Linda Salamone's Blog

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Task 4 ECC

Writing this now- it seems like ages ago when I was at Highland (I'm starting this on Sunday night). Friday was HOT. Not Arizona-blow-torch-hot, but sweaty, thick, hold-your-head-over-a-boiling-pot-of-water hot. In the launch line, I thought my camelbak was leaking. Um, no, it was the sweat rolling down the back of my legs. I shed my speedsleeves, today it would be 67 degrees at cloudbase. It was slow to begin, the air was inverted and there was obviously no lift. It would feel great in the air but not great to land and carry a glider back to launch again. So we waited. Finally a few people launched and I just got ready and in line behind them. By the time I did get in the air, it started to turn on. I got towed above t he gaggle- nice!- and kept the extra altitude. The other gliders were close together and it looked like Florida gaggles. Finally I had had enough and when I saw Dan Spier turning a ways down the course, I headed out only to find he wasn't climbing at all. Shit! I glanced behind me and saw the entire posse following behind me. I kept gliding and got into serious search mode at 1600'. I smacked right into a little corker and hung onto it and watched 30 gliders beat a path to me like something out of Star Wars. I had several hundred feet on everyone for a bit, then Davis, Kraig and PK were high too. I almost beaned Davis and figured it was time to leave at 4K. I lost most of these guys except PK. I figure he is the guy to stick with. Sonny and John Simon were with me for a long time through the excruciatingly slow climbs with no drift whatsoever along courseline. With my bare arms it felt so good at base, but it was so much work to get there. Sonny seemed plastered to a cloud the whole flight. I couldn't keep up (literally) with these guys and they ONLY turned left so we parted ways. It was fine for a bit but I got so impatient at the end. When I got to the TP, I was at 950' and I thought some birds might help me get out. I hovered there and Kevin came by at my altitude and took a hard left turn. I couldnt imagine where he was going. Did I have my 5030 set right for the next waypoint? I watched him go and tried to get out of that field but I failed. I landed at the TP (an airstrip) and instantly got blasted by the heat. I had been in the air for 3 hours and it had just become hotter on the ground. 3 more landed there and a few went overhead very low- doing the "Mexican Mile" like Charlie Allen called it (and he was one of the ones who actually DID it here) and I broke down with John Simon and Rich C. It was ungodly hot. I swear I have never minded heat so much in my life. No way to get away from it and we had to pack up quick. I had no definite ride and I was miserable abut the heat. Sonny's group came by and gave me a lift back right around the time I thought I would be spending the next few hours there. Sweet! I lucked out with rides all week and got to know each batch of pilots a bit better because of it.
A bunch of people went a bit further than me today but I maintained my 2nd place standing.
Airtime was like 2:55 and alt2 was maybe 5K? I will have to check.


Post a Comment

<< Home