Morning Glory Cloud

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

Friday, October 1, 2010

From Sunny Burketown

I made it! I made it! I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming!
 It wasn’t looking too good this morning when I couldn’t get a lift to the airport. I was all ready to go at 7am but the taxi guy’s phone kept ringing out. Cloncurry’s only taxi and driver had been very busy last night and into this morning. The poor guy has to sleep sometime, I guess. Unlike some noisy neighbours who got home around 3.30 am and kept their party going with doof doof until just past 5. I forgot it was Friday night.
I ended up getting off the ground about 10am. Big blue sky, I seemed to have it all to myself. All the Cloncurry pilots must have had a good one last night too. The wide open flats looked amazing from the air. I saw a few cars along the road and wondered what it would look like at ground level. What critters could be seen going about their business.  Must be an amazing road trip. One of the other guys here drove up with his plane on a trailer, all the way from Tassie, I think.
Aside from the extended leg from Charleville to Winton with the great tailwind - this was the longest planeed leg, distance wise - just under 350km. The cu’s appeared a bit before half way. Cloud base was around 5,500 feet. I thought of sneaking up the top of them, but decided it would me more fun scooting around them around the same height.  I love doing that!  At one point it looked like they were creating a passage for me – kind of a cloud version of a red carpet, I thought to myself.  The cu’s mostly finished up about 100km from Burketown.  I could just make out the Gulf of Carpenteria in the distant haze. The landscape was that of the photos I’ve been dreaming of for months.  I was here. I had a ‘moment’, then I took a deep breath and made my final inbound radio call: “Traffic Burketown, Motor Glider Foxtrot –Lima-Kilo is one-zero miles to the south inbound on descent, passing 4500, traffic Burketown”.
I was immediately welcomed by some fellow glider pilots who have arrived here in the past weeks and were out enjoying themselves in their motorgliders.  Some have been here for weeks and have yet to have had a Morning Glory Cloud come past. Still, it doesn’t stop them from having a fly.
There were more welcomes on the ground, along with some tantalizing news:  the Glory may be here in the next few days. Fingers Crossed!
Here come the cu's....
Thinking, thinking - above? below? between?

The cloud 'red carpet'. I think it has to be between!

Getting some lift between the two clouds

That was fun

Real fun!

Getting close to Burketown. It's on the river near the middle of the picture. Not really big enough to make out.

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