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Posted by on Jan 26, 2013 in Blog

Last Snow

Last Snow

The big melt.

I knew before I left that the wind was going to be high today, but it was also going to be dry, and the snow was looking like it was on the way out , so I felt I should at least try and go and get something…

I was half way down to the coast when I saw some trees almost bent double in the wind, and reasoning that wind is always worse on the coast, abandoned that plan. I was close to Butser, so had a quick drive up to the top to see what it was like there. Ridiculous is what it was. I considered doing the mother of all GPS position lock tests, but in the end the lack of visibility, low cloud and the whole area being fenced off convinced me that here wasn’t going to work either.

Stopped to check my ‘Lower South face of Butser’ fly-site, and wind that much lower was slightly better; flyable at least,  but I knew as soon as I got any decent height I risked being blown directly over the busy A3 or lost in the dense not-necessarily-accessible forest the other side of it. So home I went, stopping in at Petersfield lake just to check that was also too windy – and it was.

An hour later I had decided I was going flying whatever the wind was doing, so just had to find somewhere safe and inconsequential to do it. My old training ground the Taro Fields seemed to do nicely and is 3 mins away in a car.

Normally I wouldn’t bother showing you flights here, but you know, while it’s still white etc…

Snow clings to the river banks and fields where people have yet to tread...

Snow clings to the river banks and fields where people have yet to dare to tread… and very much doesn’t where they do.

In fact I’m not going to bother showing you the flight video because the wind just devastated any chance of decent footage, and by now the light was starting to fail anyway, so it was just the joy of flying and the challenge of battling the elements. And a few half-decent pics…

Portable warmth

…and it was more of a joy today, partly thanks to some new gloves that Special Assistant M had sent over which are basically fingerless, but then between flights have mitten-style bits that fold over and keep my finger tips warm, which are always the first bits of me to freeze and fall off given half the chance. That, combined with the HotRok she gave me for xmas meant I could stay out in the cold for almost a full compliment of batteries, so well done M for solving the heating problems.

Power problems

And I was glad I wasn’t having to solve unimportant issues like keeping me warm when I had rubbish battery packs to contend with. Zippy flightmax batteries are absolutely dreadful – the two 5.8 maH packs I bought just 2 months ago, that can have done no more than 20 cycles now trigger L1 fail-safe immediately after take-off. Not impressed. I will be sending those back. My Turnigy 5 aH packs still operate flawlessly and hold full charge despite being cycled over 50 times.

But anyway…

Here’s some pics, though, because there were nice things to see, even though they’ll be all blurred in the wind… oh well – we take what we can get :)

Most of Petersfield...

Most of Petersfield…

The frozen ice marshes of Astragoth. they aren't called that, but they should be. Maybe they're not big enough to get a name.

The frozen ice marshes of Astragoth. They aren’t called that, but they should be. That’s what I call them.

Dusk over EHDC and the Taro leisure center.

Dusk over EHDC and the Taro leisure centre.

Snow makes our hills look like mountains temporarily. Shit mountains, but mountains nonetheless.

Snow makes our hills look like mountains temporarily. Shit mountains, but mountains nonetheless.

Struggling to keep level against strong headwinds

Struggling to keep level against strong headwinds. Isengard over on the right there…