Eye in the Sky - July 2011
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Sun 31 Jul 2011
Report by Jeremy Calderwood
After a fruitless trip to Ringstead with Rosy in tow on the off chance that the wind might come round to a SSW I drove back east to a carnival-clogged Swanage where earlier Sitephone reports had spoken of good flying conditions. To my relief 2 paragliders and a hang glider were floating over Whitecliff despite the late hour - 3:35pm.
I eventually reached the top at about 4:25 to find some Polish pilots. A few moments later a couple of English guys appeared from the Studland side - Kit and... sorry, forgotten the other name already! After half an hour to recover from the exertion and a site briefing to Kit and his mate I launched into a pretty smooth SE, boated down to the headland and tested the lift around the corner. It was working so I carried on down to Old Harry - new territory for me. Eventually there were 6 of us scooting back and forth, some doing the odd 360º and wingovers.
Eventually I had a tired and hungry Rosy beckoning me to get back to Swanage so I went on a pleasant glide to a nice gentle landing on the beach with just a short walk back to our friend's for a restorative cuppa.
Great to return here after a gap of over 3 years with an 80 minute flight - I reckon it deserved a 9 on Ali's peachometer scale!
Report by Grant Oseland
Nice day at Ballards today. Most of the site was working to some degree from the Hotels, to Old Harry Rocks and along the ridge. Never seen so many non club members at this site before, it looked as though most had a good day.
Report by Alastair Florence
Dispite feeling strong on arrival at the top of Ballard I decided it was probably ok. Sure enough it was fine, and stayed flyable all day although was a bit strong in the afternoon. So long as you could launch the air was no problem. Old Harry stretch was not really working and the ridge was not that good until the afternoon.
Some visiting Polish were first to join me followed by many Wessex members to make it one of the busiest days on the site for a long time.
Mon 25 Jul 2011
Report by Neil Mccain
Jolly japes on Bell Hill today - it could've been scripted by E Blyton herself....
'I say!' breezed Twonk, 'spiffing wheeze, what!' He wrenched off his glove to reveal a pink and sweaty maw and began talking at nineteen to the dozen. 'Super day. It isn't actually that strong although when the thermals come through it feels jolly lively! Gosh! Me and the Witches Hat had about a grand just now and we weren't even trying. Got to keep awake though. I'm going to scram a pork pie and see what happens!' And with that the Twonk rushed over to his car and started feeding pork pie into himself. The others yawned - what a drag. At least when he was eating pie the gentle silence of the hill resumed.
Just then, a funny noise came from William and Ruth's Landy and it began slipping down the hill. Crikey! There wasn't a moment to be lost. Jones Esq was quickest to react, manfully standing in front of the metal beast yelling 'You shall not pass!' Bracing himself, he leant forwards and pushed and pushed with all his might. A titanic struggle, so exciting! Jones Esq was always doing manful things like that - no wonder all the girls had a pash on him (even Matron, apparently). The rest of the gang came over to discuss what was up with the little blue car, trying to sound as manly as Jones Esq's actions had been. Eventually interested faded and everyone drifted back to their gliders to go flying.
Pretty soon afterwards, Twonk bagged a thermal and skidaddled over the back. As he drifted over Turnworth he could see all the naughty pixies scuttling around in the brown fields. 'They're making hay while the sun shines, those naughty little pixies!' thought Twonk, 'But they're not doing it in the right place! There aren't any more thermals here and it's not fair!' With that he stamped his little foot and tried not to let his lip tremble. Soon he was back on the ground. 'If only Big Ears was here' he thought sadly, 'He'd know what to do!' Instead, Jones Esq manfully came down the valley to fetch him and they were soon back at take-off.
How lovely! An impromptu meeting of the Wessex Lunch Club had convened, and everyone sat around chatting and laughing. There wasn't any ginger beer (or cake for that matter) but it was hot and not very windy and one was reminded of all the long summer days of long ago when there was nothing to do except point at each other and laugh. Eventually some of the boys suggested a game of Follow My Leader and got ready to fly again. 'Tsk! You boys!' said Gail, 'Play nicely!' Roger and Andy climbed out almost immediately whilst Twonk complained. 'Who is the leader? Am I the leader? They haven't waited for me' 'Captain' Westgate shrugged. His languid movements matched the relaxed fit of his three day beard. He was concentrating so hard on not concentrating and flying with his left brain (How big is his brain? It takes all of my brain to get off the ground. Fancy being able to decide which bit to use!) that he missed the launch window. Twonk launched into a terrific whoosh and went straight up to meet the others. Whizzing up past Roger, he was surprised at the size and strength of the lift. Suddenly there was a loud Crack! Andy had had a large collapse and the report as the wing re-opened sounded well over a hundred yards. Crumbs! They continue to circle upwards before Andy headed back to where Roger was circling. With plenty of height Twonk headed downwind, sure that he would find something before too long. Nothing! What a silly billy! As he stood on the ground looking up, Roger floated serenely past heading for Wareham but Andy (always a stickler for the rules) burned off two thousand feet to land on the football pitch too. 'You're the leader!' he quipped, 'I had to follow you!' Then a jolly nice man from the village gave them a lift all the way home to the hill - he said he knew people from all over the world but he hadn't met anyone as mad as Andy and Twonk.
It really was time for tea but instead everyone wafted around in the gusty air on the ridge for a while. Captain remarked that getting away from Bell was 'more difficult than it looked' and pushed off to the Bulbarrow aerials and back. A little squall line made conditions awkward for Martin and Twonk who also tried, but everyone agreed that it didn't matter because it had been the most exciting day ever! 'Our chums will be so envious!' they cried. What fun. Happy days!
Sun 24 Jul 2011
Report by Sean Staines
Sunday 24th July.
A good day for hang gliding on Bell today. Some PG’s flew early, but by 11:15 when I arrived it was becoming a bit strong for paragliding so I opted to rig the Hang glider. The PGs departed and left the hill to me Brian and James.
I launched first and found it very lifty. I could easily maintain 400ft ato down the ridge to Ibberton. Despite it being fully overcast it was still thermic. I hooked into a good climb, peaking at 5m/s, and stuck with it reaching cloudbase around 2500ft ato. I’ve been warned not to enter clouds on a hang glider so I turned towards Blandford and stuffed the bar to my knees to try and get out of it. Looking at the track log I had a ground speed of 86kmh and covered about 1.5km before I emerged, quite relieved.
There was nothing obvious to head towards and I didn’t come across any more lift so I landed at Durweston, next to the old bridge. A very pleasant flight.
Sun 24 Jul 2011
Report by Shamus Pitts
Just had a bumpy hour at Cowdown. The wind was blowing 15 – 18mph on takeoff and seemed on the hill but when I was in the air it was obvious that it was having trouble deciding which way to go round the hill, so kept changing from WSW to WNW and back. There was plenty of lift (and sink) and thermals coming through despite the overcast sky, with lots of gusts coming through. I took a thermal up to 500’ ATO but there was nothing to inspire me to take it further so went back to the hill. When the sky started to darken I decided to push out over the powerlines and land in the field near my house.
Sat 23 Jul 2011
Report by Everard Cunion
Two paragliders, one of which is visible in this photo, followed me up in this thermal above Bell hill. (The top landing field is at lower left.) There was some good lift higher up, but lots of sink on the hill. Conditions were so light and switchy, I was clipped in waiting to launch for an hour before I took off. I saw two hang gliders go down to the bottom landing field.
Report by Mike Bretherton
It was the first time out for me since I had my first ice cream at Swanage last September. I went to Bell with Simon Herbert but I forgot my mobile phone so I was certain to go Xc. As we arrived a massive gaggle got away in very light lift, only very slowly drifting over the back. I launched and stayed up fairly effortless in abundant smooth thermals and soon was over the back but nearly bombed out. I managed a very slow climb up and ended up near base after several km’s. The first 3 quarters of my flight was very smooth and comfortable, a great way to get back into the saddle I thought.
I realised that my track ruled out an ice cream at Swanage and I was too far south to try and back track around the airspace to the north. As I got lower the wind picked up quite a bit and it became quite rough and uncomfortable. I had also forgotten my airmap but my memory of it told me I was very close to the edge and I could not go much further. Some fields ahead had cows, big power lines, tons of trees or uncut crops. The wind and turbulence made me go for the safe option of a huge field that had already been harvested. It was a very unpleasant landing as the field was popping off tons of thermals when I did not want any.
It has been said that the adventure of paragliding only begins after landing and today was no exception as it turned out that I had landed in the dreaded Stag Estate. A 7,000 acre estate completely walled off from civilisation. I had no mobile phone, no water and I could not find anyone to help me get out either. I walked the inside of the wall until I found a gatehouse with mad dogs but no people. I walked back for ages until I found the main house but it was deserted. I found some outbuildings with music playing and doors left open, but again I could find no one, it was surreal. Eventually I found another house and found someone. They found it difficult to understand my circumstance, they let me use their phone but I was not particularly welcomed. I had to walk out of the estate and I nearly got lost again as it was so big.
Simon retrieved me after he himself also went Xc, in fact he said there were no pilots left on the hill when he got back from his XC. Paragliding rarely gets better than this.
Report by Neil Mccain
Sean S hosted an excellent BCC comp today at Bell - when a group of Wessex team members got back from their excursions courtesy of Andrea, the hilltop was full of cars but eerily quiet, a testament to the success of a great many pilots getting away. I flunked out at Wareham (again!) but not before having enjoyed thermalling in a big gaggle (including two splendid tandems) and later with a sailplane. Tremendous! Video to come!
Report by Shamus Pitts
A fun but lively day at Telegraph Hill today. The Red Arrows flew past right on time then the serious flying could start.
There was plenty of lift most of the time although it did switch off every now and again, catching out the unwary! I was quite lucky and after what felt like a long time scratching managed to work my way up from below the lowest trees back up to take off – quite a relief! The thermals started off quite nice then the sun went in for a while and the lift died a bit.
When the sun came out again I joined a gaggle that were slowly climbing behind the hill. At about 1000’ ATO the climb fizzled out and we flew back - Guy Anderson, however, stayed high and went on a tour of west Dorset!
Later on, although the wind felt okay on the ground, people in the air seemed to have stopped turning and were just facing in to wind and not moving! They all landed and I was just about to start packing when I decided to have one last flight. The sky looked good and the wind felt manageable so what did I have to lose?
I hooked in to a decent thermal fairly quickly and took it over the back. Despite the sky looking great I lost it at about 2300’ ATO and frantically started searching for it, only to find lots of sink. I went on the glide of doom, firstly to some likely looking clouds which then looked to be dissolving, and then on towards some sunny ground near Piddletrenthide. Nothing was going up so I decided I didn’t want to land in the bottom of the Piddle valley and chose a cornfield on higher ground. I landed neatly between a couple of sets of power lines and packed up – thanks to Alan W for picking me up after my epic 9km flight! 2 hours in the air and a little XC – lovely!
Thu 21 Jul 2011
Report by Neil Mccain
If fortune favours the brave, forecasts are fancied by the desperate. That'll be me then, showing up early at Monksdown on the off-chance that something might come from a predicted northerly wind. I nearly went home again: cloud base was a magnificent 200' above take off, and the wind seemed to be blowing almost westerly - rubbish! Before I could get the keys in the ignition, Derek arrived, so I stopped on for a chat whilst we watched the windsock and a buzzard prove to me that my faith in the forecast was baseless. We agreed to go to Bell, but before I could get the keys out of my pocket, Roger arrived, so I stopped on for another chat. And then the wind settled down and cloudbase lifted and it looked like there might be something after all. Ben and Sean M showed the way, putting on a nice display for the day-trippers, but despite some big clouds forming all around there was only just enough to get back on top. Roger muttered about the size of the clouds but with little wind on the hill, I cheerfully quipped 'What's the worst that could happen?' before being lifted gently off the hill by a breeze.
I swung to the left, losing height straight away, but tracking into the little bowl to get it back. I turned and headed towards the spur at take-off height. As I got there, the vario bleeped encouragement - I s-turned a couple of times in lift, was just higher than the trees and went for a 360. I remember thinking that this was stupid as I was so low that falling out would put me in bad rotor, but I stayed in, so I went round again. I didn't hold out any hope that I'd be able to stay with it but there it was. Great! I'd always wondered what it must be like to climb out from ridge height - it's a head rush to look at the altimeter and realise you're only a few hundred feet up but too far behind the hill to make it back. Sure enough though, I did lose it. Or at least, it lost me at about 900' ato and three fields back. For the next few minutes I did the Zero-sum Dance, my downwind speed halved as I concentrated on getting the steps right, trying not to trip over my flying feet and to find the lift that had to be there, somewhere. In the midst of this aerial shuffle, I noticed for the first time that the clouds were much bigger than I'd thought, a tad too big for comfort. Over Tollard Royal I circled up near to base, a paltry 1440' ato, but quite close enough to the dark grey thank you. The thermal itself wasn't alarming, but I could tell where it was going to stop, and as a twin engine plane passed in front of me, I knew I didn't want to surf the white room. I tracked to the western edge of it, flying more zeros and occasionally clipping the thermal's edge. The ground beneath me was all in shade, but downwind I could see sunshine on cornfields. I thought 'If I can fly to them, perhaps I'll find lift ahead of this huge thing that I'm under', and added some bar to get there quicker.
Over Tarrant Gunville my plan looked to have failed but I scratched over the next couple of fields. Over Pimperne, I wished it had failed. Whump! I was hoiked into something fast and up. Then it was gone. I turned but before I was facing back to where the lift had been, whump again! couldn't make sense of where the core was, and I felt I was being pulled in three different directions at once. Above me, I hadn't so much flown ahead of the large cloud as met its leading edge. I was being pulled up fairly quickly, and at a significant tangent to to the prevailing wind. Brave? Desperate? What IS the worst that could happen? Well, after working hard earlier to stay up in almost nothing, I admit to bottling out of the strong climb I now had - it just looked too big above me. I flew downwind once more, clipping Blandford Camp and hoping for a gentler climb but got nothing. I landed in benign conditions on the outskirts of the town, glad to be down. Thanks to lifts from good friends I was soon back at the hill, where conditions on the ridge were very light. As Roger and I watched Chris S eking out the lift, we could see huge clouds continuing to form way out in front towards Salisbury but after my forty minute trip, I wasn't as desperate as I had been to start with! Happy days!
Thu 14 Jul 2011
Report by Grant Oseland
Most people were there or had got away from Bell already by the time I got there after work. Still plenty of lift to be found so wasted no time and went xc as soon as possible, A bit crowded in the thermals low down, close to hill but fine once up high.
I found the air to be very smooth and buoyant but strangely a bit west seeing as trips to Swanage had been made earlier in the day. Once over the back there was a large blue hole towards Wareham and big clouds over Blandford making the decision to head west easy. A nice XC day where the thermals were big and marked by straw floating up in them! If not for Bournemouth airspace I recon it would have gone on a lot longer as the cloud streets disappeared of into the distance but sadly I will never know.
Report by Marcus Webster
Thursday 14th July 2011 Hurrah, at last a Swanage flight from Bell, after multiple attempts that have always ended short I have got there! And thanks to the excellent conditions after Bere Regis, the final part of the flight over the Purbecks, which normally saw me on the ground before Corfe Castle, was surprisingly easy. With climbs to over six thousand feet just North of Coldharbour and again at Wareham (a bit of cloud flying with Big Ears) made the final glide to Swanage easy, arriving over my goal field (the School) with a couple of thousand feet to spare. Thanks to Martin Butcher for sharing the Bus and Taxi journey back to Bell.
Report by Jeremy Calderwood
Unfortunately I had chosen today to take my friend Rosy to the nature reserve at Arne armed with two cameras, one with a 70-300mm zoom lens. While we sat at the Quay Inn in Wareham I had a chance to use the zoom lens as four wings flew over from Bell. The first went by at about 2.30 - he actually disappeared for a few seconds into 'the white room' - I would guess his altitude was around 3,500 - 4,000 feet. A few minutes later I noticed a second wing floating by at almost the same height.
I tried to look happy as I supped my pint and waited for the food. I had promised this trip so I was stuck with it.
At 3.15 another wing appeared. He was much lower - maybe only about 300 - 400 feet and looked like he would soon be landing on the flood meadows. Then he found some lift and began to climb away again. At the same time I noticed the fourth wing at 3,500 - 4,000 feet under another good sized cumulus circling lazily around and again heading towards Swanage.
I tried... I really tried to enjoy the afternoon and not show my disappointment at not being at Bell and having a bash at Swanage myself... but it wasn't easy. Sure, the Sika deer at Arne were endearing, the air was warm and the day quite beautiful. Rosy and I had a pleasant walk and we both took some great pictures but... I was on the ground!
Well, I've just seen Shamus's report - so that was him with the low save! Later, when we drove from Arne to Corfe I think we encountered the same ponies he saw on the road just north of Norden...
The next time the sky looks epic for a Bell/Swanage XC blow any promises - I'll be there!
Report by Neil Mccain
Thousands of students across the country are getting their end of year reports about now. If we got them in paragliding, this is how mine would read: Name: Neil McCain Class: Wessex PG Attendance: Pretty much whenever it's flyable Punctuality: Not normally to be faulted. Today he left a sitephone message at 9am. Well done.
General remarks: Neil is a friendly and helpful member of the class. Today he mucked in to help free a glider from a gorse bush before it really got soarable, briefed a pilot new to the site and worked with a fellow pilot to sort out their A-risers, all before clipping in himself. Neil must watch out that in assisting others he doesn't lose focus on the task at hand - later on in the day he missed a chance to go xc whilst sorting out a set of missing car keys and he only has himself to blame.
Subject reports: Mathematics - Neil made a promising start to the season demonstrating his ability to master small numbers, but he must now progress to larger ones if he is to keep up with his peers.
Geography - a good awareness of local features, although recently Neil seems a little vague on territories south of Wareham
Physics - A* for effort, B- for application. His efforts at thermalling away from the hill have been good (he reached 4,600' base over Winterbourne Houghton on his first attempt today) but he failed to apply the technique consistently downwind, with inevitable consequences.
Chemistry - Disappointing. Neil is one of a cabal of boys whose idle discussion of 'dark-matter engines' has not helped his practical studies. Fail and see me.
PHSE (report from the lady car-driver who gave me a lift back to Okeford beacon) - Neil looked reasonably couth.
Headmaster's comments: A mixed report, Neil. You are clearly aware of the importance of the League, yet (to give it a cycling metaphor) you persist in peddling at the periphery of the peleton. Could do better!
Student to comment and sign: Bell Hill was the venue for a feast of flying today and most were able to fill their boots. I had a great time and cant wait for another go - happy days!
Report by Neville Almond
Thanks to the Orange PG who located the good lift around 3 miles behind Bell at around 1pm - I was looking forward to the cloud-climb but I thought two of us would be one too many. :) Got the TP, turned north, and made it back to Westbury just after 3pm. What a great day.
Nev (White/Red Atos VR)
Report by Shamus Pitts
A great day was had by many today at Bell Hill! I wasn’t one of the many that got to Swanage at various points in the day but I still had my best day so far this year! The wind was off to the north on the hill although there was more west in it higher up and nearer the coast. I was quite lucky early on and took off at the right moment, turned right and found a thermal at the end of the ridge which took me up to 900’ ATO in about 4 turns. I decided to take it over the back and slowly wound it up to 3500’ ATO. The air was quite rough and there was a fair amount of sink about, especially around the edges of the thermal but I stuck with it and then went on the glide of doom. The great looking clouds downwind dissolved in front of my eyes as I plummeted towards them and I ended up landing at Bloxworth for about 17km.
It still looked good when I got back to the hill so I took off again and after a while found myself in a thermal with Marcus and Sean. I stuck with Marcus and we took it up to about 3500’ ATO before we lost it. We spread out and I found a climb over the forest near Stickland. Another glider joined me lower down and I saw Marcus head towards it but he was further away. The climb fizzled out so I headed off towards some clouds on the edge of Wareham forest. The climbs so far seemed quite bitty and I was having trouble tidying them up and the same was true when I got near the forest. I worked bits and pieces but was cautious of drifting too close to Bournemouth airspace. In the end I gave up on it and headed towards Wareham. I could see a glider upwind higher than me which I assumed was Marcus – I thought I’d seen the last of him! There was heavy sink all the way to Wareham and I was starting to choose a landing field when my vario started to chirp about 400’ from the ground. I worked it as hard as I could until I’d gained about 1000’ but then lost the climb and headed out over Hartland Moor near Corfe Castle. There were tiny gusts of lift but nothing useable so I landed for 31km. Some horses came over while I was packing up, which was nice.
My highest and longest flights so far this year so well worth taking the day off!
Monday 11 Jul 2011
Report by Gary Puhl
Started off at Hambledon full of expectation for another XC.
After several hours of shortlived attempts, we (Marcus and Paul), thought Monks could worth a try. Occassionally the breeze would make launching possible but would not sustain a flight.
There was one period of flight where it was possible to fly out front over the fields in smooth thermals.
This was not going to be an XC day. So the only interesting thing to report is the farmer gave the bottom field a Brazilian.
Sun 10 Jul 2011
Report by Sean Staines
I had a good half hour flying the hang glider at Kimmeridge on Sunday. It’s a nice change from Ringstead. I’ve attached a picture of an alternative HG launch that can easily be accessed from the Kingston end of the hill. You can drop the kit off and carry it over a stile to a small rigging and launch area.
Report by Ruth Kelly
After the usual ritual exchange of weather forecasts - mostly on Facebook this time - an appointment was made to fly at Kimmeridge. I should have been there a bit earlier, to be honest, but the Landy speeded us up to take-off from the Kingston end - and I unpacked, got a site brief and got into the air in record time.
My take-off was a little ragged but once airbourne it was easy to crab up the ridge and hit something like 100m ATO by the time I got to Swyre Head. Flying conditions were, in Ali's words, 'kick ass'... which I take as 'bumpy'! Actually there were longish periods of smooth and steady lift, interspersed with some pretty wild gyrations as the wind gusted and veered. All good practice for active flying. Several people made the journey out to the cliffs, but I was content to boat up and down and learn about this beautiful new site. After forty minutes the conditions became even more lumpy, and I decided to quit. My top-landing was a little inelegant (= I fell over) but at least I managed to avoid getting rotored in.
A memorable day.
Report by Shamus Pitts
A light and overcast day at Corton Denham today. The wind was on the hill to start with and blowing 10 – 14mph but soon dropped and went off to the west. I was going to head for the coast but it sounded blown out so I waited a while and the wind picked up and was more on the hill. It looked like it would rain at times but didn’t and I managed a few flights. There was slight thermic lift but nothing spectacular but it was still an enjoyable day – there were even a couple of flypasts by some fast jets!
Report by Martin Butcher
Ringstead: Arrived about 9:30 to see RW and a couple of others chatting. It felt light but OK to me so I rigged and proceeded to have a very pleasant morning until about 2:30 when the gradually increasing wind made take off just too tricky. At one stage I think there where 3 tandems in the air being piloted by Dave M, Grant and Jon. No doubt there were lots of happy passengers.
Sat 09 Jul 2011
Report by Richard Mosley
Arrived at the Hive beach early 9.30 Rigged and flew the Atos v to Charmouth and back twice. Fantastic views and height gain in the strong conditions during the day. The gaps were a breeze. landing and taking off 100 Ft from the van. Great place when the conditions are good for either paragliding or Hang gliding.
Report by Richard Chambers
After being in the car for four and a half hours, I pulled up in Ballard Way to see no one flying! I debated whether to carrying my full kit up or to remove as much weight as possible in advance of the walk up. In the end I carried the full kit up as I wanted my camera and lunch!
After a hot and sweaty walk up, overtaking a geography field trip on the way, I arrived at launch with perfect timing as Brian was giving Ben as brief as they both got ready to launch. Soon we were all in the air enjoying the smooth air. Max height was about 100ft above the cliffs. Even though the wind was off to the east a bit, Old Harry's wasn't really working. I made it most of the way along before having to turn back, made it back round the corner with about 30 feet above the cliffs. Following Brian's example I followed him along the cliff to the hotel. The first time we made it there and back, the second time the cliffs weren't working and we landed on the beach.
Brian decided to leave rather than face the walk up again, whereas I was still desperate for airtime in this brilliant summer we have been having.
Got back up to lighter winds, but managed to get another 45 minutes in the air before landing at the bottom of Ballard. Lovely day, over 2 hours in the air and a nice sunburn despite factor 50 kids sunblock. Probably an 8 on the peach-o-meter.
Sun 03 Jul 2011
Report by Shamus Pitts
Another nice day at the White Horse. I tried Friar Waddon first but it was too light and off to the east so it was a repeat of yesterday at the horse instead.
Conditions were much the same as yesterday. The lift was maybe a little more consistent but height gains were slightly less. Lots of people enjoying the sunshine and less gorse action! A herd of fearless cows wandered past from time to time, giving the occasional neglected wing a sniff or a chew! So, all in all, similar to yesterday, but with added cows!
Report by Alastair Florence
Today looked like being a sort of repeat of yesterday and I decided I couldn't be bothered with a bun fight at the Horse so tried Knitson.
The wind was well off to the East, like up to 45' at times on take off.It was quite tricky getting the first 200ft ato, but with loads of little thermals and alot of persistence I managed it a couple of times.
From there it was fairly easy to climb up to 600-800ft and stay there for a bit with thermals poping all along the ridge top.
It was quite bizzare that it worked so well as the wind was almost due East above 200ft. Not exactly what I would call rough but I was getting chucked about a bit.
Nige R and Paul H also attended but had less luck.
On the way home I checked out the beach and found a reasonable breeze, so walked up Ballard. It felt ok so had another 40mins, again bizzarely the wind here was off West so the cliff was not working that well, thermals were coming off the Ballard estate and popping just in front of t/o so I used these for a bit.
Probably a 6 on the Peachometer and the occasional 3 on the terrormeter but I really am yearning for a thermic NW like last Thurs when I don't have to work.
Sat 02 Jul 2011
Report by Shamus Pitts
A busy and surprisingly good day at the White Horse today. I arrived about 10:30am to find a few people there already. The forecast wasn’t exactly optimistic but there was a breeze, the sun shone and the thermals popped making it flyable.
Plenty of new and old faces in the air and on the ground – lift was abundant but not guaranteed so the sink caught a few people out but when it was good I managed to get to 600’ ATO, I’m sure others got higher.
It was good to meet up with old friends and have a few flights so a much better day than expected!
Fri 01 Jul 2011
Report by Alastair Florence
I came home via Bell today, (a) to avoid M3/M27/A31 slow spots & (b) to see if it was flyable.
Didn't seem to be much going on at Bell so with an obvious sea breeze front off south I took my chances on Kimmeridge.
Turned out a nice evening, bright and clear, although the air was quite gusty it was a sort of bouncy, springy gusty-ness rather than rough.
Jacko also turned up and had a decent session.
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