Sunday, June 27, 2010

To fly or to swim?

Yesterday was my birthday, but the weather was good and so of course I went flying!

'Good' is not epic, in other words it was flyable but nothing to get excited about.  Annecy suited my mood and I was to meet up with Quentin and Damien to fly from Plan Fait above Tailoires.  Ali and the girls came too, unusual these days, and after lunch together in the cafe by the landing field we went our separate ways, I took the Navette to take off whilst the girls went to Tailoires beach to swim.

The day was slow and stable.  I took off without any grand plans but thought a jaunt down to Margeriaz and back might be fun.  After one of the longest and lowest climbs out (45mins) I finally made it to base above the Dents de Lanfon.  However, I was one of less than a handful of gliders that had made it up - we were either luckier or more patient than the 30-40 wings still milling about down at take off height.

I decided to glide across the lake and fly down the Roc des Boeuf.  Back low I had to grovel again, and it took me an age to get back high at the south end.  It seemed that whilst there were climbs high up, there was precious little working low down, not a great XC day.  Checking in with the others (who had flown to La Tournette) on the radio it seems that they too were getting mildly frustarted with the conditions.  That was it, I figured I did not need to be up here battling with this so I set off back to Tailoires, I was heading into wind and with precious little lift around it was going to be a tight glide.  As I crossed over the beach I tried to spot my wife and kids but with no luck, maybe I wasn't as low as I thought!

Once I was back above the landing field I radioed back to Quentine and Damien that I had decided to land to go for a swim.  It was testament to the day that both of them decided that the day was indeed better to suited to swimming and made the same call.  We all met up at the beach a little while later to cool off in the water.  I spent the rest of the afternoon having fun with the family before finishing the day witha beautiful meal overlooking the lake.  What a pefect birthday!

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