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Viv's Blog

24th January. Rhosili. NW 16-18 at midday. Hours of groundhandling the Zulu. At last the wind came westerly, and dropped to a manageable 15mph. Nasher pushed me off the pimple and I had a lovely soar about, to the campsite several times and back, successfully keeping clear of Paraventure students and 3 or 4 hangies, plus the usual crew. Still familiarising myself with cautious weight shifting and gentle turns, could be more active. Nice height at times, never going behind the top or beyond the surf, it was hard to get down even with speedbar and ears in, though not at the same time, with Norris advising over the radio an accurate landing on pimple. A great first flight of the year. 1hr 45mins

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

6th Feb. Heol Senni. Flags at Dan-y-Rogof entrance were fluttering steadily on the drive up, a few large birds lazily circling low. Top in mist still at midday. A red helicopter passes over the resovoir. Parawait with flask, 5 others in the air soon after. Nobody on radio today, and phones not working well here. I feel a bit isolated. A couple of inflations in the lightening breeze, reverse launch from just below the top, and a scratchy but confident boat about in figures of 8, never acheiving height or going above t/o, as the others all did, the quarry still had snow in places, then as I was more than halfway down, went for a smooth constant aspect approach and touchdown in intended spot by cars. 15 mins.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

14th Feb. Rhosili. An early start to no avail, not much groundhandling, an aborted launch from the top, eventually the parawaiting paid off and reverse launch, pass in front of t/o a few beats to gain height, then push across the gap to the campsite, climb and beat back, it's active flying today, as a short shower blows through I intend to land and dry off, but am encouraged to stay aloft over the radio by the earlybirds who all t.t.b'ed and are toiling back up from the beach to go again. I feel that today it's MY hill. Sure enough she dries in a short while and I climb to the top of the stack and continue weaving in and out the liftband along the whole ridge until I see more weather approaching, it's gone a bit northerly, I can't quite make a decent approach to the pimple as it's stiffened to 16mph and I get lift on every traverse. Speedbar a bit to lose height. Today we fly in front of the Worm's Head and along the beach in front of the cliffs, this allows for a different approach than the usual, and after 1 and a half hours make an elegant landing on intended spot. Pilot of the Day. Waited all day and got rained on twice, chilled to the bone. A beautiful sunset.  Smile

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

21st Feb. Rhosili. Very light WNW and variable. A few already launched from the top. I stay on the pimple fluffing out my wall and making a few half hearted inflations. Yesterday I draped her over the gorse and spent half an hour teasing out the microlines without snagging the sheaths. It was quite busy up top so I stay on the pimple, the others start to land and eventually I reverse launch into a breeze so light that I barely manage to clear the gorse, crab across below the top, scratching close, a figure of eight and cross to the whitehouse, sink and head for the beach, land on the dry bit and call it a day. 10 mins.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

28th March. Rhosili. 10mph. A bit off to the south. Arrive late morning to see Nick floating around the orographic. Parawait, inflate a few times, not really groundhandling. 1pm reverse launch into a nice gust from the top t/o. LOL but too soon. It dies on my first beat across, so I go to pimple land, as I pass across the front I sink more, so turn to the dunes for a tiny updraught, then head towards the steps and a dry smooth landing. The others land shortly after. Never be the wind dummy. 10 mins. A sweet little t.t.b.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

8th April. Rhosili. Top launch, beach land, pimple launch, beach land. I did think it was a nice day for a walk on the beach, be careful what you wish for. 10 mins.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

10th April. Ebbw Vale. Followed the lads up from Bryncaws, my first time here. Short site briefing from Paul Williams. 4 reverse launches. 1st fly was cut short as I realised that I'd got the control handle wrapped through the riser. 2nd was a couple of beats in front, then sit on top of the ridge all the way to the north end and slope land. 3rd go was even shorter, slope land in front of t/o, not so far to walk. I was berating myself then saw Cookie do the same, landing even lower. Some groundhandling and inflation practice, Gerry trying to push me off didn't work. 4th push off had me going backwards rather than along,  so called it a day. Pack up too early, and see Nick having a nice fly. 10 mins

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

12th April. Heol Senni. A late call from Nick had me cruising the rush hour to arrive as the others had left.  He showed me yet another route to walk up, a bit steep in parts for me. In flate too sharply, speedbar dangling behind knees, result-a tiny drag, no damage. 7pm reverse launch under Nick's critical eye, and a lovely 30 mins with Ivor and Shane too, til the sun is below the horizon and we are forced to land if we want to see to pack up. A lovely touchdown in intended spot near car, acknowledged by Nick. I squirm with delight. The next day is too strong for me to launch at teatime. There is a sundog behind t/o, and the boys struggle to get down. It's a wave system. We have a drink at the Craig y Nos castle on the way home.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

23rd April. Cwmafan. It seemed very light but the windsock stayed up, so I had a bit of a groundhandle, a strongish gust every few minutes, then very light. A motorcyclist pulls up at the unlocked car, then the police arrive. Nick lands to "help" me by grasping my harness, so I am unable to step under the wing. Finally I push off unaided and have 2 beats before sinking in front of t/o. Nick advises landing on a green patch by some trees, but I shoot through and clumsily land away from the trees. No brambles were harmed in the taking of this flight. 3 mins. 

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

9th May Heol Senni. Wait til the 20mph breeze lessens to something manageable, 6pm launch from below the top.  Join Steve W, Gerry and Nick in a very pleasant 50 mins doing the circuit and climbing to 800ft then sinking over the field and zooming back in for a top up, vario cheerfully chirping and finally a nice landing by the car. 

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan

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