Linda Salamone's Blog

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Nats, Day 3 Task 3
I need to call this post WHITE TRASH FLYING.
Big task set with the Ridge as goal. Really windy on the ground at times, and the task was upwind to start (by mistake, I am guessing- the forecast was OFF). Rhett tows me up, and I am surprised when he starts circling over the field in lift at 300'. It is drifting us past the field ( or it will) so I start pointing upwind. He sees me at 900', pointing like I am, and he turns all the way around to look back at me and points south. I affirm that direction with another pointing, and Rhett IMMEDIATELY takes a hard right, putting a nice long loop in the tow line, that results in a little SNAP as my weaklink breaks. Pretty funny. So I land, and get to the end of the line. Others are re-lighting so I am not alone. I get Neil next, and he tows FAST so I prepare myself and now the wind is light on the field. Obvious large thermal over the orange grove.... I am 30' off the deck and Neil hits t he thermal, doesn't climb, and I hit the thermal... and climb. Now I am looking way down on him and I know I'll get the rope soon, so I give it to him. I turn and land in the gust that is blowing through the launch line now. Third tow... I get Rhett. And doesn't he just fly straight upwind, never taking a turn.... sweet! I climb out to almost 5K but I am back downwind of the field. It's blowing 16mph and I yoyo out of the start circle. I see a glider down early on and spend the rest of the time making just a mile or two progress with each thermal. I got stinking low around 5 miles before the first TP and at 500' I was waffling around with some brownish birds over a farm. I vacillated between 800' and 500' and kept chasing these damn birds until I was almost back over a swamp. I then see a large white bird, off to my right, going up FAST. I calculate the risk of following it at my 500' and decide to try. I move under it and hit the lift hard and it almost pushes me out. I grab a hold and try to stay under the "bird". As I climb, I realize it's climbing better than me, and that it is NOT a bird, in fact, it is a garbage bag. White trash. And it is outclimbing me.....Which reminds me of Lauren Tjaden.....(gotcha, Lauren).
Well I had a 5000' gain right there and wound up tagging the TP. But it's late, the sky has shut down, and I go basically on a long glide towards the next TP. Nice to not be fighting the wind... I have a nice landing and a nice long wait for my retrieve (gotcha, Ron).
I saw Paris drive by while I waited, he musta landed behind me. Wow....
Great flight, lotta work. We are getting kind of tired. Don't know how I did yet but soon...


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