It was more than nice to find plans form and feel the anticipation rise inside me once again, I have decided to travel more to fly and be guided by where its best rather than where its on nearest – however doubt can play its part too so a SSE forecast on RASP did have me question going, in fact I wrote the whole idea off.
Waking on Sunday to an SMS from Richard telling me they were on their way had me give RASP another quick look which was now showing N, internal trigger fired its shot I loaded the car and left with and eta of 10:30.
The drive was easy, the roads new to me so in a small way it started to feel like an adventure of sorts. Sometimes things familiar done a little differently can feel like a rebirth.
Milk Hill is a little like a kinky version of Firle, just without the risk of a sea breeze. Downwind is RAFSPA and the air I used to fall so happily through and a place I would dearly love to fly past again.
My flight by any measure was ordinary a small ridge soaring flight punctuated with a few tight broken thermals and lines of lift extending out the front. I shared the air happily with Andy and Rich.
Gaining height and seeing Andy glide out front to the main ridge while I turned back into sink left me feeling I had missed a chance. Later high again and following Rich out on a line of good air left me feeling that I should take the chance.
I pulled on and locked onto the front ridge line keeping track of my glide and hoping to connect quite well with the front. Almost there and maybe too close to the lea I got drilled abruptly into the bottom field.
With a quick transition from glide to landing I forgot to release the VG – my approach was ok but a wing dropped a the last. Again I had kind of frozen at the last crucial moments but this time even though I was out of alignment I pushed out to flare much more than other recent landings.
Even though it was messy both I and the glider were fine and I was happy that I had not just blankly flown into the ground with my mind chattering away about all the things I should be doing rather than my body acting on the feel of my glider and me landing like I should. Mindfulness is not helpful at times like this. Confidence is key.
Later we stopped off in a pub for a beer and a half and to chat about this and that – this was very nice indeed – something I have missed. A contented end to a beautiful day.
It was here we would find out that the site to have been at was Mere Rifle Range – only 30km away. People there got up and away some of them more than 100miles away. I was happy for them all – content beyond words for having a nice day out with good people and some sunshine that glows still on my skin.