I had a great time flying at St John, although it was not a good soaring day.
I launched in a very light headwind, and the cycles were very, very weak and far apart. It was ok, I ran and launched fine. I turned left and went to the switchbacks, as I was told, and in indeed I found some lift. I never got over launch altitude, but that’s ok, I climbed enough to keep on going.
It was fun cycling with someone else. Ben and I got very close circling in the same thermal, but he’s someone with a lot of experience and I trust him. He’s flying a much better performance glider with a much better performance harness, as soon as he left the thermal, he was just gone. I thermalled at full VG and was not able to keep up.
After a few minutes playing around, I realized I still did not know where the designated LZ was, May’s. So instead of playing there any longer, I decided to head that way.
Air was very very smooth in the valley, which was great, but my altitude was dropping like crazy! I started flying on top of the road, there are fields around it, just in case I had to land.
Finally, I found a thermal on top of a farm. I was just thinking in which field to land when my vario went off! Whew! I thermalled from 2200ft to 3300ft. Once I topped it out, I continue to the LZ. In other words, I went from about 700ft to 1800ft above ground in that thermal.
Finally, I made it to town, saw a glider down there, and boom! The LZ appeared out of nowhere. Heh, and for a second I thought I was the first one to make it. There were only 3 more pilots flying when I landed; Zac, Wane, and Ben.
The landing was unevenly, but fun. Flew in between trees and flared just right. Landed on my feet.