Bates to Oxnard ~ 18 miles
a little over 2 hours
The day looked promising, but I had a must do 2 pm with Tess on the north side of SB. Spotted 3 PGs working lift over Carp High on the way up the coast about 1:30ish. The ocean showed a nice breeze with healthy caps but not strong. On the way back home the ocean looked on the edge of too much wind, but maybe not. Got home at 3:30, loaded gear, and went to Bates
There were a few pilots waiting for it to back down, but it seemed like it had already started to ease off. Cycles were 10 to 20ish. The caps were solid, but not nasty looking. Waffled about ballast, and finally decided to carry the full 20 pounds. Airborne a little before 4 pm.
The direction looked good on launch, but it seemed cross out front. I could penetrate easily. Didn't think I'd get high enough to jump, but the direction and velocity got better above 300 feet. Topped over 600 and took an easy low stress glide to the Gas Plant in smooth air. The lift was smooth and weak, but with patience it would get you high enough for easy connections. Left La Conchita and Pitas in the high teens.
Able to penetrate ok at Solimar, so I went back in on Taylor. Topped about 22 hundred going around the corner and angled in for the Avenue. Stuck bouncing around between 9 & 11 for a half hour plus in onshore flow. It was getting late so I was hoping for a slug of north air down the river. It finally got spanky as the heavy flow came down. Slid with it toward the ocean and pressed out front. Bounced up to 13 or 14 and locked into a smooth layer going up steady. Felt nostalgic to be in a late day convergence at the Avenue. Love stepping out front, bouncing up in bumpy stuff, and locking into glassy smooth air above as the katabatic down river air plows under the onshore flow.
Tracked out on the convergence edge toward the ocean, and topped over the freeway with 32. Took a buoyant glide off the end of the pier. Still had 25 hundred going by the marina a quarter mile outside the breakwater. That stretch of glide had drift out to sea, but I could see onshore wind down lower so I took the drift offshore. Started picking up onshore flow past the Santa Clara river. Up to Gonzales Road, still holding the beach, but my crab angel was 60 degrees plus. The airport was straight downwind, but I didn't want to get too close.
Too much crab angle, so I opted to run up Gonzales Road toward Victoria. Probably could have made the High School, but there was enough wind to park out and I was leery about getting behind the big eucalyptus wind breaks, so I threw out the anchor and landed in the last available sod field before Victoria. About 6 pm.
Sharon had opted not to challenge the wind, and was there on chase. The sod farm was clean, but in the wind, so we found some shelter on the way back to pack up. Home about 7 pm.
I hear rumors that The Spin Doctor made it from the Skyport into Ojai. Hoping to get off in the mountains tomorrow. Today's flight was sweet. Mostly low stress, plus the air clarity and the color were superb.