Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 4th June 2017

With the forecast showing a trough line arcing neatly from Plymouth over the SW peninsula to Wales, there was a sense of foreboding as we gathered in the clubhouse at 9am. Sure enough, by 9:15am the rain was rattling on the porch roof so loudly it drowned out the noise of the diesel generator. So no flying this morning, then. There was the prospect of a post trough clearance, however, at around lunchtime (a concept about as vague as an auctioneer’s valuation on ‘Bargain Hunt’…) so we remained optimistic that flight might be possible ‘later’.
Better In than Out: rainwater streams past Colin’s van beside the hangar.
So it was out with the books (for new Junior member Charlotte Duffy, capably being ‘mentored’ by Paula Howarth into realising that her favourite supermarket is no longer ‘Morrison’s’, but ‘ASDA’..!), simulator (Rich Roberts discovering just how low you can get away from on the slopes at Denbigh) and ‘To Do’ list (Martin Cropper deciding that, after a decade or so, the leaves in the gutter and drainpipe really did deserve to be cleared out). Note that only one of these involved getting wet (see photo…)

Martin Cropper looks pleased to be donning latex to clear out the guttering.
At about the aforesaid ‘lunchtime’, the hammering on the roof having abated on one or two occasions, it was decided to send a search party onto the airfield to look for blue holes in the cloudscape. In this task they were, in part, successful in managing to give chase to a few that scarpered downwind over the hill; whereupon, on turning around, they were confronted by a wall of grey to the South threatening to dump large quantities of water on the airfield again. This, accompanied by the very fragile nature of the ground, particularly in the launchpoint area, and the squally wind, led us to conclude that the risk of damage was too great to attempt flying today.

Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil and Do No Evil chasing after blue holes…
 …until turning around and were met with this..!
In the afternoon Rich Roberts, accompanied by Pete Howarth and Martin Cropper, retrieved his misspent youth by spray painting ‘ML 1’and ‘ML 2’ on the sides of the winches, because he couldn’t remember which was which (hence the need for a current winch driver, ie. Pete, to point that if green = ‘New Winch’, blue = ‘New, New Winch’)!

Dee ML’s get stencilled up as Rich Roberts re-lives his misspent youth with a can of spray paint.
Thanks go to all who turned up, willing to give it a go, and who hopefully will be rewarded with better conditions next week.

Martin Cropper

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