Morning Glory Cloud

Morning Glory Cloud
Morning Glory over Massacre Inlet (photo: Diane Davey)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Burketown Day 10 – Worth the wait

I think I mentioned in yesterday’s post that we were planning on leaving today. I even started packing up the glider with the bottom layer of stuff – tent, sleeping bag, etc.  There was a fair bit of discussion last night and the consensus had been to stay another day.  This was based on some bad weather coming through later this week which would have all of us spend some time (get stuck) in various locations around Queensland, depending on our individual routes home. My argument to stay a few more days was based on the thought of being stuck in one of these towns as the Morning Glory sailed over Burketown. We should wait a couple of days, hopefully get the Glory, then go home after the bad weather goes past. It worked, but only for a short time. This morning, the consensus had changed and departure was back on today’s agenda. We were still going up to have a look though - we were still here, after all (stay with me, you’ll see why this is relevant shortly).
FLK was still the sniffer ship, so would be taking off first. Got rid of the tent, etc and wiped the dew off the wings. Hmmmm, dew on the wings. I wonder if... nah, it did the same thing the other day and there was nothing.
Dumped my stuff in the Savannah Lodge Rav4, Erich hopped in, and off we went. The sunrise looked its usual gorgeous self, there were a few cus popping here and there, mostly out to sea. We could also see a bit of something off to the north west. Brian and Paul soon overtook us in the Dimona, as did Geoff in the Pik 20E. They radioed back that not much was happening and that they were headed back to Burketown. We thought the something warranted a bit more exploration. There was definitely something happening, and we were going to find out.
The bands of cloud were not very well formed at first. The lift also appeared to be in the ‘wrong’ spot – this is what threw Brian and Paul off (plus the fact they were pretty loaded up given the departure plans). As we went further the system revealed itself more and more and it all started to make sense. It was truly spectacular. Phil, I really wish you were here to experience it with me.
Now, the reason I went on about the preamble was that it provides the context for my stuff up. I left the high res camera in the bag. On the ground. It gets worse... I left the memory card for the other camera in my laptop last night when I downloaded the photos for this blog. Ooops.  So I’ve got my iphone pictures and Erichs pictures so all is not lost. Here are a few of my faves.
Things are getting better, smooth cloud surface. The air was smooth as silk for the whole flight.

The 'crest' of one of the Glory waves. there were 2 systems (and a 3rd further on). You can see one of the waves to the left of the photo, going off into the distance. It intersected another system running in the direction we are flying, which was stronger and went out to sea as far as the eye can see.

You can see the cloud we are on at the bottom of the frame, also the lower, intersecting waves in the distance.

The stronger system had a stronger edge you can see here.

180 degrees from the previous shots, going along the front of the wave

Another 180 degres and you can see the line curving around and going forever over the sea

Celebration jellies.

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