Freesteel Blog » Sunday on The Gyrne

Sunday on The Gyrne

Monday, April 8th, 2013 at 6:54 am Written by:

I was going to do some work today, but instead I went flying, which was far more enlivening, though I would have liked to have got my work done as well.

This is the edited video of my 40 minute flight from today from Gyrn Moelfre with the North Wales Hang Gliding and (mostly) Paragliding Club.

The NWHGPC contains a very unlikely cluster of hang gliders in the Wirral Peninsula, many of whom work in the offshore gas industry. Turns out that ideas of doing offshore work tended to occur after joining the club; it wasn’t that the offshore workers in Liverpool Bay have been persuading one other to take up hang gliding over dinner in the canteen over the years — which would have at least explained the existence of this cluster.

Not that I’m complaining. I’m just embarrassed and confused by this luck. Now I am going to have a lot of temptation to bunk off work that I had absolutely not banked on.

Anyways, their arrangements are passed around with phone calls and text messages, rather than on the bulletin board which the paragliders usefully use, but my comments there yesterday were relayed to the appropriate phone numbers to make this happen.

So keen was I to fly that I got out of bed at 6am and was walking up the hill by 9 to find that there was no wind at all. I parked in a farmyard by a pile of swede-like roots for the sheep and dozed trying to read a magazine while car after car went past me into the field. Pretty soon there were paragliders all over the place, and I hadn’t noticed. Sometime after midday a car with 4 packed hang gliders on the roof arrived and I tried to follow it up the track to the top. My wheels spun part way up the slope, and even reversing didn’t do any better. The four wheel drive made it another couple hundred metres till it hit a snow drift. So I carried up a huge distance, and it wasn’t so bad as long as you take very small steps and stuff jackets into the glider bag for padding. Then I rigged kneeling on a gorse bush while following a summary set of instructions derived from the manual.

By this time it was gloomy and the wind had picked up, driving all but one of the paragliders from the sky.

Only three of us flew (the other two were too lazy to carry their gliders), so I got to borrow someone’s proper vario instead of my antique inaccurate one, and it really made a difference.

Everyone else has these fancy topless gliders, making me feel left out with my intermediate novice Sport 2. And here’s me ever so proud of its colours. It certainly did climb, in spite of my incompetence of ineffective weight shifting (twisting rather than shifting) and frequent turns in sink.

It was lucky I got up high as the designated hang glider landing field is an insane distance away. I could just about make out one orange pixel of the wind sock they’d planted in it. All the fields used by the paragliders close to the hill slope downwards towards tall trees, and many of the fields beyond that contain power lines.

Fortunately the sheep with their little lambs didn’t seem to mind us landing in their faraway field.

Update vid from paragliders on the same day, featuring a few seconds of me rigging.

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