Once again we geared up, took our FAI record attempt photos and headed out to the runway at about 11:00. I was first on tow, and left the airport in a nice 300fpm climb, which went to pieces at 6500, less than three thousand feet over. I felt like an idiot for losing the thermal, and set off downwind hoping to find it again, but never did. Michael on his hang and I shared a worthless thermal a few miles later, which also fell apart at 6900. I was starting to feel like I didn't have a clue about thermalling, the good climbs were just falling apart well short of the clouds that were starting to pop. I managed to battle along for about 20 miles, mainly thanks to a manure fire that smelled exactly like burning cow patties, but I was desperate for lift and it was there in the foul smoke. Michael landed about 10 miles out, Phil and Dawn as well, with Eric and Scott somewhere along the line also.
Would you believe these clouds did NOT have good lift under them? Typical Hobbs view.
In the evening we went back and checked on our owls; I could see three of them in the rafters, which made me feel good, at least we hadn't totally screwed nature up yet again. The whole owl incident taught me one thing: Don't mess with nature, you'll probably make it worse by trying to fix what's naturally going on.
This evening some huge thunderstorms ripped the landscape; the forecast is for more in the next couple of days, so the flying isn't looking too promising.
Next: May 23rd