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Good (good) Friday

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Having chosen to come up for just two days of the Easter long weekend the chance of suffering mediocre flying conditions on the days I had chosen is always high. Did I pick the right day to come out on Good Friday? The day was not looking good on the drive over Cunningham’s Gap and I was greeted by totally overcast, mushy conditions on arrival at the airfield. So I didn’t bother to DI my glider and run the wing instead for Dan who keen as ever was on the launch ready to get a tow into totally uninspiring air. I then spent the next hour or so in the clubhouse not bothering to look outside when I get a phone call from Dan which went along the lines of “I’m at 6,000ft in 4kts on the Range, get your arse up here you slacker!”

That was a call to arms and I ventured a peek out the clubhouse door to see that conditions had indeed improved and sun was on the ground with the clouds changed from the previous ragged, scuddy clouds to recognisable cumulus shapes. I got to the Bugs hangar pronto, DI’d and was on the launch to be met by Phil who was tuggie for the day who confirmed it was definitely “going orrf”. The radio chatter was about connecting with a cloudstreet which had set up going SW so once I got a decent 3kt climb I headed in that direction. Cloudbase was 6,500ft and I ran the cloudstreet for its full distance 35km SW from the airfield before turning and heading back along it to the NE.

Dan reported meeting convergence on the Range east of Clifton so I headed that way going along the now decaying SW-NE cloudstreet. I would turn back for home if the numbers above glide didn’t look good. Another 35km glide and I connected with the convergence as well. It was setting up and moving south as well as west with a clear step in the clouds. It was just like slope soaring turning parallel to the convergence in a zone about 500m wide. Simply stunning.

Time for a few photos and enjoy this unique form of flying. This was not the summer type of seabreeze convergence we sometimes get in the summer months when there is strong convection but a light SE flow on the main part of the Range meeting a light westerly flow on the other side. After a good half an hour playing with the clouds I headed back to land, an enjoyable 2hr flight which I couldn’t have imagined having done looking at the sky in the morning. So it just goes to show its not just about getting out to the airfield but not to be put off by what may seem like mediocre conditions, things change! (Val reported similar conditions the next day as well with nice climbs up the side of the convergence clouds).

I finished off the day by dropping in to see Dieter's hangar and admire it and the ASH we got to enjoy a classic sunset.

Thanks Dan for the kick up the arse !

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