Bulgham Bay Tuesday 16th January

Only the second time this year it looked as if there would be a short interlude between the almost constant gales. Starting the day light north and increasing to ESE 30mph plus associated heavy rain. Plenty of time as tide not out til late in day for emergency Laxey landing. Got talking to Steve a prospective member who has in past done HG course and hopes to do a para course this year. Still loads of time til I find:-

a) I have refitted my sail incorrectly after repairs by Mike Pollard, so have to take off and refit.  Probably just as well as out falls a bloody great fat hardback book in the sail!!!! (so I had a flat surface to apply a couple of further tiny stick on patches).

b) Cant get a mobile signal so have to walk all the way up to the water tower while glider rocks in the increasing wind.

Finaly takeoff at 3.15pm but into 20mph ESE, lovely easy glassy smooth lift up to 1350ft ATO. Then off as far as the middle of Laxey Bay, where I changed my mind about a possible try for Clay Head and turned back for Bulgham. Over the top of Phils house at 1125 ATO he must have been watching- and cursing me- because I suddenly got bad cramp in my leg. Had to get unzipped to alleviate and due to this old harness can’t rezip in flight. Therefore now in addition to discomfort had more headwind had extra harness drag and sinking fast.

Relieved to finally get back "home" with 500 ft to spare and cramp easing off and topping out at 1560 ATO but noted that 50% of cars had headlights on so I was fast running out of time. Set off over Dhoon Bay to Port Cornaa. Although higher than my previous flight here, (still 1400 ATO), I seemed to be losing height faster, so instead of again going further north along the cliffs I turned inland along Glen Mona. This took me over Indian territory (small slopy fields down into treed valleys) towards Hibernia to arrive about 250ft below the top of North Barrule. The flow on Hibernia was due SE and fairly lumpy but managed to gain 450ft.

Then it was just a second downwind dash over Ramsey and following the A9 road out towards Andreas, losing height but ticking off potential landing fields at
50mph. Nice big Airfield ahead I wondered if I could just make it?. Yep, dead centre, but only just and a bit naughty. 8.7miles from takeoff and 11 from Laxey Bay which unbelievably puts me ahead of last year at this time. See you all on the hill.