A Trip to the Shire.
The threat of top end wind speeds had split our warriors into two teams. Moorfoots for the wary. Tinto for the optimistic.
I ended up at Tinto with Stephen P and Alistair T. Once again, a good contingent had travelled up from the Shire.
No mincing today. We were up and off shortly after 11am. Even at that, we weren't first off. I think three of the lads from down south were at base before us.
Stephen and I managed to stick together for all of an hour, when just south of Coulter Fell, we got low enough that I felt the need to take to foot. It was an altitude issue, the lack of. Stephen did manage to scrape onwards and get a low save on the other side of the ridge.
Alone again, after a short walk, I relaunched and climbed out. I noted at this point, at least Tim Bridle hasn't drifted overhead yet, so this must be my best flight to date.
The going was easy, all the way to the Grey Mares Tail, where I got a magnificent view of same. Now almost back to hill height on the south side of the valley, with no sign of a convincing climb, I pushed on to the Ettrick valley. Thoughts went to Tommy, son of the Ettrick. Not heard from him this year?
I blunder into a cracking climb on the transition. A gift from Tommy, I consider.
The thermals are now solid and connected to the clouds, without inversion. Life is good and progress is fast. I can see Langholm in the distance and I'm reminded that, unusually, the adjacent danger area is active. I have an urgent need to head cross wind to the south west and at the same time avoid the approaching seabreeze front. The race is on to round Langholm as quickly as possible. Great climbs and bouyant glides make this straight forward.
As I head downwind again, drifting in fairly bouyant air, I decide to slow down and eke out my flight.
Now in shade, with no sign of sun ahead, I slowly lose altitude and land just over the border in Low Row.
I later learn that both Stephen and Alistair managed to blast past Langholm, avoiding airspace, but came to grief shortly after. Seabreeze? Great flights though, a PB for Al.
Many good flights were had from both, Moorfoots and Tinto. The season appears to have started in Scotland, at long last.