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Viv's Blog
#1

28th Jan. Heol Senny.  Trudge all the way to the top by the fence to find everyone taking off on the slope by the track! Try to groundhandle but too windy. Go down to the lower shelf, a 20 ft belly glide across the grass adds spice, launch at 2pm, a swift hoist has me untwisting as I go up like a pancake being tossed, and keep a tight circuit amongst 10 or so others. Despite tights and 3 pairs of trousers the cold is the worst ever, shivering so hard that I must land after only 30 mins, standing landing in intended spot. First flight of the year!
31st Jan. Rhosili. Too windy and variable to even groundhandle on the pimple. Must be losing my grip. Nice walk and sunset. Best to wait for more manageble conditions.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan
#2

17 Feb. Bryncaws. A pleasant spot of groundhandling in very light breeze, 10-12 mph. A launch from top, land on ledge. 5 seconds!  Yet again I have arrived just too late for the window of opportunity. Nice to get out on the hill anyway. Overdressed for groundhandling, v. hot!

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan
#3

16th March. Heol Senni. Very light wind, misty but clearing. Dave is there already, Jon arrives soon after me. Joint services get to the top before me, it's still a bit light for them, so off I go, land on the shelf rather than bomb right out. Just the two of us in the air for several beats, I scratch up from the shelf, turn in any lift as indicated by birds, only get a few feet above t/o, keep away from the quarry today as it so light, lift is off the shoulders today, a swoop out over the path has me sinking, so back in for a scratch round the side, and boat about over the cars for a while before a nice controlled landing. 20 mins. The sheep are boldly curious til I hide the sweets. The horizon disappears again into mist, wind drops and game over.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan
#4

17th March. Rhosili. Very light breeze, a few go top to pimple or beach. Parawait on pimple, "groundhandling", the sun comes round then it starts to go overcast, joint services turn up, so off I go as wind dummy, scratch across the gully and after several short beats Chris launches too, we bounce between the pimple and top, unfortunately the orographic cloud is looming from the campsite. I have left the bag and winsock on the pimple so head there for a slope landing, avoiding the gorse this time. 15 mins. The damp air makes me pack up, the wind increases as forecast and the joint services get launched. It's nice to watch the air in motion from the pub.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan
#5

18th March. Heol Senni. Arrive lunchtime to see several up at nice height. Take the short steep path today, launch at 13.30 and after a few beats in front of t/o, gain height and see the boys away in the distance.  Forget to turn on the vario, but can feel through the seat how active it is today, the wing tip tucks a tiny bit as I try to stay away from the others and keep out of the cloud shadow. Today I make it out as far as the road and farm in the valley, a nice little triangle, I can see I'm as high as Pen Y Fan, then back to the ridge to see the windsocks have changed direction. The others topland, I decide it's too windy up there and head for the bottom, nice controlled landing in a gorse free patch. Cloud cover stops thermic activity while I enjoy a cuppa, and it never really gets going again. 1 hour.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan
#6

24th March. Abernant. No flying buddies around, relieved to see Steve J assessing conditions on arrival. Quite light but with activity at the dump and being a warm day there are regular cycles going off, as indicated by birds. Enjoy a 15 min ridge soar, staying close to the hill while SJ pushes up and out, slope land in a lull rather than scratch my airbag on the burgeoning undergrowth. Reposition and wait for the tug, but it's only a quickie and abort with a nice little plf. SJ gets off the edge nicely, I detangle and this time stay up to great height, circle in lift, vario in use today, I think he's going XC, I push out over the dump where tractors are busy releasing thermals off the new surfaces, rising smoke from the fields behind show the way, 45 mins or so of working it, my solitude seems to sharpen my focus on flying rather than trying to avoid anyone. The slope starts to shadow over, breeze drops enough to land where we started. I sing on the way home, must be turning Welsh.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan
#7

Hi Viv
I often have to get my enjoyment and "flying fixes" by reading other people's blogs.  You really wax quite lyrical in some of yours - keep it up!
(and keep up the singing too!)  Gron.
#8

10th April. Heol Senni. Very light wind, hazy mist in the distance, the odd cycle. Reverse launch and lazily glide to a standing landing in intended spot, the wing flops over a gorse bush. 5 mins. On the way to debrief in the pub gliders are seen above Fan G, so up we go to the south side, where they are just packing up. There is still an appreciable breeze, I launch from the top after a few inflations, and join a tight circuit with Nick, Alan and Steve. I struggle to gain any height, scratching round the side as near as I dare, one pass takes me round the corner and I have to decide between a slope landing and hard walk up, or a nice long glide to the usual spot by the layby. Land clear of obstacles this time, and a nice couple look after me 'til retrieve arrives. Nobody knows I am there as the radios are out of range. 45 mins.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan
#9

15th April. Nant-y-Moel. Very light wind, overcast with showers. Parawait all day, play with the kite 'til it gets damp. More people arrive, the joint services go, then the sky clears just enough to let some sun through, I reverse launch, make one beat to the end and with just enough height to cross the gully, head for the rocks which are not hot enough to cook me a thermal. Turn back, a slope landing near the top is the preferred option, as I do a running landing with wing overhead I trip over a twmp. 5 mins.  We are locked in by the security firm, the lock has been changed but we may get a club copy if someone sorts it. No debrief today, we are all going different ways home.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan
#10

19th April. Heol Senni. Light wind, a warm day. 3 reverse launches, a nice boat about staying close to the face, you can see where the birds nest in the holes in the quarry, 1,000 ft ato height today, topland a bit further away than I mean to, a nice slope landing in a lull, groundhandle, go in a gust, lots of technical scratching, good climbs over the bowls until the shade creeps up, a constant aspect approach to land accurately, and a nice pint with Stu and Nick. Forgot to check the time, maybe 1 hr. Ginge gives me his critique of my slope launch, which was somewhat clumsy.

I may as well try to catch the wind - Donovan


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