Arrived at the field 15 minutes before dawn. There was a low cloud cover and it was very dark. One patch of lightness was visible showing the only opening in the clouds. I had decided to bag it and drove almost back to Gasparilla Rd when I noticed that the clouds were starting to lift and break up.
Ten minutes later I was back at the launch where it was looking much better. There were a couple of blue holes I could use to get above the clouds and I could see that it would be possible to get glimpses to the surface good enough to keep my bearings.
The launch was normal and I enjoyed a nice cloud flight finishing with a beautiful glory that was captured very nicely by the wing cam. The landing was soft and witnessed by my cycling friend , 87 year old Otis.
Nice but nervous flight. Without back up to help if I got in trouble, it was necessary to stay a little higher than I wanted. It affected the quality and without internet I couldn’t tell that or was fuzzy. So, it’s not my best piece but it was certainly a memorable flight.
I did get the satisfaction of helping a few of my friends find their boat and see if it was still on its feet. John Miller and Glenn Cattanach did the preview. Maybe I’ll add a few stills and trim it a little more before I put it to bed..
Had to reset from crosswind launch when breeze came up square down runway#1.
Steve F. came by after I landed and invited me to join him. Unfortunately I’d had my flight and was done for the morning. I packed up and met him at his LZ where I watched him launch and land. We chatted a bit and swapped phone #s.
Proud of myself. Instead of trying a tricky crosswind launch, I checked my map and discovered that 1/4 mile up the road it turned right into the wind. Looking back I could have moved the set-up 200 ft. farther up so that the trees could have funneled the airflow. Could have caused mechanical rotor at the wingtips. Not sure….
Anyway, the wing came up straight and stable, I powered up and was rewarded with a very fast takeoff. Just a tiny brake input popped me above the trees before I got there. The air was mixing and there were rain showers predicted . I did a lazy lap and set down after 15 minutes. The landing was very slow and soft. I regretted landing so quickly and dawdled around the LZ waiting for the weather to degrade. It didn’t. It stayed at level 3 bumps for 30 minutes before it got too spicy to fly.