From The Nut House
To Past Fillmore ~ 26 miles
Ron Faoro supplied bus service from Carpinteria, and we met Chris Paul at Nordhoff High School. Edward spotted us once we were airborne and checked in.
We expected slow heating, but started to hike up about 9:30 because we wanted to beat the heat. The bugs are at their peak when we get a heat wave after a good rain to end a dry spell, but Dr. Ron had The bug spray and I didn't get a bite. Took my time and did a little trail work. The sweaty clothing dried quickly in the dry air once on launch.
Waited some more, and punched off for the first try about 11:30. Got off in the latter half of what seemed to be a good long cycle, but I wasn't climbing, so after scouting both spines and the bowl, I headed back for a crosswind approach into launch from the upriver spine. Was in good position at impact, so I just needed to turn around and was ready for round 2.
It was getting better (we had a good break in the high clouds) and I was off again about 11:45 . Was above launch on the first turn. The brush was moving up the spine so followed the convective bubble using aggressive figure 8s and got a few hundred over. Scrapped for a hundred more and lost a hundred in the lull. The next pulse was good for a couple but lost it all in the following lull. There wasn't enough wind for sustaining ridge lift. I tried fishing out front a bit, but was reluctant to give up the hard won high ground, so I used ridge techniques to work the convective bubbles. The reverse snowballs got bigger higher up and the going was easy on the ridge line. Dolphin over to Spine One and climb to 4+. Edward checked in.
The west end of Nordhoff Ridge worked to 5+, and a little convergence over Nordhoff Peak to just under 6. Not much drift, but a little from the west up high even though the streamer on the tower was blowing up from the east bowl. Headed to Twin Peaks and topped at 6+ over Chiefs Peak. 6+ again at The Repeater. Took a middle route to the spine behind Boyd's. Tracked up the spine and ran for the base of The Bluffs. Got there with 45, and climbed back up above 6. Topped over 65 several times searching along the full length. Ron & Chris were both on course, so we pulled the trigger on Edward. He check the computer reports before he left and let us know that the Oxnard Plain was light onshore while the Santa Paula airport was reporting light offshore, but the Santa Paula report was a couple hours old. Piru was gusting downriver at 6 to 13.
Headed over to Santa Paula Ridge. Arrived mid spine with 35 and worked up to the top. Got on the high ridge and into the 5s. Topped about 65 over the Peak. Edward reported mild flow pushing upriver past Santa Paula. He found the east edge just east of Fillmore. I took my altitude and headed out toward the river. Had light drift from the west. Edward reported light wind through town, but around the corner east of town it was still solid from the east. I figured that with light wind in town, the foothills would block any potential east, so I angled for Jack's place.
I'd left with good altitude, but the glide was sub par due to lighter than typical tailwind. Arrived over the foothills, but not much movement. Down to 2K MSL. Found a smooth weak organized thermal drifting from the SW and took it back up to 32, . Edward reported upriver flow pushing through town with cycles up to 5 mph. The best line looked deeper, but not enough altitude, so I went for the "F". Little to no drift and buoyant all around, but the lift was too weak to climb while turning. Took the slow fizzle on a buoyant glide upriver and touched down about 2:45 out beyond the tracks in zero wind halfway between Fillmore and Piru.
Edward was there before I could do a pickup. We stuffed it in the back and were mobile before I took my helmet off. Picked up Chris and Ron on the way. I packed up in my front yard. Both Ron & Chris logged their longest flights from the Nut House. The day wasn't epic, but the quality of the flight experience was up there on the pleasant scale.