After what has seemed like for ever, the last couple of days have seen paraglidable wind speeds. I went to Bradwell yesterday afternoon (with about 40 others) and it was lovely just to be in the air again.
Over the last couple of weeks, I think I’d resigned myself to the fact that winter had arrived, so the warm and thermic conditions were a pleasant surprise to me. There was clearly some wave influencing (and augmenting) thermals, and although nobody left the hill, it felt almost XC-able, and we all had plenty of opportunity to practice thermaling again after three weeks of dull and windy weather.
Camphill was active, so we were occasionally sharing the air with sailplanes. To us they seem like highly efficient sharks, but to them, we must seem like virtually stationary jellyfish! Quite a few of us flew the length of the ridge past Durham Edge where wave was a bit more pronounced. The gliding club would probably rather we kept well away to the north (or ideally not fly Bradwell Edge at all!) so when flying the Camphill end, I feel it’s particularly important to demonstrate that although we jellyfish might be slow, we can be considerate! Anyone flying Bradwell needs to have a good awareness of Camphill’s launching procedure, landing patterns and general flying needs. So it was good to hear one of the paraglider pilots (Andy Gaskell) reminding us all of this and advising us of the gliding club’s need to have plenty of clear space at the release point over their winch.
Let’s hope for more days like this before winter really sets in!