After watching the email banter from Friday night and waking to a misty morning there was a willingness to get out if the weather would clear. Rob had posted Singlie as a strong possibility with start around 1pm. Tommy and Jamie called sick due to 'man-flu', or perhaps Tommy had tried Gerald's cure and found it only made the headache worse!
Arriving at Singlie there were 2 cars parked up so if was over the fence to see Rob and Chris almost at the top. 10 minutes later I arrived to find them both unfurling wings although the wind was maybe slightly more southerly than expected, but it was on the nose. Rob was first to take off and headed along the ridge as he normally does. Lift seemed broken but was there as we saw him disappear round the corner before he came on the radio to say it was a tad lumpy but OK. Wind dummy away so Chris followed, his vario battery was flat so he was 'in the zone' for lift, I soon gained the impression that he didn't need a vario as he climbed and I took off trying to follow. The ridge was working OK but there were thermals coming off the nose so it was time to play...somehow I needed to climb to check the top surface of Rob and Chris' wings!! After about 30 minutes in the air the wind lightened and we all top landed back by the cairn.
The forecast for the day was showers and the news had mentioned thunderstorms in the west and I knew there had been rain 2 valleys away so the intent for the afternoon was to gain some much needed air but stay close to the hill. Rob took off first again and headed up and out towards the road, I was next and played along the ridge as Chris followed. The air felt fine but we were all cautious of the surrounding clouds so it was some gentle, if occasionally slightly 'lumpy' boating around, playing with the thermals and then dropping out into the sink to play again. Looking to the distance I saw Rob land by the road, had he felt something we hadn't? so a few more beats until, towards the far end of the ridge, forward speed seemed to drop from 20kph to a sustained 5kph - clouds????....side slipping back down the ridge I decided it was time to head for the landing just in case there was a larger than usual cloud over the back.
Chris played for a few more minutes before also heading down, on landing he made some comment about 'cloud suck' - one of those days when it was good to be in the air and also make the right decision. We all packed and headed back to the cars, Rob taking a diversion to play 'stockman' and wake a sleeping hogg from a well deserved slumber before heading to the pub for a shandy.
A great afternoon in the air with a couple of like minded friends.