A dubious forecast had Dougal, Tom, Jim and i thinking it would be one of those days, that the wind is off the hill, wherever you go! We had all made the trip to Belstone, Robert Greenwood had brought 3 new pupils for some ground handling training down the bottom, and after umming and ahhhing for ten minutes we decided to walk out and see what was happening on the hill.
We were greeted with a nice breeze bang on the hill, bonza! We all launched to find the air bouyant but quite stable, we flew for about half an hour or so until a lull in the wind and a switch to the southeast put us on the deck for lunch.
It stayed a bit off to the southeast for a while, there were some anxious moments as we were batting around at ridge height between the weak cycles. The cycle kicked in again and we were all lifted up to a much more pleasant height, i found a good climb and started to circle, the lift seemed to be moving all over the place and Dougie and I climbed in surges. Dougie had the better of it and got some good height, i tried following but never found what he had.
I saw him sack it and start gliding back to the ridge, i was still just about going up so stuck with it for a little while until i too lost it. Oh bugger. I hit the speed bar to get to the ridge, then flew right back into the core, wahey!
Circling for ahwile i was going up then it levelled out, i was slowly circling back over the cars, staying level again at what seemed to be the kind of height where it was best to sack it! Sod it just keep going, again i found more lift, and again it was very hard to stay climbing at a steady rate, the climb topped out pretty much over the A30, so i set my sights for a large golf course, with lots of buildings and a big car park, when i got there i found pretty much nothing! a few blips but not much more.
In the distance i saw a farmer ploughing a field, it had a couple of plantations on the way, so decided to give it a go, nothing but heavy sink really, i got a few blips here and there, managed to circle over the field acouple of times in zeros, until the inevitable came! Touchdown.
A chat to the farmer and i decided to walk into Northlew, which by all accounts was a mile and half away, Bullsh**!
It was a very pleasant walk along a bridle path, through lush green valleys, i eventually found a road again, found my way once more, until i was saved by a bus driver on his way to pick up a party from a pub, he very kindly dropped me at Jethros. Walking in the way of Bridestowe I was picked up by a very nice lorry driver who dropped me at Sourton, i had a pint in the Prewley Moor Arms, then Dougie came by to pick me up! Thanks mate! A bit of a round the houses retrieve, with 5 or so miles walking!
All in all a nice day out!