Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Please sir, can we have some more?

I cannot lie - I've been hurling abuse at the sky for weeks as wind, gale, low clouds, or all three make soaring pilots across England and Wales very grumpy. So when Jim posted his weather alert at the weekend about Tuesday looking good, I set the wheels in motion to take the afternoon off.

As I headed into work, clouds were popping up at 8am. My co-workers must have thought I was behaving very strangely; I would keep fingering the blinds looking to the sky and come back with a fevered and manic expression. But little did they know the torment of my soul as every stolen glance revealed a sky growing more epic as time ticked by: I pounded the keyboard determined to fit a days work into a morning.

Before slamming the helmet over my eyes, I drank in the sky from horizon to horizon. The weather god Zeus had at last woken up without a hangover: I imagine he reached deep in his bag of weather to remove the cotton wool clouds and muttered, "hmmm - aren't these gliding clouds dusty?". And to repair his forgetfulness, he picked only the plumpest clouds and delicately stretched them across the horizon and breathed a gentle wind, "sorry about the wait... Enjoy!"

My only thought as I made my way to the club was, "please, please, please let the conditions last!"

Fast forward to 9pm, and we are ensconced in the clubhouse with a tea, sun burnt faces and two flights of longer than one hour, one of which finished at 7pm. What a great days flying.

The highlight of my day was a 4kt thermal, that became so smooth I thought the vario was broken. But clearly it wasn't because the ground kept getting smaller, the air got colder, and under the wing I could see the unmistakeable outline of a kite cruising up to join me: For once I was slap bang in the middle of a thermal core!

In the words of Oliver Twist, "Please sir, can we have some more?"

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