The sky was amazing in Saturday, beautiful deep blue, checked with Cumulus - it was gusty - really gusty at times, but clearly if you were both brave and skilled enough to take-off you could have made an epic flight. I'm sure there were plenty that day...
There were plenty of Hang Gliders and Sail Planes cruising and turning into the thermals, rising and falling way above us all the way up to cloud base - and even disappearing into the clouds for moments.
Clearly, way up there is where my (still far away) dreams of flying lie!
However, being severely restricted in both skill and experience it was good to learn about the cloud formations and thermals, the action of the sun on the chilled land of overnight. To watch the clouds form and watch the wispy cloud tops as the rising thermals reach the prevailing wind and curl over. To at least be learning and making steps in the right direction...
Things to remember: Cumulus clouds typically form when air warmer than the surrounding air rises and reaches a level of cool air, where the moisture in the air condenses out. As it rises, the air cools at the dry adiabatic lapse rate (approximately 3°C per 1000 ft or 1°C per 100 m), while the dewpoint of the air falls by 0.5°C per 1000 ft. When the temperature of the air reaches the dewpoint, some water condenses out of the air to form the cloud.
In windy conditions, as thermals switch on and off cloud streets can form. As clouds form they drift downwind, then, when the thermal runs out of steam and switches off the cloud breaks away. If the thermal then switches on again another cloud forms behind the first one and so on creating big long lines of clouds.
Anyway, the conditions lower to the ground were very unsettled, so we had to spend a far bit of time waiting for safer ground handling conditions.
Unfortunately however, when it finally settled, the day didn't work out quite as well as it could have done. After watching such perfection far above all day, dreaming of one day seeing those views and riding those thermals, and after finally strapping into my glider...
All I could manage was 1) To fall on my arse in a diabolical launch attempt 2) Fall in cow shit 3) Get my lines twisted and 4) Get dragged up the hill.
Note to self: It's not always going to be like it is in the movies, sometimes your going to f**k up, and get annoyed. Stick with it!
Guy, Pete and Laurie pointing out where all the fun happens! :: Click For Big