Sunday, November 16, 2014

Skyport to VOR to Padaro beach flight

Flying in Santa Barbara
I finally opened Santa Barbara season. Sunday was a first day of pretty strong Santa Ana, wind was gusting 60+ mph at Camp 9 (Kagel). Originally Jonathan and Tom Truax was planning on going to Chief's Peak and do out and return to Santa Barbara, but for me it looked like too much north near Ojai even from beginning. After Saturday's morning weather update they both bailed, Chris G. also decided not to run his truck to mountains due to north wind, but Eagle's van was going at 9:45. Wind near Santa Barbara supposed to be from south-west down low shifting to north-west up high @5-7 knots and weak lapse rate. My expectations was for extended sledder, but it was a rare case when forecast was wrong in opposite direction. Light cycles at launch. Bob was first off and did not find anything near launch going to Antenna farm. Dave hook a thermal, but also decided to follow Bob to Antenna farm for unknown reason. I was lucky and launched right into decent thermal after Chris (Hook 3), easy transition to RnR where I got to 4800 ft and continue westbound. Neal (Aspen 5) and few other pilots followed. Easy run to VOR where we got stuck for 10 minutes because of the shade. Neal was slightly higher at this point and was leading all the way to the Montecito Peak where I was able to catch up.
Cruising with Neal
One of the concerns was north wind up high, but we was getting to 5500 and drift was still from the west (good). After Romero it become difficult to get over the ridge height, certainly not a day to push though the pass, so we both bailed to Parado beach.
Gliding to Padaro beach
Over the ocean
Thanks a lot to Chris (Hook 3) who gave us a ride back after lunch.

Here is my GPS track: