Mussel Rock, Pacifica, 15-17 mph W, Overcast, 11:00am
Set up a reverse launch with the wing on the edge of Lemmings and myself down the hill. I like launching this way in strong wind because it’s easy (and fun) to keep the wing weighted as it pulls me to the top of launch. A quick check of the lines and sky and I took off with good control and speed, turning north once airborne. I noticed a twig caught in the lines near my right wing tip and tried to clear it with a sharp tug on the stabilo. No luck, but it was an inconsequential twig, not worth my attention.
Easily ascended above the cliff tops (970′) where I put a bit more effort into shaking the twig free by stabbing the right brake and pulling the stabilo. No luck, oh well. At no time did this fiddling pull me off course. I was not changing the shape of the wing very much or for very long.
Ventured north until the Stables. I chose a less lifty (but prettier) path where the ridge line pulls back creating the mid-cliff plateau. Better lift is expected closer the ridge. Returned south, this time closer in, regaining most of the height I lost. I chose this route for the camera’s sake, but I wasn’t “flying the camera”. I never strayed far from the lift and had an appropriate altitude cushion (hundreds of feet). I wasn’t distracted, I was following a plan and focused on the flying.
Returned to the main park, lost height with lazy passes over the plateau, out of the lift band. Set up a classic DBF landing on the back gravel road. Touched down on target, but then popped back up and drifted laterally a second or two until coming down for good. Nothing holds a wing down like Star Thistle! (grrrrrrr! It took more than 10 minutes to extract the wing, and felt lucky.)
Great flight up until the wing landed in the thistle.
- Didn’t notice twig in lines before launching.