100 miles around the swamp
I set a 100 mile around the Green Swamp task. Normally it's a 100
kilometer task, but it is quite possible to extend it.
As usual I was pulled up first at 12:25 after we changed out the carabineer on
the tow rope. I found 1,200 fpm on tow but when I went back for it it
wasn't there. After wallowing around in weak lift I headed to the a wisp of a cu
to the southwest and down to 800' AGL I found 190 fpm and then 275 fpm to 4,000'
just west of Wilotree Park.
The sky was soon full of hang gliders as at least six pilots were doing the task
with the first leg up to Lake Panasoffkee. We found plenty of lift up to 425 fpm
to 4,500'. We were very often right at cloud base. Not much danger of being
sucked in with these cu's in Florida that are quite thin (don't try this in the
Twelve kilometers out from the Lake Panasoffkee turnpoint we worked the worse
turbulence of the day in weak lift that only averaged 120 fpm. Getting to 4,000'
we headed north to a dark cu at the south end of the lake due east of the
turnpoint. With everyone spread out we quickly found 370 fpm to 4,500' which we
were able to turn into 5,000' as we headed west to the turnpoint before we had
to head south. The wind was 5 mph out of the south southeast.
There were plenty of cu's to the south and we stayed between 4,000' and 5,000'.
Somehow near the point where we crossed highway 50 we lost contact with Larry
Bunner. He got out ahead of us, but we figured we'd catch him.
We were headed for the Clinton turnpoint a little south of Dade City. Larry
called 300 fpm 20 kilometers from the Clinton turnpoint and I came in under him
but down to 3,700' while he was above 5,000'. Greg and Misael joined in
under me. We climbed to over 5,500'.
Larry broadcast that he had 300 fpm at 13 kilometers from the turnpoint. We
could see the cu's ahead and went for it. Greg was still climbing behind.
I went on a 10 kilometer glide to the cu's and found nothing getting down to
2,200' less than 10 kilometers from the turnpoint. I turned west to get
over a small fire which didn't help. I then turned north to head for some big
fields and back 3 kilometers saw Greg circling over the fields. I looked down
and was surprised to see two shadows close together, Misael had followed me on
the death glide. We came in under Greg at 1,000' AGL.
The thermal averaged over 200 fpm to 3,500'. Greg and Misael headed south toward
where I had turned around when I got low. I headed southwest toward good looking
clouds but away from the turnpoint. The ground was shaded now with cirrus clouds
coming in from the west
I came over a field that had less shade and was upwind of a cu. Down to 1,200'
AGL I found 150 fpm and drifted west northwest in a 6 mph wind.
Losing that at 2,400' I west to a small cloud street over interstate 75. I was
able able to climb to 5,000' at 300 fpm drifting 16 kilometers downwind of the
Clinton turnpoint. I wasn't concerned about making it there any more, just
getting east toward the turnpoint after that. Larry was already down by highway
98 and 471 having found 600 fpm at 300' to 5,700' then nothing after that.
Greg was working slowly to Clinton and Misael had landed. I had cirrusly shaded
ground to the southeast and had to follow whatever cu's I could. They were
pretty ragged under the cirrus.
I found 250 fpm to 4,300' but nothing under the next cu to the east. Plenty of
fields out there with not much else happening. I landed south of the Clinton
Greg was able to make the Clinton Turnpoint and get high enough to land near
Larry near highway 98. About an hour later Maria came from behind and landed
near Greg. We picked her up.