Seeing the powerlines race up as my vario moaned loudly had me unzip 5 mins into a flight under an active promising sky – bollox, I thought. Later, 90 minutes later, I would be climbing above a beautiful sinuous gleaming white sailplane over Truleigh waving at each other feeling the privilege gifted to us through our ability to escape the earth for these finite moments of freedom – how lucky are we.
This time I found myself more at ease, more connected so more able to stay up than the feast and famine I experienced last week. It left me more confident and more at ease although this time I was challenged by the need to share with others. John Birchall and I had a bit of a miss communication where I was established in a thermal and not willing to move and he came from the coast seeming to be waving at me so after 2 x similar encounters I moved out the way only then never properly reconnecting with that bit of lift – the data for that part of the flight was clear – I was a bit pissed off. Later on the ground I realised that through his eyes “I had flown directly at him” so it was a question of perception – and its this impossibility of knowing what the other is thinking or seeing through their own eyes that leaves you, or me, not happy to be sharing – ironic in so far as it was only us 2500ft above in the middle of the sky with no one else to think about and we got in each other’s way.
One moment that I want to remember is getting all the way to base, people talk about this as if it is normal but I have personally struggled to make it all the way – especially if it is higher, so today I was determined and did get there in the end, screamed a bit in the whispies.
Later I would find myself in quiet air – float around feeling deeply content and then take a landing in the bowl field with lots of speed only to be dumped unceremoniously on the grass in the high contrast wind gradient – an ignominious but rather gentle arrival after a lovely flight.