Saturday was “Opposite Day.” The lift was everywhere it wasn’t supposed to be. It was completely overcast with cirrus cloud so we didn’t expect to find thermals - we found good thermals averaging 4 knots or more. There was a strong wind blowing straight onto the ridges - but there was no ridge lift. There were lenticular wave clouds at our height - but no wave lift. The cumulus clouds were bent over by the wind and parts of them were descending - that’s where we found the best lift. It was like flying upside-down; everything that should be down was up.
The most unbelieveable moment was looking at the final-glide calculation at 9000ft, 13km out. The computer said we weren’t going to make it home. If we were to attempt to fly home at best-glide speed, we would have ended up being blown backwards and could not make it home, from any height. The computer was absolutely right: when I turned back for Warkworth, the headwind was so strong that we were making no headway at all. Fortunately that high speed wind was only in a narrow layer so we were able to descend out of it and fly home with no trouble.
Edit: I just realised that the photo above was probably taken during the time that we were nominally out of glide range. The Warkworth airstrip can be seen as a bright stripe in between the two clouds, partially underneath the smaller cloud. It doesn’t look very far away, does it?