Couldn’t leave the house till 6:30 when Dawn’s alarm went off. At Placida Meadows it was light out of the east.
I set up very deliberately and then, aborted in a most clumsy manner, when I realized that I was wearing my straw cowboy hat instead of my helmet. For just a moment, after I’d pulled the trigger. I considered the odds of letting go the brake and tossing the hat to the side before committing to take off and it might have worked, considering the gentle way the wing kind of hovered overhead after I killed the engine.Oh well… I reset the wing and stumbled into the sky with the glider swinging right and left. It wasn’t pretty but I’d broken the fast.
The motor ran fine. I climbed above a large group of egrets resting in a swampy pond and dove down on them with the sun at my back. They all launched together and immediately split into three parts, left, right and beneath me. As I flew between them they swung around and returned to their spot on the pond. The air was already beginning to lose stability. It was bumpy from the surface to 250 feet and again at 900 feet. At 1200 ft. the onshore breeze was increasing and I could see an army of low puffy cumulus marching inland. The air was calm at Gasparilla Marina but it was beginning to stir up the water on the lee side of Gasparilla Island. After 20 minutes I returned to the truck and landed without drama.
I’m going to have to make an effort to get out more often. Once a month might be enough to keep my skills current but on the ground and in the air I felt anything but sharp. I was tentative on the brakes and to stiff in the saddle. Maybe tomorrow I can get back out and work on the basics.