Finally a good forecast at the weekend, it felt good to get things gathered together and charge things up to look more closely at the weather and start to feel nerves inside.
Simply getting there was a challenge because I had to drive home and gather all the things I had forgotten to bring the first time, however the day was due to be good so there really was no rush no sense that you could be late.
Launching was fine, the day was cycling and not as good looking as I had anticipated, understandable I think for a week long high pressure system. I waited quietly to launch and felt myself off the hill peacefully without drama.
For the most part it was ok a little busy and a little weak but in the end reliable ridge lift, meaning I could get through my lack of current experience which saw me fall out of turns and be kicked one way then another way by the air, it took a while but I came to let go of the glider and let her fly.
After about 20 minutes my plan had been to land and then launch in cycles as this was the thing I felt the day offered, to practice those things. My first approach was from the north over the pub to the paddock a little high but ok I overshot but was happy with the feel of the approach.
Happy too while I regained altitude that I would join Cookie and others in a nice thermal climbing in a busy gaggle over the pub it was great feeling. The climb was wide and steady up to about 1800amsl then it stopped.
I missed the signal coming from the smooth general sink found everywhere thinking it would be like the rest of the day and I would easily get to the ridge and recover – no – it took me and all the others directly to the bottom field we all made that same mistake.
My landing approach there was messy in my head, I was to conscious of it I think and thought to this then that then this – getting to the ground with lots of speed but my hands on the basebar was wrong. I then waited to transition but waited too long and had no energy left to flare so landed on my face and broke an upright.
While I repaired my glider, felt the aches in my body from a day out in the sun flying and all the other things that go with hang gliding, felt too the beer I shared with my friends from the our “chess night” I thought it a full day. Was happy to be fiddling with my flying stuff happy too that tomorrow looks the same.
Flew for the first time after his accident, his Phantom repaired and he back in shape enough to think to fly. I recognised the sense that those first steps back to the air are difficult ones, but ones we do have to embrace, for me it was only seconds later, as I am sure it was for him, feeling already at home in the air we all love and that calls us continually back to try as much as we can to stay.
Felt a little strange the next day, took ages to get ready to leave the house and then also a while to rig. It was however nice to feel flying to be part of my life again enjoying to shoulder my glider to run and enter the air this is magical.
Only a little flight in what was a scratchy day not offering me much, or maybe in which I did not find much. Launching into a decaying cycle I unfortunately soon felt that things were slackening off so I took a landing in the bowl field, and felt it nice and safe and quiet.
A short quiet peaceful feeling flight.