Paragliding 22-8-2009

On Friday night the weather looked rubbish, too south, too strong for Saturday.

Saturday morning came, and Windmap had Ronaldsway, west, 12 mph backing to the south and increasing.  An early start was required if we had any chance. Keith, Jamie and I headed to Sartfell. After what looked like a totally blown out situation going over the mountain, Sartfell lander had a nice breeze from the SW . Ten minutes later we were at the top watching cloud base drop to about 20 metres above sea level at Peel. The cloud soon engulfed us, but was not that thick and all looked smashing the other side. Had a few hops into a fickle breeze (about 7 mph) before things started to get organised.  It got thermic real quick and soon enough we were all getting some real nice soaring  with the odd 360. 

As is often the way, once above  130 metres (ato) it became a lot easier to maintain height – so headed out and towards the south. Soon enough another week cycle came through that had me thermalling back to the hill. Was going up surprisingly nicely for so early in the day (11.30ish) so stuck with it for a bit over the back. The thermal kept giving and with Jamie dropping in beneath, both had a lazy climb out to Freghane (or whatever it is called!)

Base was lifting all the time, and although above cloudbase for clouds out just to the west, I was at least a couple of hundred metres below the one above my head. With about 340metres ‘above take off’ I went on a glide towards the Snaefell lander followed by Jamie. It was all pretty buoyant until behind Freghane when I hit a small patch of turbulence. Jamie got ground suck along the Druidale road and just as he landed I picked up a really week thermal which I took over the west end of Sulby reservoir. Nice view down the overflow as not that high. This gave me an extra 50 metres and confidence to fly down the Sulby Valley (although I was level with the top of it most of the way). It was all smooth, but unfortunately all blue above me. With a strengthening tail breeze and altitude slipping away I went in to landing mode, deciding not to bother trying to soar the hill at the end of the valley,( probably rotar tastic  would imagine).  Landed safely and high on a lump behind Primrose Hill.

Had a nice walk down to the bottom of the Cladaghs with Watty arriving right on cue, cheers matey!! Got back to the top of Sartfell, blown out, went home, cut grass.

Guess I might have left the hill a wee tadge too early, I could see the clouds rising around me when in the air. Keith got plenty more height on his flight down to Ballaugh a little bit later. All the same cannot grumble. Tracklog on Leonardo as usual.