Morning Glory Cloud

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

Friday, October 1, 2010

Long Day to Cloncurry

I’m sitting here in Cloncurry waiting for the pizza I ordered for dinner to be delivered.  I arrived quite late today because I waited for a while for the wind to calm down at Winton, which means I didn’t get going until 2pm.  I’m quite relieved that they deliver as I’ve been advised against walking around town, particularly after dark (must be one of the towns in the book - see previous post).
Well.  What.  A.  Day. I was all geared up for an early start – got to the airport just after 7am. It was windy. Then it got more windy....
The delay due to wind allowed me the pleasure of meeting one of the locals who flies his drifter around Winton.  Monty LOVES his drifter. I think everyone I’ve met who has a drifter loves it. I think it must be similar to what I love about gliding - you just get a really good feel for the air, and it’s perfectly acceptable to tootle around with no particular place to go.  It’s just about getting off the ground and having a bit of fun.
Monty’s wife Carol makes the best sandwiches in Queensland (thanks Carol!)  I don’t think I would have made it to Cloncurry if it wasn’t for Carol’s sandwich! It was a loooooong trip today.
The sky was full of cumulus clouds and the day had warmed up a fair bit when the wind finally calmed down. I knew it was going to be an interesting leg. The sky was absolutely booming with thermals, which of course, I could not resist. I haven’t checked out the spot tracking, but it must look like I wasn’t moving much – horizontally, anyway. I can tell you there was plenty of vertical movement.  The cloud base at 2pm was about 4,500 feet, by  4pm, it had gone up to 7,000 feet.  There was strong lift, but also HUGE areas of heavy sink.  I’d gain some height, then lose it all getting  to the next thermal, then circle back up in order to cross the next ‘ditch’.  It was great to have a soaring style flight but it did make for a very long and tiring day. I was glad to see Cloncurry. I just managed to sneak in before a Qantas Link Dash 8 Jet landed after me. 
Got to go – pizza’s here.

Monty and his Drifter. Monty and his wife Carol are the type of people you hope you will run into when you go away somewhere: genuine, friendly and kind.

Getting to cloud base. Not much around here on the ground.

Taking photos as you thermal is a good way to get a bad photo and fall out of the thermal.

Cu's thinning out as I get closer to Cloncurry

Cloncurry at last!

Wish they'd give me a hand with my bags too!
My little stepladder is not holding up too well in the heat.

Cloncurry Airport sunset. Magic.

1 comment:

  1. Have alerted the Pilots at Savanah of your impending arrival. I hope they saved the best of the wine for your celebration.
    Best thing is bring the good weather with you as they havn't had a ride yet.
    Looks like the biggest gathering on the strip so far so it will be busy. The Council has learnt it's lesson after last year and provided tie downs which is great.
    We couldn't make it this year (pending arrival of first Grandchild which arrived on Wednesday) so will leave it up to you to have our share this year. Have fun.