clouds were hugging the ground as Ben and I left with only one
rocket in tow. We stopped and ate a nice breakfast at Holly’s
before moving on to Higgs Farm where we repaired one of the away
cell towers. We hoped that the fog would clear as we headed to a
late November launch at the Sod Farm. We set up the field but
the cloud ceiling remained at about 1,200 feet. The sun never
broke through giving the air a chilly wet feel throughout the
day. There was not a single breeze and the low clouds hung over
our heads throughout the day.
I kept Shaken, Not Stirred
grounded for the day
and assisted where I could while Ben performed LCO duties.
Despite the low clouds, the field was crowded and there were
many low powered flights throughout the day. We packed the field
and headed to dinner on Kent Island at a sushi place where we
got our fill of all that swims in the sea, raw.
The next morning, Toni and I headed back to the sod farm. The
fog was extremely thick the entire trip to the Eastern Shore.
The west bound span of the bay bridge was not even visible and I
felt this was to be another wasted trip. We crossed Kent Island
and as we made our way past Kent Narrows, the fog was no more
and the skies were gleaming blue with plenty of sunshine. It was
as if we burst through a Brigadoon bubble into another world. We
arrived at the field with the same clear weather. There was only
a slight breeze.
I waited for other to test the winds as usual and noticed that
the winds were blowing west on the ground but was blower harder
east at about 1,200 feet up. I prepped Shaken, Not
appropriately and had her on the pad with an
H120 Red Propellant in the aft end. Shaken, Not Stirred
jumped off the pad riding the red plume to apogee at 1,295 feet
before deploying her drogue and starting her descent. The upper
winds became evident as Shaken, Not Stirred
drifted to the east. At 300 feet the main parachute successfully
deployed and Shaken, Not Stirred
came to a gentle
rest on the edge of the corn stubble. See
Shaken, Not Stirred’s 61st flight here.
Toni chose not to fly. The weather was warm so we relaxed in the
sunshine while watching the other flights being blown into the
trees to the east. At one point I climbed a tree to assist in
the recovery of a rocket but in the end the recovery failed
causing a damaged sustainer and leaving the 500 dollars’ worth
of electronics suspended high in the tree top canopy.
The temperatures chilled in the setting sun. We packed up the
field one last time for 2013. We return to Higgs Farm in
December for Red Glare 15. Until the next launch . . .