Nordhoff Peak to The VOR, 30 mi
to Envenergy (near Bates) 18 mi
Craig offered bus service from my house. We grabbed Patrick Frape in Ojai for crew, and headed up the hill in Richard' Nakai's Truck. 4 vehicles on launch with a mix of HG & PG. Off the hill behind John Kloer, shortly after 11.
Drift from the NE. Looked left for the first thermal and climb slowly, drifting from the east, tracking the northern edge of a convergence, up to the mid 7s. Glide to Bump 3, but the air is nasty so I push uphill with only 43. Flounder and start to limp back. Down to 36, but find some convection and get on the ridge a couple hundred over. The wind on the ridge line is from the NE, but I can 't hold it and have to fall back to the lee side. Move around front and finally connect in the saddle in front of the high point east of White Ledge (gotta get a name for that peak). Up to the low 8s behind White Ledge.
The air up high is nice, but there is a fair amount of north in it. Holding a 45 degree crab angle on the glide west, but still loosing ground toward the ocean. Mostly buoyant, but not willing to drift south working the weak stuff and . Found a buoyant seam that was blocking the north out in front of the power lines and turned north to get back up on the ridge. Continued on glide westbound. Saw Craig down on the ridge line at the east end of Castle Ridge. He didn't get up and was getting some drift from the north crossing Ramero Saddle.
Good glide all the way from the Casitas Pass to the road cut on the west side of the saddle. Mostly no wind crossing the saddle, but started encountering some WNW just before the other side. Found some lower level action over the road cut spine. Kept pushing upwind. Seemed to do good on the first part of the glides across the canyons, but would encounter WNW approaching the other sides. Had to use the speed bar and dive for the lower points and work back up the spines and repeat on the next crossing. Getting ok altitude, mid 4s to low 5s, but needed the altitude for the upwind crossings with full speed bar.
The HGs seemed to be having an easy time against the wind and I couldn't keep up. Rotor passed me at Ramero Saddle, TQ pulled ahead off the the west end of Ramero, and South Side (John Scott) left me behind on the upwind glide from Montecito Peak
Stuck below 3 at Cathedral, but finally got up on top. Looked up at La Cumbre Peak, hoping to boost up high into a NE flow, but nada. Back out to Cathedral. West Bowl worked good and took the altitude to the VOR spine for the turn point. Picked up a few hundred and headed west bound. Nice to be going downwind again.
The day was still working good, but starting to mellow. The connection were easy and I was willing to take the drift from the WSW, so I was getting higher. Over 6 off Montecito Peak, and the high 5s near the east end of Castle Ridge. Felt like some convergence. I considered attempting the pass again, but opted for the social route (4 HG pilots were landing at Bailard. Rotor and Terry Taggart hadn't gotten much over 4 at the Power Line Crossing, so I was leery about pressing on into the Pass later in the day. Took my altitude south bound and arrived over Bailard a little under 2K. Headed out over the ocean for the tranquil view. Opted for a landing on the green grass lawn behind Envenergy (just west of Bates) about 3:15ish. Had a couple of trucks there. Stopped to socialize and was in the door at home before 4.
Super hot day, so headed to the beach with the family to cool off and catch the sunset.