Skyport to Fillmore
with top landings at Chiefs & Fillmore
~ 44 miles, 4½ hours
We debated weather to try Ojai or SB, but the road was closed, so SB looked good for a go. Caught a ride up with Tom Pipkin and Ojai John. It was soarable when we got to launch a little before 11. Airborne just after 11. Clean fun launch, smooth and balanced, but I'm sure the rust will catch up eventually.
It was a bit west at launch, but was able to climb several hundred over drifting out into the canyon. 43 at The Factory and on course. The air was a bit broken. The altitudes were good enough to make good time without getting stuck. Seemed to have minimums or better for all the connections. A little low as expected through the stretch behind Montecito and Summerland, but it started getting better toward the end of Castle Ridge. Pretty easy going through The Pass. 63 over White Ledge at 12:45
Came in on the Nut House with 27 and drove over to Spine One. The air was a bit sharp and strong so I kept some distance from the terrain. Came in over the west end of Nordhoff Ridge, but went off the east end below the lower SE knob. Arrived low at The Stooges (28), and worked back up to 4, but the thermal had a lot of drift from the south. Typical low connection at Twin Peaks, but it was going off and was able to drive up the main spine for a top landing at Chiefs. Chiefs was blowing a bit stiff, and I took a good drop in the wind shadow behind launch. 1:30
Took 10+ minutes to get the canopy out of the brush and up to launch. Stayed on the ground for a half hour resting. Relaunched (2 pm) in a lull and climbed above 6 in the strong conditions. There was some wind from the south so I needed the bar on glides. Got into the high 6s at The Repeater and took the deep route to The Bluffs. Was down to 5 below the cliff, but found a bubble and wiggled up. Left for Santa Paula Ridge with 68, but with the south wind the glide over was a long reach.
Came in mid ridge and worked up to the point. Went around the front a hundred below but finally got on top and climbed into the high 6s again. Fumbled at Santa Paula Peak and ended up leaving San Cayetano in the mid 4s. I was out of position and low so I crossed the river and intercepted Oat about half way up. Worked up and over to the main launch for a Top Landing (3:30). Took a 15 minute break
Relaunched about 3:45. The last bus out of Fillmore was 5 pm, so I wanted to end up near the bus stop. Conditions were typical. I could get about 5 or 600 over at launch, but drifting away from town. Moved out the the point and got on the bar to get over the power lines. Found a little lift for a couple of two hundred foot gains on the edged of the canyon. Stretched it to the train station for a good landing on the tracks between railroad cars. (4:10) Broke down in the shade on the grass.
Was going to walk over to the bus stop, but Mark Pratt came by and offered me a ride home. It was good company and a chance to catch up with an old friend. In the barn at 5:20