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Post Frontal, 2 flights
Skyport to West Casitas Pass Summit, 17 miles
Bates to Ventura, 14 miles
Hadn't flown on a weekend in 6 weeks, and hadn't launched solo from the Skyport since April (7 months). Got' a love those solo launches from the Skyport.
We had a sharp and fast storm come through on Saturday. With the jet-stream pulled down, there was over 100 knots of wind forecasted for 30K, and over 50 knots at 12K. For some reason, there wasn't a lot of wind forecasted down lower, only 15 knots at 6K. With so much wind up high, I was skeptical about the forecasted velocities down lower.
Freezing level was below 6K, but with some high clouds, it was only forecasted to get into the low 60s. Despite the limited heating and cool surface temps, the lapse rate was good, but not ballistic. Perhaps the less than booming lapse rate reduced vertical mixing and resulted in manageable lower level wind. It blew about 20 on the surface.
Caught a ride with South Side and Diablo. Carolyn on crew. We did breakfast in Carp while monitoring the late block. Waited about 30 minutes on launch for the block to get established. Finally got airborne at 11:15. Climbed up to 37, but the drift varied and was shifting between NW and SW. There were whitecaps on the ocean, and the clouds above were moving pretty good out of the north. There were healthy clouds out front, and with potential north wind, I didn't fight the drift. Whenever I encountered much north, I turned out with it.
Got to 42 at The House. Tried to head east for the foothills in front of Montecito Peak, but found heavy sink and drift from the north. Turned out and got back up above 4 over Westmont College. There seemed to be a line toward Polo Ridge, but I only found scraps on the way. Got to Polo ridge a few hundred over, and found on-shore flow with smooth ridge lift. I was hoping to get a couple of thousand higher and make a run for Bates, but only got into the high teens. Low to high teens past Cate School, and into the Gobernador. Got to 2K and took it up 150 into The Pass. Too much wind and trashy. Landed in the big field south of the road on the west side of the first summit. 12:40
Was thumbing back toward Bates when Benson went by on his way home. He did a 180, got creative fitting all the stuff inside, and we were at launch in short order.
It was a bit stiff, and it took a couple of tries to get off. Needed the speed bar to get out front. No turns, stayed upwind and gave ground for min sink when I was going up. Started backing up about 300 over the beach, and topped out over the freeway about 5. Turn and ran up the spine. Thought I was in good shape, but hit a hole and was on the deck over the plateau. Had to dodge a couple of trees and get on the edge a bit early, but was able to skip down to The Gas Plant. Climb to 14.
EJ joined me, but Double D went to the beach. Couldn't get very high. Took the wide route out to sea around the corner with about 14. The glide was good. Pitas was good for 17 or so, and I took the ocean route again (EJ got to 23). Played it conservative, and topped in the high teens off the ocean side of Taylor Ranch. Over the Pier with 550. Might have stretched to Marina Park, but opted for the big State Park due to the wind.
Good landing, break down on the grass. EJ went to the Marina. Tom Pipkin boosted both of us back.
South Side (John Scott on a Fusion) landed at Balboa School in East Ventura. 31 miles from the Liminator.
Fun day with really nice scenery. Potential to get pinned, or whacked, but I played it pretty conservative. Mostly stayed out front, out of the rotors and venturies. Only took one collapse (on the jump from Bates).