Skyport to Hwy 150 just west of the west summit (solo)
Bonanza ~ 1½ hours airtime ~ 17 miles (from the R&R)
Skyport to Lookout Point Park in Summerland (tandem with Sharon)
Bantoo ~ 1½ hours airtime
Weather Archive & Comments
Posted and called, but no takers. Sharon said she wanted to fly but didn't have a harness and couldn't get away till later. Was expecting a later breakup and had to scramble when it turned on earlier. Connected with Frank and got to launch about 12:15, airborne into good cycles ten minutes later.
It was working good. My first thermal drifted from the west and got me 300 over. Moved to the R&R and worked up to 38. That seemed to be the top with visual indications of a change in the airmass. Easy going down range getting into the low to mid 3s easily, and occasionally the high 3s, but never saw 39.
Without go altitude, thought about flying out from the east end of Castle Ridge, but wanted more so I pressed on and connected at the west end of Power Line Ridge. Still only able to get to 38. Got to the power lines below and blocked so I opted to follow the spine out to the SE. Got back into the upper 3s out front with an angle to make Noon Peak, but the max altitude wasn't going to be enough for the high route through The Pass, and I was getting increasingly more drift from the SE. Took the glide south toward the coast with some drift back to the west. Thought about the prospect of flying back to SB, but too late.
Down lower I started picking up some SW. The front ridge worked and I climbed up a couple of times from a low of 21 into the upper 2s reaching 28 once. Sharon had been listening from home and dispatched for chase. Got to 23 at Gobernador and though I had a good chance of working up Laguna Ridge. Came in on the SW spine expecting to connect. Waffled between logic and intuition, zigging and zagging, burned up my 300 foot cushion and had to limp out for the field below the first summit. Landed about 2 PM. Sharon was able to drive to my touchdown and we were mobile before I could get my helmet off.
Back to Franks to switch gear. Frank was at the Show Grounds, but he pulled up just as we were leaving, so we scored another ride to launch. Checked with the HG pilots, but they didn't need a boost. Airborne with a weak launch into weak conditions about a quarter past 3. Pilots were still getting into the mid 3s during our prep, but we didn't connect on launch and had to glide out to the Antenna Farm.
The plan was to fly to the beach, so we wanted more altitude and tried to bench up a couple of times but couldn't quite connect. Finally gave up and plugged upwind to the Holly Hills and worked up to the Tit. Played back for the R&R with 32. Got there with enough, but fizzled off. It was getting darker under the thicker high clouds, but it looked sunny off the east. We were getting bored turning circles trying to pick up a few hundred feet, so we opted to go downwind for the sun.
Twenty Eight drifting east from Parkers, and top altitude for our flight of 33 hundred on the east spine of Montecito Peak. Debated about continuing east, but it was getting late and the high cloud cover had overrun us so we opted to cash in. Perceived a little drift from the east on the way out. I think we were on a seam and pulled a good glide south down San Ysidro Road. Terrific view of the awesome estates. Still undecided weather we were going to veer for Summerland or the Biltmore. White caps on the water, but we were above and inside of the wind.
The Biltmore looked doubtful against the now obvious lower SW, so we veered toward Summerland as we started getting into the edge of the wind. Still had good altitude over the beach at Summerland and considered continuing on to Pedro Lane, but opted to turn back and head upwind to Lookout Point Park for a landing on the grass with access to a convenience store. Gave Frank a call and asked Sharon to unbuckle. The LZ is a little small and the parking lot was full, but the smooth conditions were good for accuracy. Some light caps a few hundred yards offshore, but it was only blowing about 12 on the cliff. Fun approach. Leery about penetration, a little high and long a couple of times, but able to slow down into the wind and get back on slope for a clean touch down on target. Sharon stepped out and helped bring the canopy down on the grass. About 4:45 pm.
Packed up. Picked up some refreshments at the store, and got back to the park just as Frank arrived (Sunday southbound summertime traffic). Headed back to Frank's to collect the cars and stopped for a hot tub and a beer or two.
Gotta love those spring like days in August!!