruises with a delicious pint of Gold Thread while I await my vehicle. 2 flights, 30 mins airtime.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2017, 08:47:55 AM »
7th August. Rhosili. After a hard day's work I am delighted to see on Telegram that the weather has cleared enough to offer a flight here. I gleefully trot up the hill with my lightweight kit, seeing Nick in the air and Steve Milson doing tandems, and Glyn, a new member on red ribbon. I plant the windsock in the gorse at the front of the pimple and decide to go from there as the wind is top end as mentioned on Telegram. I launch successfully on first inflation, and Nick pushes me off. I enjoy 1 hour 15 mins, venturing over the campsite at height, staying out front the whole time, terrific views up the Loughor where I worked earlier, over the sea to the cliffs, the tide is in so there is no beach to land on, slow progress and nice height the whole time, over the village for a nice constant aspect approach to land accurately as the sky darkens with incoming weather, by the time we pack up only Ben is up, Glyn has landed in the ferns and I snigger, fondly remembering my own follies as a new pilot. We savour a pint of Gower Gold in the congenial atmosphere of the King Arthur.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2017, 17:47:03 PM »
17th July. Heol Senni. Nick urges me to launch before it gets too windy, and I am on the deck in light wind within 5 mins. By the time I pack up and walk up again he has left the hill but there are other pilots now present so I feel confident of launching again. I try to launch in a lull as the wind has increased as forecast, but the lines drop over my head and I need to unharness to detangle. A strong gust picks up the whole kit and had I not been holding one brake it would have gone over the wall behind. Nasher comes to my aid and eventually I launch and stay up, thermalling up where possible, sinking in the lulls, finding it difficult to push far out from the hill, somewhat pinned, and as I line up for a top landing am taken by the drift behind the wall and dumped in rotor. Nasher checks I am ok then launches to join the others, and by the time I pack up they are all out of sight. I am stuck behind the wall for ages until a latecomer, Colin, sees my plight and lends a hand. 30 mins. Nick texts to say he is at home,so I collect the windsock and head downhill. After 2 walkups my feet ache in my hot boots so I roll the gliderbag off the edge and stroll down unencumbered. The road up is now open so I go home the short way.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 17:55:06 PM by Viv Birchgrove »
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

Offline Vivien Biro

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Re: Viv's Blog 2017
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2017, 17:24:53 PM »
16th JulyRhossili. It's too windy for my lightweight Gin so I volunteer to be Nick's passenger so that he can get some hours in.  Dave is there with his hang glider and acts as anchor. All three of us are dragged as a gust snatches the wing, no damage. We launch successfully and enjoy a scratchy boat about mostly behind the campsite, then return for a smooth landing utilising the qwik-outs. 45 mins. Followed by plenty of parachat and a lovely pint in the Rake and Riddle, a microbrewery that used to be a Chinese restaurant called the Sea Garden. Rakes and riddles are tools used in harvesting cockles which was a large industry hereabouts in days gone by.
I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan