Saturday, April 4, 2015

Cayucos to Morro Rock flight

We was visiting Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort, great place to spend few days with family. I also brought my paraglider and climbing gear to dilute hiking. Tim was in town and agreed to give me Cayucos introduction. As he explained it can be ridge soaring, thermals, convergence flying or any combinations of the 3. Launch is 700 ft above sea level, so if it's not working sled ride to LZ across highway 1 is just few minutes. We waited patiently while morning offshore north east switched to WNW.
Cayucos Launch
It was obvious that even after the switch it does not work near launch, cycles was too light, but first pilot decided to verify his luck anyway. 4 minutes later he was packing glider on LZ. Tim was next to go, but he was able to push upwind across highway and maintain altitude. I launched next at 11:34 ready for sledder. I spent few minutes near launch and then went on glider to join Tim.
Cayucos Launch from air
Going upwind through strong sink with only few hundred feet to spare was quite worrying moment. By highway 1 I only had 300 ft, but luckily that's where I entered convergence. William Delay my old friend from San Francisco and North Cal. XC league pilot was flying with us as well. He was able to join us shortly after, but next pilot after him could not get through sink and decided to land on side of the hill.
William Deley flying over the beach
First we attempted to go north, but convergence disappear and we turned around. After half an hour Tim and William departed southbound toward the Morro Rock and I followed. I wasted some time trying to thermal, but soon realized that even 1 cycle put me lower, so I stop doing it and just fly south.
Tim and William landing on the beach
10 minutes later we all arrived to the Rock. Wind was already picking up and no one want to tag a rock, because you can easily end up parked in the strong wind with only option to fly over the back.
Morro Rock
It was hard to get down, but after some maneuvers I landed at 12:20. Tim's friend gave us a ride back and few hours later when driving back to San Luis Obispo out of curiosity I decided to check wind at the Rock. It was at least 25-35 mph by that time, so good thing we landed early.