Lonely Ploughman Martin Returns to the Island

After a month camping in darkest Forest of Dean (while working on my little cottage) glad to get back home. Only flew once while away on 9th November. Nice 90 minute flight on The Long Mynd in Shropshire. It had rained solid for two previous days, roads washed out leading to diversions, everything sodden, all the fields flooded. So obviously not much hope for significant lift. WRONG!! Some of the best lift I have ever had.

Mark Leavesley of Leavesley Aviation was flying an Atos when I got there and soon landed due approaching ominous little rain storm. Great- its the first Atos I have seen flying! When it looked as if the shower would miss us I took off  and had a pleasant fly round, loads of lift and when I felt confident pushed out with Mark who had taken off again to meet an incoming cloud about 1.5 miles out in front, up to 2000ft ATO at cloud base. Then I thought thats enuff and pulled speed, but at not far off full speed was still climbing pretty fast. I was getting scared when I soon got to the edge of cloud and then just flew around for fun. Not bad for an excetionally wet week in November. So you never know.

Since I returned I felt the need to get some hours in and its been pretty good really.

Sunday 11 December: Curn South. 1hr 20mins. 380ft on Curn then 500ft on spur to south then 900ft on Sl Froghane then 1000ft on Sartfell where it was blown out for Steven, Keith and Simon, to be very kindly retreived by Stevens Dad who also subsequently gave me some very nice pictures of the flying. Thanks a lot Mate.

12th December. Watty couldn’t take it any more and had to skive off to Slieu Lewaige. On his way out he found me at Carn Ger Joil (Windy Corner NE) and together we had extended down flight here. Watty very nearly stayed up on this very short spur in very light conditions. I plummeted but we both thought it has some potential for days when its too light at Lewaige and you dont fancy the walk up Hibernia.

13th December. I made the mistake of going to Ballaugh when I should have gone to Curn so just 16 minute extended top to bottom.

14th December: Better Ballaugh. Nice 2.5 hours to 1400ft just wallying around.

Saturday 17th December:  Felt very very guilty with all you guys earning brownie points on the Whisky Run- but it looked too good to miss and anyway I thought it would be too strong for anyone else. So I would be totally selfish. In fact it died and you could have flown. Whoops!!! Could have got to Ramsey early on but decided to wait till you got there- by which time it had died and I was too low for the trip. Still at least I made the last part of the Whisky run with you. 2 hours and 1100ft at best.

19th December: Took off for the first time on the spur south of Sl Curn. Giles went up main face but a bit strong at that time. It was due west 18mph but going SW and dieing to 8mph later. Had a nice 2 hours flying the whole (dissected ridge) ie Sl Curn, Big West Bowl, Sl Froghane, Sartfell and back again. Up to either 1000ft or 1200ft (my main posh vario is F—ckd again and my trusty 25 year old Diplex altimeter is leaking Balls would you believe. Ask Watty if you dont believe me!  Landed 1 mile north of Ballaugh Village so that was very pleasing for time of year.

Hope to catch up for some good flying with you all over the holiday.