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Saturday, 2/16/2002
Tandem With Smiley (Captain Tim)
Chiefs to The Nuthouse to Nordhoff HS

Prefrontal / Good Lapse, Ojai temp spread in the upper 20s (70F-5C) / High Clouds & Low Morning Stratus / Thick Haze / Building OD and Lowering Cloudbase after light off around noon / Some wind at altitude on the ridge line from the SE, and the typical lower draw from the SW over at Nordhoff.

Not the prettiest day, but a good social outing with old fly hard sky dogs.  Up the hill in The Buzzard with Todd (TQ), Tim (Smiley), and Claudy for Crew.  The locals, John, Chris, Mike, Edward for Crew, and Art, took John's Burban.  Art was off early (~ 11:30) and stayed up at Twin Peaks.  John followed and worked the ridge lift at launch for 10+ minutes.  Smiley and I followed (~ noon) and headed down to Twin Peaks for the action.

Smiley hadn't flown a paraglider since his last crash many years back on his Edel Super Space.  He took the helm for the first ten minutes; knew what to do and where to go, but was a little off on the timing.  The Tandem is hard to muscle around from the front seat.  He relinquished steering duties and we topped out at the newly forming cloudbase over Twin Peaks and headed westbound with about 45.  The west side of The Stooges got us into the low 4s, and we took the tailwind toward Nordhoff.  There was west wind on the pond below, so were expecting to encounter a headwind.  We found it just short of the SE point, but got around ok.

The thermals were tracking from the SW, and the good action was drifting OTB.  TQ came over and helped map it out.  We finally centered up on a couple of good cores and pressed on for the main ridge with 4+.  Came around the corner a couple hundred below ridge line and dolphined on in the mixture of ridge and convection.  We stopped at the western end of the ridge and thermaled up, but cloudbase was dropping below 4.  We dolphined westbound and rounded the turn point (The Nut House Launch) with 35.  The whole area was letting loose with buoyant air all around, but all the lifting was drawing cloudbase down below 34.

TQ was done at the high school, and chase was almost down the hill.  We headed out front on Spine One for some terrain clearance, and took one up to 45.  The draw from the south fueling the liftoff was building with the lowering cloudbase, but we still got to the High School with 2K.  Landed on the parking lot lawn in a stiff SW.  1:15

Lunch and old war stories at The Bombay