Base on the hill was only 1,500' and it was way too early to go (10am! ) but I could see the sea breeze coming so it was all or nothing. I dribbled over the back and stayed with the same cloud for ages, sometimes I would poke my nose out the leeward edge and look downwind only to scuttle back to the safety of my cloud as I couldn't see any good clouds close enough to glide to.
A lot of cow fart thermals around, is it dung spreading season? I finally broke 2,000' 1 hour and 45 minutes into the flight. I was being super conservative but still had to pull off a very low save (about 300' AGL) near Heathfield. After that, the sky got nicer and I was able to make better time.
I was under the 3,500' airspace but didn't care as there was no way I was going to get that high. Unfortunately the Headcorn airspace was approaching (again! Damn that airspace! ) but to the east was a massive blue hole. I tried to glide across it but just couldn't make it. A combination of being on my old wing and the low altitude conspired to put me on the deck. Oh well, it's a miracle I made it as far as I did considering most of the flight was under 2,000'
After quite a lot of sweaty hiking, a very nice gentleman picked me up. It turns out he was Lord Stone of Blackheath, member of the House of Lords! As he gave me a lift into Tenterden he regaled me with stories of flying a biplane in Israel. 😃