Awoke at 6:00. Dawn was up and had been for awhile. It was predicted to be windy but right now it was calm. What the hell….I pulled on some pants and headed out. At the field it was barely blowing from the east. I motored out to the runway across from Richards house and set up for a 30 degree crosswind launch. The wing wasn’t directly into the wind but I didn’t want to inflate it pointing directly at Richards. It came up extremely high on the right side but I was able to give it some brake and turn the wing down the runway. Liftoff was quick and relatively clean. Heading east I climbed through some class 5 bumps and then passed through the surface layer into warmer and smoother air. I layed on the throttle and continued to climb to 400 feet. The GPS was showing 10 mph so I continued to climb.
Ahead of the winds. 867 Shell Creek
It was a beautiful morning. There was a thick marine layer but no fog. Visibility was good enough to see Punta Gorda but not Burnt Store. At 600 feet I’d slowed to 4 mph and at 650 I was going 16 mph BACKWARDS! The winds were probable 50 mph. I had not changed the trim or switched to tip stearing yet and could have gone to reflex and might have penetrated.
Decending to 400 feet I regained forward motion but it was bumpy. I turned west and was over the field in a blink. The GPS showed top speed of 58mph.
The landing was fine. I decended almost vertically and pulled one S turn at 100 feet, touching down at the corner of Frank’s and Skydive SWF.
By the time I had dismounted and gathered the wing, the winds were coming down to the surface so I kited for awhile and packed up.
It wasn’t a long flight but I got my fix. 🙂