Sunday was a warm sunny day with light and variable westerly winds. Cumulus clouds were building as Kate and I decided it was a good day to visit our friends in Hamilton. We turned 45U east, settled into an easy cruise and enjoyed the green mid-summer scenery below.
Arriving at Hamilton we could see from the upwind leg to RWY 17 that the days' soaring was about to get under way.
This was the first time I've managed to connect with the club this year and I was happy to find Jay, Brett, Kevin and Joe on the field.
I like the club's 4-wheeler. I've never been on one before but had the opportunity to drive it with the L-33 in tow and Brett walking the wing. Why does everything move at any speed except walking speed?
Brett was the first to go.
I ran as quick as I could to try for a shot of Kevin through the windscreen of 18L, but got to the tow plane about the time he began his takeoff roll.
While I was in the staging area Joe invited me along for a ride in 'Big Red'. It's been a couple years since sitting in a glider and quite a bit longer since sitting in the back of the 2-33. Yet, as soon as I was strapped in it felt as though no time had passed since then.
Off tow I pointed out a small cloud that was close. Joe headed towards it. As happens so often, the moment you turn towards a promising cloud it immediately begins fall apart. We never made it to the far windward side where lift might have been, as sink was already pushing us lower.
Looking for other options, Joe turned back east towards a nice bump we felt earlier in the tow but we only passed through a short area of zero sink.
Back over the hills northeast of the field and again a momentary teasing of zero sink as Joe called pattern entry. Approaching base leg we finally found some lift, however it was too late. We were in the pattern and committed to landing.
Thanks for the ride Joe! It felt great to fly in a sailplane again.
Kate flying us home