Page 1: Preparations for the Raft Race
I had intended to attend the Leeds Castle staff social event of the year, the raft race, so I went to work prepared to change into casual clothes, including my LC hot air balloon T-shirt and my camera. At lunchtime I had a phone call offering me a free trip that evening on the Leeds Castle hot air balloon, which I accepted. What a coincidence that I had exactly the right apparel! A quick rush to the Great Water allowed me to take some photos of the raft race preparations then it was off to the entrance to meet up with my fellow passengers and the crew. The flight was fantastic! We reached 3,600 feet and were able to see not only the castle from a different perspective but also France, the ships in the Channel, the wind farm in the Thames estuary and right up into Essex. After a bumpy landing we helped stow the balloon and the basket back onto the trailer and then it was time for a glass of champagne and the presentation of our flight certificates. A memorable day!