Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Flew the Lighthouse again!

After claiming the dubious honour of being the first person to fly the Lighthouse in an Easterly on my first day here, today after waiting all day for Pap Hill to come on as forecast, I was the first and almost certainly the last person to fly the lighthouse in a Southerly.  I spent the morning climbing all over the range looking for take-off sites and watching the Wedgies and Hawks thermalling. It will take me weeks to get all the spinifex out of my ankles, its horrible stuff.
 I put up windsocks at the likely top and bottom landing areas (I'm learning) and even left little caches of water. The plan was to try and soar the range in the forecast SW and if I bombed out I would have some water to help me deal with the probably couple of hour trek back up the top again. The wind did the usual Exmouth thing, on the E side it was blowing a 1 0knot SE and on the west side it was blowing a 15knot S with the wind alternating between slight tail and pure 90' crosswind.
I even got Gav up there after work as I was so keen to fly. As it turned out it stayed a howling southerly, 15-20knots by the time that out of frustration and to prove to Gavin just how good the funs auto land feature is, I took off from the top of the southerly facing canyon at the back of the lighthouse. It was strong so I shot straight up like a rocket, but the air was very angry air and rough with big holes in it. I instantly forgot about top landing even though I might have had the height. I landed about a third of the way down the canyon carefully dodging bushes and rocks. It was howling down there too so I flat de-rigged the fun and Gav helped me carry it all back up again. Gav made a very interesting stir fried rice pudding this evening after a slight timing error.  Right now the wind is a light WNW. I will be up on Pap hill again first thing in the morning hoping for that elusive first fly there. I'm finally in a caravan park, the rangers here are persistent.

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