Thursday, September 25, 2008

Washed Up

I took a calculated risk this afternoon, but I came out on the wrong end of the equation: rather than follow Jim to the LZ, I opted to fly out over the ocean through a narrow gap in a line of incoming squalls, but the gap closed behind me as the squall line stalled over the bay. I finally had to dive back into the soup to try and stay up, but I found nothing but rainy sink near the ridge. In a final desperate miscalculation, I tried to topland at the low north launch, but I underestimated the sink and crashed into a bramble patch below the cliff at the bottom. At least I'm not injured, but once again the price of this lesson is a drizzly couple of hours picking my lines out of the brambles and a soaking wet bundle of muddy gear. Can I stop learning this one now, please?

1 comment:

Alex said...

A sad footnote to the soggy wing saga:

Last night I hung up my glider to dry, on the clothesline under the roof in our back area, and I draped the lines and risers over the picnic table back there. Dorothy was concerned for our geriatric dog Jack because some of the lines were hanging across the floor, but somehow I thought he would cleverly just avoid them, despite the fact that they probably exuded the tantalizing damp scent of a muddy pig-infested hillside.

So this morning, Dorothy came downstairs at her usual pre-dawn wakeup time of 4:45 am only to find Jack trussed up in the lines like a turtle in a net, panting and whining. The poor old guy was so happy to see her - and we really don't know how long he was stuck there. I hope it wasn't all night! But it was long enough for him to stay pretty freaked out afterwards.

I hope this harrowing experience didn't take too many dog years off his already long life. And selfishly, I hope the poor old pooch didn't have to pee while he was caught in my makeshift dog trap, and also that he didn't try to gnaw his way out of the entanglement. As I sorted out the lines later this morning I could see at least one with a severe frayed sheath, but for all I know that happened during the soggy bramble crash yesterday. I'll have to do a more thorough check as soon as it stops raining out here and I can take the glider out on the grass.

While I'm at it, I'm pretty sure I should also repack my reserve - the harness is still damp this morning.

Sigh. I guess this is just another good lesson for me - all parts of wet gliders should be hung high out of harm's way.