[Weather Archive] [Mark's Log] [Tom's Log]
Chiefs to the R&R / 30 miles
to East Beach/ 5 miles
Tandem with Robb Milley (190 lbs + my 180) [photo]
Another day to nice to pass up. 9:30 meet at Nordhoff, and up the hill in OJ's truck with 9 pilots plus Edward for Crew. Diablo, South Side, and TQ were already set up when we arrived at Chiefs a little before 11. Tom P was the early wind tech again, and he got up on the middle bump. It looked like it already had east in it.
Robb and & followed a few pilots back, getting airborne about a quarter past. Climbed up to the high 5s above Chiefs and opted for the back route. Ended up having to fall off to Stooges anyway. Nordhoff was so so. Pipkin was marking a good thermal over Spine One so we headed over, still downwind. Had to look over the back peak to connect. Got above 5, but we were on a bad line with an upwind glide over to Bump One.
Came in just above the top of the middle ridge below Bump One. Pipkin was doing well over Bump 2, but we couldn't maintain in the lulls and were in jeporody of flushing. Finally got a boost to 28 and went for Bump 2 low. We drew up the lee face and connected easily around the windward side. Pipkin had gotten high, but we left with 33 because the cycle passed and we didn't want to wait for the next one.
Got a poor glide to Bump 3. No lee side draw. Went around the corner low to the west spine and found a little buble that got us up enough to get back over above the east point. Tracked up the spine twice and finally connected on the face. Got to 46 drifting from the south.
Pipkin, and South Side were uphill but not doing well, so we knew we couldn't get greedy and would have to scrap. Clawed up the ridge with mostly figure 8s, following convective pulses. Got on top of the Back Step, but only to 5+. We were up in the east wind again, so headed up ridge to the High Step. Came in a hundred below, but connected up to 58.
Worked a few scraps and ended up back in the corner on the east side of Ease Divide. Went fishing for some ridge lift toward the saddle, but had to bail across the gulley through some heavy sink for the front side of a SE spine. Once on the main spine of East Repeater, it worked nice with smooth fat lift. Got into the mid 5's at West Divide. South Side (HG) blazed past and left us poking way behind.
Got to Noon at the wrong time and lost 500 fishing. Caught the start of the next pulse down in the saddle below the Trapezoid and got back into the high 4s. Started picking up intermittent west wind down lower, and had to step around the Power Lines. Scooted downwind along Castle Ridge to a nice thermal at the Ramero Road Cut. Left in the upper 4s for Montecito Peak. Came in below and only got into the upper 3s. A little boost off Shadow Peak, but a poor glide toward The Factory and had to fall off for The Rock.
Stuck at the Antenna Farm for 20+ minutes. Searched all over but still couldn't climb out even after getting on top. Finally went out the spine toward the Monastery, and found the weak smooth convergence in the Saddle. Tracked it back up to about 32 and played for the Holly Hills. More weak smooth lift over the Power Lines got us back into the low 3s. The Tit was calm so we went right into the saddle and found a small core good for a couple hundred, enough to run for the R&R. The Spine was buoyant and we drove up to the base of the rocks and found the ticket upstairs.
Nice smooth late day air. Topped a little over 5K and headed out for the beach. Cleared the surf line with a K and wandered a ways offshore. Perfect landing conditions, and we made it look like we knew what we were doing. On the grass with a soft touchdown. The shows not over till the canopy comes down, and we were able to thread the obstacles and get it on the ground clear and clean. 3:25ish. Edward was there in a few minutes. Diablo and TQ were hosting the looser's party at Brophy's, but we needed to go looking for Christian.
Robb was a great front seater. Never complained about the cold and didn't get airsick despite the wiggly air. It was personally rewarding to share the experience with him. By the end of the day, he was dialed into how it worked Smooth and on target with the right amount of weight shift.
Tom Pipkin put down at Westmont. Christian ended up somewhere in Montecito.
South Side (John Scott) set a new out west and partial return record from Chiefs. 34 miles to the VOR and back 17 miles to Bailard. John also holds the same record form Nordhoff out to the VOR and back to La Conchita, 30 + 21.
Mark Pratt had the historical flight of the weekend with the first connection (that I know of) to Ojai from Oat (Fillmore), landing at Sole Park Golf Course. Note: there are unconfirmed rumors that either Tom Wilson or Tim Joseph made at least one flight from Oat to Ojai in the late 70s on HGs (with less performance than today's entry level PG). Neither of them were still flying when I arrived on the South Coast in 81. Diablo is trying to confirm his recollection. At the minimum, Mark's flight is the first ever PG connection.