Today I flew cross country. Okay, a mini-XC. About 2.2 miles to be precise. Along a coastal ridge line. No more than 300' above the shore. Nothing for the record book but it was fantastic!
Around 11:30 this morning, hubby and I rolled up to the Wilderness Beach Hotel where it was blowing like crazy. And despite my usual reticence to launch in high winds, I decided to have a go. Good thing Josh was there to help as within a few second of bringing up my glider, I was face forward, flying backwards a few feet off the ground with no hope of getting off the hillside on my own. I little too strong of wind for me to launch. But, alas, I cleared the cliff with Josh pushing me from behind. Smiling and happy to be off the hill, I rose gently into the sky and preceded to have a lovely flight!
A few minutes later Josh safely launched himself and we were off, exploring the coastline, peering into the tide pools from a few hundred feet up and being careful not to get blown back into the humongous mansions staring out at the Indian Ocean from atop the bluff. It was pure joy seeing that turquoise blue water, sandy shore and rocky pools below as we soared along the verdant cliffs with blue sky above.
Since it was so easy to stay aloft, we made a lap down to the next flying site, Kleinkranz, and then back to the hotel. On the second tag of Kleinkranz, I sank out and landed in the dunes below. Serious bummer. I had forgotten how hard it is to walk up a dune carrying a glider balled up. I even tried to kite my wing up the dune, hoping for a lazyman's tow up the slippy sand hill, but only succeeded in packing my glider full of sand so that my load was all the more hefty when I returned to slogging up the slope.
Eventually I made it to the launch at Kleinkranz and although the other pilots we bagging it in the name of strong winds, I deemed the conditions to be lot mellower than my earlier launch so I decided to have another go. A perfect launch and some serious scratching later, I was once again aloft, heading towards Josh on the ridge and feeling mighty proud of myself. We reconnected above the beautiful ocean and soared back to the hotel and a tad beyond before my hunger finally overtook me. It was time to land. Again. This time by choice.