Finally made my first little X country here (fully out of ridge lift)
SW going SSW fresh and getting stronger plus strong thermals. I wouldn’t have risked it but for the cloud streets and Watty’s words ringing in my ears (Well
you’ve only got to get up a bit and the wind will do the rest)!!! So I thought I must at least go through the motions, get rigged and see how it ground handled. Like a bloody see saw- couldn’t keep the wings level and wind switching around and even worse seagulls just to the right getting sunk out and having problems penetrating. Should really put it in the bag but it is a long carry down.
This could hurt? T/off not bad, surprisingly little ridge lift for but loads of thermic sink and lift. Surely I won’t go down! Took a long time, or it just
felt a long time, to get to a few hundred feet. Then had a nice little 10 down (1000ft/ min), But also as I got up the thermals became more useable and had a couple of nice useable (all the way round) 5 ups.
Eventually after about 20 mins got a good one and thought that would do. Drifted over the back at about 1000ft. Got to 1500ft by Sl Froghane and then looking down into the lee bowl thought I ought to divert right to the higher flatter ground on the way to Ballaugh. Sinking fast all the way but got good, half in half out, thermal at Ballaugh Plantation to about 500ft AGL that made for a certain landing at top of Ballaugh, but not enough for getting past it. Anyway why on earth did I want to land in the top landing field, I would have been better landing on the road prior!!
If I could have just got a bit more lift I could have fallen over the edge of Ballaugh and got an extra couple of miles. Just on cue I got a 100ft/min couple of circles back up to about 500ftAGL. And fell over the edge. But couldnt find lift over wildlife carpark. Maybe was there but over ridden by sink from the hill.
Then it was just a matter of looking for a route with a decent field, which was just before Sandygate at the Lhen Trench. It was a long walk back.