It’s funny how decisions happen, they sort of sneak up on you then kind of explode in a fury of intuition and gut feeling. I was this way that last week I wired rather a lot of money to a man I had never met but somewhere inside it felt ok, so I did.
Then there was the question of how to get it home. I thought of lots of options but in the end, the only “sensible” way was to drive down and get it myself.
3 am is never a great hour to get up, so setting off at 03:20 had my internal systems rather wonder what was going on.
I kept to my usual sleep-wake rhythms and set the car up so I could sleep in it – drove till I was tired and it was 23:00 then got a good night sleep – no heroic overnight driving for me as that eventually catches you out, I prefer to see where I am going to, driving at night is simply boring, especially through Europe.
Picking up the glider went smoothly, it had been very well looked after by its owner, not used much which was why it was for sale so he could go and buy a motorbike, my gut feelings had all been correct.
Now looking to the alps the morning was grey and wet, but the worst outcome of going to Greifenburg would be a nice meal and a shower some peace and maybe a bike ride so off I went.
Leaving my bike in camping I drove straight to launch, rigged up and had a good look round the glider feeling and prodding making sure it was straight and that everything was connected to everything else.
Some old bastard rigid pilot and his friend sat on launch through many cycles of launchable air, maybe for more than an hour, it was nuts, so annoying in fact it put me off, that and the air was spilling down over the back so I was not at all keen at all to force a flight so I put my harness back in the car and felt disappointed. Had another coffee.
Then it all came on – the air felt nice even this late at 16:40 so I got ready and clipped in and got off.
Feeling this T2C instantly lively, in the sense that it was quicker to respond to my inputs as I flew off.I was happier still feeling it sit into a climb, all the way to base in the first lift we found together, a fantastic start I thought.
On glide it flew straight with lighter in pressure than the T2, I loved it a lot and so flew for just under an hour choosing to descend into the Greifenburg international airport for a slightly early flair needing me to resist letting the nose down to finding me mush in for a no step landing.
Interestingly I refused a lift up to get the car based on having spent so long in a car already I was ready for a little cycling. It took me 2 hrs 20 mins to ride up the 13km to the car, all of it felt peaceful and the sunset was really beautiful but I would take the lift next time in a heartbeat. Arriving back at camping at 21:15 left only 15mins to order food, missing that would have been tragic.
Saturday felt too risky to use to fly due to it being the first weekend of the German holidays meaning it was possible in theory but not with any practical sense for my survival driving. This is where if someone was with me we could have used this time better.
I made it to the ferry ok a little early after 1860 miles for 47 minutes of flying and a lovely new Wills Wing T2C 154, 1 x spare basebar, 3 x uprights, various other spares and a ladder to help keep her sweet. I got home in time for dinner with Tamsyn and a walk with the kids and the dogs in the woods at Stanmer.
What a good few days.