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Steve Watkins 2013 adventures!
23rd Feb Pontlottyn

Met Rhun in Neath to car share down to Pontlottyn after being tipped off by Norris that people were flying.  Stu Kelly was heading that way to see his new bungalow with his dad Nigel.  On arrival 2 pilots were flying and that excited buzz run through my bones,  it's been a while since the last flight.  Rhun promptly set up and I ended up being delayed launching due to a call from work.  The wind picked up making launch difficult so I waited till later.  Rhun joined me as the air temperature was freezing! After a while the wind appeared to drop and pilots set off including myself and Rhun.  I enjoyed a good 45 minutes and landed as my hands were killing me,  to do some ground handling.  I was offered a go of a demo Gradient Nevada,  which was a lovely wing!  Really good start to the flying season!

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
2nd March 2013 - Heol Senni

Is this the start of spring I ask as the day was stunning! Walked up with my lad Oliver, who kindly carried a smaller rucksack where I offloaded my food and instruments  >Big Grin . On arrival Wattsy was airborne and there was a lovely feel of a breeze coming onto the hill. Set off and enjoyed some excellent flying and thermals were to be found, thermalled in a few with Wattsy and gained about 500'ato. However as quick as we going up we were coming down and by mid afternoon the conditions had mellowed and I sunk out for a bottom landing amongst a very busy Pembrokeshire Paragliding with Nick Bambers. Well worth the effort and pity it did die off so quick, it wasn't as cold of as late either.
Really good day mate!
14/3/13 - FochRhiw

Arrived to find Wattsy & Chris D setup, quickly setup my kit - wind forecasted to pick up and already quite brisk launched off. Thermals coming through nicely, but quite difficult to thermal up in, as they were quite small.

Managed to get some good heights in thermals with Wattsy and Chris but unfortunately felt rather sick flying, bad headache, feeling nauseus so when Chris and I started going over the back, I decided I wasn't in the right frame of mind and decided to push forward and bottom land. Phoned Chris and retrieved and then later Wattsy with a personal best of over 55k!! Smile

Apart from feeling sick, good days flying, a typical spring thermic day!
6/4/13 - Heol Senni

Seems ages since I last went out, weather as been crap as usual! Anyway, arrived at Heol Senni today about 11am and Barry and Shane already airborne. They had the best idea arriving really early and made the most of it, managed to get a few small flights in but it dropped to nothing - A good few on hill, Chris Dusgate, Tom, Jon Munro, Idris, Steve Parsons and was chuffed to bits to see Stuart Kelly walk up to the top with his dad Nigel, well impressed with Stu!!

Back home again early to watch Grand National and had better luck with horses and won £175 Smile Smile

Hi Idris,  I did spot you but was sat in my harness all day waiting for the thermals which were far and few between! Catch up soon :-)
20/4/13 - Nantymoel

Decided to try Talybont with Wattsy, Rhun & Idris, with the BCC but on arrival the wind was blowing in the car park so we made a quick turn around and headed to Nantymoel. Thanks to Wattsys patience getting around road diversion we arrived and found the gate padlocked so walked up.

BCC soon arrived and, the wind direction was off to the hill a bit and the new wind turbines were telling us that - about 10 in the air and a gaggle starts forming and before long was spiraling nicely to towards the clouds, stayed in the thermal for as long as I could and then opted to do a glide as others had already gone. Headed towards Hirwaun direction and found a little lift but nothing really I could thermal in, and sinky air took me on a long glide and landed in a football field just north of the A465.

Kilie retrieved me and we also picked up Rhun who landed nearby and then headed back to Nantymoel to meet Wattsy and retrieve my car keys.

Good day out, glad with my little XC Smile

Big thanks to Wattsy for the lift Smile

14.47k -
1/5/13 - Heol Senni

Arrived early to be asked by a TV company and National Parks not to drive up the track as they were filming, so not to annoy national parks I obliged and phoned around to inform others to park on the road before the track, National Parks had already parked a vehicle across the track anyway so access was impossible.

After about an hour, it was clear to walk up (as we wouldn't end up ruining their shots) and walked up with Jared (good to see you buddy) and Nick Bambers and 2 students.
Wind was off to the North a fair bit on arrival so opted for the left side of the hill, cloud streets forming, thermals working well!
Had a boat around and played in bumpy thermic air and good to see Stu Kelly, Wattsy, Nasher & Gerry and later on Paul paravenure and Viv & Nick Roberts & Chris Dusgate.

Whilst Chris was setting up, I launched and ended up reaching nearly cloudbase but decided not go over the back as it was quite blue so I headed out in front, played about a bit and then whilst scratching, everything dropped suddenly (the calm before the storm!), I landed at the bottom doh!

Anyway, packed up very quickly and on arrival at the top, Chris Dusgate had already gone XC and Wattsy was over the back by Fan G.

Thermals coming through very strong at this point and I chatted with Nasher, Jared and Gerry for a while. Saw Nick Roberts setting up and once aloft it wasn't long before he caught a thermal and started heading over the back. I decided to try my luck and for a change, quickly found a thermal and up I went nicely, and thermalled up to nearly base and rather than leave the lift, I stayed with it for as long as I could taking me over Fan G and Ystradgynlais. By this time I could see I was catching Nick Roberts up but stayed in the cloud I was under for as long as possible.

With another cloud in front, I made a dash for it and found good lift again, wispy cloud around me, freezing cold, in an inverted bowl of a cloud. I stayed with it again for as long as I could and then altered my direction more Westerly a) because I wasn't sure of the airspace (I had it on my GPS and now realise it was 12,500 ft,) and b) to learn off Nick Smile

I caught up with Nick but a few hundred feet lower and both thermalling, I couldn't reach Nick's height though and stayed with him some time before deciding to dash to find some more lift, however this did not come this time and realising I was nearing Swansea airport airspace, decided to carefully follow the estuary, but by the time I reached it I was flying low over Gorseinon and looking for a landing option.

I spotted by landing field, the journey to my destination was a bumpy one, guessing it was thermic air bullets or even sea breeze (?) and landed with a sprint much to the joy of the teenager filming me on his phone.

A brilliant day, a personal UK best for me at 43.83k Smile

Well Done Steve! Sounds lie a great flight!
Parch!  ;D

Well done mate!


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