Flying 19/04/05

I arrived at Slui Lewaigue at around 2pm and Martin with his HG rigged hadn’t flown as he was concerned that it maybe too light for him to stay airborne.  The wind measured around 8 to 12 mph at takeoff so I blew the cobwebs off my glider and prepared for take off.  Popping the glider up I held it at take off for a couple of minutes to help assess the conditions before launching and apart from the odd bit of turbulence rolling up the face decided that there was no reason to delay any longer and took off.  Once through the mild surface turbulence I was quickly climbing, but now in strong wind of around 20 mph (where did that come from?) and not making any forward progress, in fact at one point I was drifting back slightly so I employed the accelerator and pushed forward a couple of hundred yards.  It was now easy to stay forward of the hill and the glider continued to climb.   With the wind still light at the surface, Martin incredulously watching me climb out so easily soon followed on his hang glider and in glass smooth air we both topped out at just over 900 feet above take off.   The remains of an old cu-nimb had drifted over from England or maybe Scotland and in its death throws decided to dump some showers, seeing these approaching and as the wind was already strong I decided to head for the beach at Ramsey for a safe landing whilst Martin continued to soar the hill.  After landing on the beach by the rugby club I noticed that Martin had flown back onto North Barrule but from where I was didn’t seem to be much higher than when on Slui Lewaigue.  As the showers passed the hill Martin headed for a safe landing (he had an appointment to keep).  It turned out that Martin had only gained another 100 foot and got a rough ride to boot! I subsequently "enjoyed" the 90 minute walk back to take off! Flight time around 35 minutes.

All in all a great first proper flight on the island for me.