The field is in very good condition for the time of year.  The westerly breeze was lighter than I’d expected, 8/8 cloud, no holes and just as low as expected.  I don’t think it ever cleared Waun Fach and early on wisps were grazing Y Das.  

So I cancelled TLs as I considered it too marginal for them and we (Jeff S and Martin W) waited to see if anyone else would tip up to fly.  Personally it’s not just about the official (and good) reasons of maintaining currency.  Getting into the air – even just for a circuit – really helps my happiness in the winter months.  I think I change my expectations, so I’m not disappointed that it’s not like flying in summer.  So I don’t pine too much for the thermals and warm days, instead I am curious about what the sky IS doing that I can use to stay up.  

In the end with no takers, Jeff and Keith took a turn in Keith’s mg then Martin W and I took a K13 on to the main ridge, releasing on the not very lifty face of Y Das and going round the corner.  The main ridge was clear of cloud – base about 1600.  Good lift all along to Twmpa from Y Das, though from Y Das to the north bowl was soggy.  Tantalising glimpses of small unattainable gaps in the lee of the Beacons and some of the Black Mountains ridges; rays of sunshine beaming through and lighting the orange bracken. 

Lots of walkers waving and flashing (their cameras).  We briefly considered mooning at them to get the BMGC name on the 6 o’clock news then decided that, as we could barely feel our feet, any further exposure of extremities was undesirable. 

It felt plenty safe enough for us, with practically no chance of rain or showers and a steady breeze.  I might not have fancied it as much with multiple gliders flying in a band of 500ft. As it was the handsome new FLARM installation never spoke to us once!  Yes, the pixies have been busy and I believe FLARM is now in the club 2-seaters – thanks guys.

So, first club flights of 2019 – here’s to a good flying year for us all!

Phil S