James Hayes: my flight the other day, thanks for the tow Jim Matush and the retrieval Lindsay Matush.
Not as far as Marcs, or Graces possibly, but was was awesome none the less, slow going on such a light wind day..thermals were really broken up down low (below 3000/3500ft) but pretty solid after that and far stronger. Required lots of patience which is why it took me so long to climb out of the valley from tow. As the day was light and I wasn't in any rush I tried to climb in any lift I found, then follow the cloud streets that were forming. Just before I landed I was pretty tired, I haven't done much thermal flying lately which'll hopefully change, so I didn't want to fight the turbulence and light scrappy lift I was in just before I landed.. was stoked to land right next to the creek for a nice post flight 'swim' (it was so shallow I was more floundering around) haha.
Also as a side note, I tried using something I remember Dennis Pagen mentioning a while ago regarding thermal triggers. Cloud shadows, as they move across the ground the change in temperature can trigger thermals to pop..I was watching my shadow a lot after pin off and keeping it along the edge of the cloud shadow, it seemed to work as it kept me up.
Also some of my turns in the thermals are quite shitty, a few reasons.. I'm still getting used to this wing (aspen 4), I haven't done a lot of thermalling lately, once high I was trying to capture photos&vids, as well as trying to practice turning to my weak (left) side.
We are a group of paragliding pilots based in the St. Louis area.