What a day of promises and hopes. RASP looked as though it was the best day of the year, which for many it was.
I decided to pop down to Lasham and get a high aerotow to allow me a quick drop down to Butser hill on the west end of the Southdowns. My cunning plan was to fly the ridge to Lewes and back to Butser, then to make my way towards Gloucester and (hopefully) beyond.
I watered up filling the wings with about a hundred and fifty pounds of water, updated my ClearNav with current airspace and waypoints on the grid at Lasham (thanks Nigel M for the use of your memory stick) and took a glide down to the Southdowns. I remembered to keep Basingstoke
somewhere behind me so I knew I was off in the right sort of direction. In no time at all I got to Butser and flew down the ridge crossing Steyning and on towards Lewes. It was peaceful and I didn’t see another glider- for a while. On my way back towards Butser I couldn’t see anything other than gliders! They were everywhere, below me, above, by the side of me; I didn’t order this when I took off.
Once clear of the Southdowns and heading back towards Rivar which I’d put in as a waypoint, and trying to keep well clear of Southampton airspace I found the conditions great, strong thermals but also strong sink. I pushed into a 20 knot headwind, albeit with a battery that died within a couple of hours of being switched on; I shut down all but essential stuff and made my way across the countryside eventually getting to Hungerford where they sky wasn’t at all what I’d expected.
At this point, and having drank a lot of water I decided to have a mid air crisis and on relieving myself found I wasn’t at all relieved as my ‘plumbing’ system had gone horribly wrong. At height the temperature was just above freezing (don’t worry well get back to the plumbing saga), so my feet were like blocks of ice, my vent for the cockpit was firmly shut and I was faffing about with the electrics trying to make sense of what’d gone wrong. It was not a moment for good karma in the cockpit.
Now, after my incontinence break I was rather damp around my mid-drift and getting colder by the minute.
Rivar hill was beckoning, it would have been so easy to let down into the field, probably to be welcomed by my good friends and flying buddies with a degree of sympathy and understanding of my unbelievable misfortune and series of unfortunate events.
Ok, so the truth, and I’d expect nothing less, would be everyone falling about calling me ‘Chrissy Pissy Pants’, which is what I was. They almost certainly wouldn’t have been able to help me push the glider to the launch point due to laughing so I kept with the half knot thermal and decided to drift back to Lasham where I could land in a far corner of the field and creep surreptitiously to my car, there to sit for a while with the heating on and my arse pressed into the dashboard.
I got back to Lasham, landed in a far flung corner warmed up in my car and retrieved my glider.
After a chat with Liz and others I drove back to Rivar to finish my day off smelling like an orthopaedic chair in an OAP’s home.
It was great!
Great day out and four hours flying, oh and an unexpected boil wash with extra fabreeze!