Pine NS to McDonalds and back to Nordhoff HS
Bantoo / Tandem with Sharon Sweeney
Low turnout with a number of pilots gone to the Rat Race. Edward was on board. The Peggs showed up with their newly acquired 91 Suburban, so we loaded for the shakedown cruse.
Pretty solid downriver past the sand pile, and definite north on the ridge, so we pulled up at the north launch about 12:30. Was getting a bad glide toward the spine before I realized my trim setting was full slow (best glide is full fast). Came in critically low, but connected ok.
Took a couple of tries uphill. Left with 68 on the first run, and over 7 on the second. Same result. No lift in the back or along the spine that runs out from the camp ground to a front point. Turned back across on the first attempt, but opted to commit and reach out for the front point on the second run. Found a thermal and eventually worked up to about 75. Looked back uphill where the next finger spine meets the ridge line, but came limping back.
Finally flushed out from the first campground spine. Got lucky and found a thermal out front and got back up from the mid 5s. Topped about 77 and still had 74 OTB crossing the ridge line. Lee side sink running for the river.
Down in the below six, coming up on the lowest point at the bottom of the spine that comes off the south side knob. Trying to reach east because that's were the convergence was when we drove up, but there wasn't much west wind. Flew into the convergence with a hard bang, hitting a strong solid core that was going upstairs. Hung on and topped about ten two. Easy glide out to Ojai.
We had discussed trying to top land at Chiefs, but there was a fire in the valley and the conditions didn't look so good, so we opted to stay upwind of the fire and the choppers. OJ was giving condition reports from his rooftop, so we flew over to wave. Turned and McDonalds with 25. Got back to the HS easy on the downwind glide pulling a 15 to 1.
A bit bumpy on approach. Thought I was high on short final in the stadium, so I held up, but just as we fell out the front of the bubble with low energy. Our bodies reached the grass, but the canopy came down on the track and picked up some dust.
Chatted with Randy, a local resident who wanted to do a tandem in the mountains (he did one in Hawaii, but didn't realize you could actually soar). Sharon had left here cell phone in the Pegg's vehicle, so we went to the lake for a beer and a swim to kill some time. Brendan and Kristi passed on NS Pine and flew from Chiefs to Boccali's.
A little bumpy at times, but a fun day overall. It's always nice to make the connection and take the long glide out.