Eye in the Sky - November 2014
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Sun 30 Nov 2014
Report by Andy Ward
After a frustrating few weeks things finally looked good for either Monks or Maiden Castle. XC suggested it may be a bit strong at Monks but all the other forecasts gave a much more favourable forecast so I figured one or other site would be working. As I drove up towards Dorchester it was flat calm so I pushed on to Monks to find thick clag and the wind off to the west. There were a few of us there and after a good deal of parawaiting Sean launched into the rapidly clearing skies. Things continued to improve and at one point there were 15 or 20 wings boating around in the November sunshine enjoying the abdundant ridge lift and the odd thermal. Days like this are well worth driving home a wet and muddy wing!
Report by Shamus Pitts
With the wind forecast to be strong and gusty today I didn't plan on flying until a call from Gordon C inspired me to take a drive to Monksdown. I was surprised to find hardly any wind and a group of shivering pilots waiting for things to pick up which thankfully they did. To start with the wind was light and off to the west but it slowly increased in strength until it was starting to get a little top end. The direction improved a bit and the strength calmed down a little and there were even occasional thermal fragments coming through so it was worth getting the gear all wet and muddy!
Report by Mike Drew
Tue 25 Nov 2014
Report by Chris Sparham
I have just spent just over two weeks in Bali and Hong kong, primarily to attend a wedding. Which turned out to be fantastic and very intimate as there was only fourteen of us there. I thought I would try and get at least one days flying in if the oppurtunity came up. Didn't think it was going to happen as communications with the local club was difficult at the best of times. Two days before we were due to leave Bali, finally got a message to say there was a possibility on the wednesday afternoon at Timbis. 19.11.2014. I hired the kit from Rizky for $40 USD, which was in good condition by the way. I had two flights with 2hrs 30mins in the air in the blazing afternoon sun. Beautiful coastal line. I was a happy bunny.
Sun 23 Nov 2014
Report by Shamus Pitts
A surprisingly good day at Monks down today. I thought it would be too strong and rough in the air but it was buoyant and fun. The wind was blowing 12-14mph at take-off although it was probably stronger in the air but penetration was never a problem and we weren't tossed about much. The slope was actually working most of the way to the bottom so staying up was easy (although I did end up landing when I was scratching 120' below take-off!) and with the wind a bit off to the west top landing was easy too! A much easier hour of flying than I was expecting!
Sat 15 Nov 2014
Report by Mark Tattersall
4pm Saturday afternoon, and having given up on the day earlier and doing some DIY I was alerted by a sitephone message, looked across Swanage bay and saw a lone wing above the cliffs, so decided to down tools and grab a quick flight before dark. I raced up to take off, passing the other pilot walking down (on holiday with his family in Swanage,and had spent the afternoon sitting out rain showers before his flight), and was in the air by about 4.30. The air was smooth but buoyant, the sea still warm from summer giving classic autumn coastal flying weather, and a little off to the east, so flew round the corner and down to Old Harry, still climbing gradually most of the way. I played about on those cliffs, watching the lights come on in Swanage and Bournemouth, a lovely peaceful night fall flight, while the night raced in rather faster than I had expected, and top landed at about 5.15 when it was only just still light enough to land safely. The tricky part then started, as in my rush to get up the hill I had neglected to pack a head touch - so packed up and then walked down the slippy muddy path in the pitch dark by the intermittent light of my keyring LED touch (well worth having one of those, if Santa asks).
Report by Sean Staines
I joined Brian and Paul at Southbourne just as a light shower started.
Sun 09 Nov 2014
Report by Brian Metcalfe
Forecasts eh?! They were all over the place for Sunday, some saying too strong, some saying too light, some saying no rain and some saying rain showers. So I did the obvious and kept my eye on Highcliffe Sailing Club weather graph and web cam.
Report by Shamus Pitts
I had a pleasant but tricky day at Hive today. The wind was strong and quite a long way off to the west which made crossing even Hive bay almost impossible. I eventually got across, arriving virtually on the beach on the other side. Luckily the wind was blowing good and strong so despite the cliff face not really facing the right direction and me being very low I managed to get up and carry on my journey! It took a lot of building up height and trial attempts before I managed to get across Freshwater. Again I arrived very low but managed to get up and carry on. The cliffs were all working quite well and sea thermals were occasionally coming through. I never got more than 360' ATO but with the wind so far off to the west I was surprised to even get that high. I had a couple of attempts at crossing West Bay but it didn't look any easier than the other two crossings so in the end I gave up. I had only paid for 4 hours parking and my time was nearly up so I headed back to Hive, making the Freshwater crossing easily this time. 2 1/2 hours in the air, not too cold, only got rained on a little and the sun was out a lot of the time - can't be bad for November!
Report by George Nott-Bower
Tue 04 Nov 2014
Report by Gary Mullins
Got to a deserted Bell at about 11 to find the wind off to the west umm, but within 10 minutes it had moved (and stayed) north west. That’s better. Had a pleasant waft around for a bit, til cold hands encouraged a landing. At about midday Dan arrived. This corresponded with the clouds clearing and the sun coming out. Warmth. We both had a bit of a scratchy go in the, now, light breeze. At which point Karl joined us to make a trio of scratchers. Then..........wayhay, the sun had done its job and conditions became very good indeed. Thermals galore. After over an hour of this uppy uppy roundy roundy fun an ominous looking “thing” was approaching in the distance. So we landed. A few more people arrived to find conditions had somewhat strengthened..........and then the rain came.
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