Welcome to 2 oh one one
Hi to one and all and the very best wishes to you and your families for 2011
While dragging my sorry ass through some far away dusty places
with very little wind to speak of, the guys in the Cape
were getting slapped to death by a series of ludicrous South Easters.
Apparently very much from when I flew out, the howling wind flew in,
and blasted through for 10 days solid, with a mixture of
unpleasant black South Easters and wind that was just
too strong to do anything in. There were reports of as little as two outings
to the slope in the late December period which resulted in the sudden death
of at least two gliders that were prepped and ready for the January Aero event.
Generally this windy period of the year is reserved for the late October to November
part of the year and gets to a reasonable state about the beginning of December,
but this year registered in late and took revenge as a result.
Basically the lads just gave up going to the slope as the only place
holding the wind was St.James, for 2 weeks straight, and when the
black portion of the black South Easters hit, the cloud was so low
that even flying there was impracticable. By the end of December it finally abated
and swung to the opposite extreme. In the new year period, Marc, Christo
and myself took on a series of slope trips, only to get skunked with too
much heat and not much of anything else.
So any thoughts of blissfully practicing everyday for the January event
evaporated about as fast as the water in my birdbath.
Two days of attempting insanely hot slope conditions at Kommetjie
just about broke our spirits, but then we saw a strong South Easter
brewing on the Wednesday. Determined not to miss out we headed
for St.James once again. And blow me down if we were not once more
greeted by a heat build up and once more the specter of wind advancing
down the mountain while the white horses charged gaily across
the bay towards the slope. There has been a long discussion over
whether climbing higher up the mountain may resolve this problem,
hoping to crest above whatever inversion layer, topographical feature etc
may be affecting the area where we fly from. And so Marc, Christo and
myself decided to take a hike, literally, and spent the next hour hiking
to the top of the mountain via the somewhat zigzagging snake like paths.
Once at the top we found a gorgeous look out point and took in
the spectacular Peninsula views laid out before us from horizon to horizon.
Only negative was the fact that the wind was still doing belief defying charges
down the mountain side, and so we seem to have put to bed the dalema
regarding “getting higher to defeat the wind problem” argument once and for all.
A few days rest as everybody just died in the ever present heat,
and refused to be peeled away from the couch, saw the Saturday
approach with predictions of a South Easter going to South later in the day.
A quick clean up of the Red Hill path in the morning
(thanks to all who pitched and helped to clear the path of the annoying alien growth)
had everybody sweating and breathing much better. The wind held true
and while threatening to do the midday switch never did and held out
for a beautiful South Easter day, peaking in the 35km/h range
for the whole afternoon. Plenty of lift, plenty of fun and laughter soon
cleared away the cob webs as all and sundry retreated for
a well earned beer at Dixies. 2 and a half weeks till the TOSS Aerobatics event.
Going to have to practice some time! and soon!