Saturday, September 23, 2006

Surfing Glory Part 3 (Go down the page for the first parts)

Even though I was flying as fast as I could to stay out of it and it was obviously a very powerful cloud, it was very smooth. The theory is that when the cloud forms the energy is concentrated according to its height, so the higher clouds that we have had previously move much slower. I was feeling pretty comfortable with my position in front of the cloud, but was really starting to get bothered by the lack of roads or landing options directly beneath me. The way I was looking at things I was not entirely sure how long the cloud would tolerate my presence and if I lost the lift I was in I was going to be on the ground within a minute, possibly landing in a gust front too,so I wanted a nice clear area and preferably a road too.  I decided my priority was staying over a safe landing area, rather than getting maximum distance and so I started tracking left to get closer to the one gravel road that I could see. I was flying the fun at a speed that meant I was slowly losing height and staying in front of the cloud, or I could slow down and go up over the cloud. I decided that going over the top would be a bad thing, I knew that a couple of hang glider pilots have been through the middle of it and survived so I figured this was the least bad option if I could not outrun it forever.
Several times the cloud caught me and then le me go again, the lift does extent into the cloud a fair way, I was accidentally whited out once and then flew back out the front of the cloud and kept going.

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