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Saturday, 4/3/10
4 flights
Skyport to Parma ~ 25 minutes, launch about 11 am
Skyport to East Beach ~ 30 minutes, launch a little after 1 PM
Skyport to Parma ~ 20 minutes, launch about 3 PM
Bates to La Conchita ~ 30 minutes, launch a little about 4:30 PM
Total airtime ~ 1 hours

[Weather Archive for Saturday]

Fun day with a big turnout.  Super good weather for the beginners, smooth, weak and buoyant until mid-afternoon when the west wind came in from the ocean.  Social at the Skyport with many pilots waiting for the weather to change, which is seemed to do back and forth continuously throughout the day.

My timing was a little off all day.  Too early on the first 2 flights, and too late for the 2nd 2.  Did connect on all flights, but ended up flushing on all 4 as well.

Left Art's truck at Santa Clause Lane.  Andy suggested leaving his truck at East Beach, but I jinxed the day by declaring it wasn't necessary because if we had enough altitude to get to East Beach, then we had enough to reach for Carpinteria.  Ty marshaled the troops impressively during the 10 AM meet at Parma and we were mobile up hill with a good size load about 8 minutes past.

CUs were popping early, but it seemed weak at the Skyport.  Andy got off gracefully on his first pull into the 2nd decent cycle of the day, a little before 11.  He made it look easy in the week smooth lift, getting up and over to the R&R followed by Art.  I had a fun backward launch.  Best part of the day x4.  I just love the spaceman departure.  Feels like getting beamed up.  Being a ham at heart, I like the audience on social days.

Art climbed out next to me, but I could only get a hundred over launch.  It was sunny on the Holly Hills, and the thermal to base was fat.  Problem was, base was below 3, getting lower, and moving progressively out front, thus shading in and shutting down the convection.  Tried the Round House Hill.  The sun was out in front of the Rock.  Climbed back up to the mid 2s from over the Rock launch, but it ODed and shaded in so I lost it and floundered.  Buoyant on the glide out to Parma over the Monastery, but not good enough to climb out.  Light wind from the SE fishing down the neck from the Monastery toward Parma.

Pack up quick and heard Art at Franklin School, Andy at Cleveland.  Ran a quick chase and headed back up.  No one else wanted to load up at Parma.  It had been sunny while on retrieve, and Bob Anderson got to the beach, but it shaded in dark afterward and cloudbase lowered in the back down to launch level.  Tried to wait for the expected clearing, but launching is too much fun, so I did another pop off.

Real buoyant and smooth.  Up to 35 at the Round House deep in the shade.  A little drift from the west on glide.  It was buoyant over the Riviera and town with a real nice cloud over the sun line at the Riviera, but I think I was a tad late, or loaded too heavy.  Gained a hundred here and there but couldn't climb to base.  The clouds lifted, dissipating out front, pushed back and dried out as the west started to build.  Easy glide to East Beach through buoyant air and a few bubbles, getting there with 1200.  Tried full bar over the water.  Primo landing conditions, smooth and clean about 8 MPH from the SW so you could walk in on a dime and kite all day after touchdown.  The tourist loved the soft graceful precision, or so they said.  The wind was slowly building through 10 to 12 by the time Marty and Jim Maddox dropped in.

Bob Anderson was already there with a couple of HGs from the earlier sun cycle.  Art opted to pass on the 2nd flight from the Skyport and run for the Grade, so he brought my truck out to the beach on his way.  Bob & I made good time back to Parma.  No takers, so up the hill for one more by my lonesome.  Ty and George were taking Eagle Chase down, and they were willing to back track the last mile and get my truck down to Parma.

On launch alone.  I like it.  Kind a spiritual.  Another fun pop off.  Got up into the mid 3s near the Bypass on the wind line.  A little wind up higher, but much more down lower.  Once I dropped into the wind, it was over.  There were a few thermals, but their trajectory was shallow and they were getting broken by the wind.

Land at Parma, last one to leave.  Got to Bates a little late.  The Charlie report that pilots were getting high, maybe 500 feet, but it was windy (reportedly 15 to 17 MPH), and they had to pull big ears to get down to the beach.  Not sure who the pilots were, but since pulling big ears doesn't make a glider go faster, I suspect there may have been potential that wasn't maximized.  It had backed off and was only 8-10 when I got there.  A little cross from the west, but not too bad.  Healthy caps just off shore, but dissipating somewhat near the beach.

Took a couple of tries to get off.  One up on the flat that didn't go well but got me over the edge, and the 2nd try with help from Chuck on the face.  Could only get into the low 200s, and occasionally into the upper 2s.  The few times I did get higher I was backing up at min sink, but penetration was easy down in the lower 2s.  The sweet spot was more mid-ridge, not on the higher upwind point, which is problematic because you want to get up as far upwind as possible to leave more room to gain altitude while backing up.  Finally wiggled up over 300 and it got real smooth and steady.  Slowed down to min sink and back up climbing slow to 630.  Finally drifted behind the lift band, over the point of the spine that runs up to Rincon Peak.  Turned and ran uphill.  My position was good with comfortable altitude, but it seemed like I got behind the wind.  The glide was initially smooth, without much sink, but the tailwind was light, so I didn't get as far as I needed up the ridge before I had to fall off the flat top to the ocean side cliff face, which was a little lee side due the west direction.  Down to a couple hundred approaching the gas plant, too low to go in behind the power lines.  There wasn't much wind on the deck, only a few MPH.  Angled to the beach for landing.

Chuck was there for retrieve and we packed up a Viola Fields.  It was backing off, so we called Susan, but by the time she got there it was too cross.

Back up to Santa Barbara to pick up Sam from the Mesa.  Dinner at the Habit.

Art flew late in the day (6:15ish) at the Grade, catching a glass off after the wind subsided.

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