Skyport to Oat Mountain to Moorpark
45 + 12 ~ 57 miles
Tandem with Sharon (+ 20 lbs ballast)
Another good looking day with strong lapse rate and better sun than the previous few days. Art, Robb Milley, and Terry Taggart were on launch when we arrived with 7 in Diablo's 5 passenger Land Cruiser about 9:45. Art got low at launch and hit the fire break out from The Rock. Sharon & I were second off about a quarter past 10. We tried to get up at launch, but left a hundred below. Pulled a good glide and squeezed in behind the power lines on the low point of the Thermal Factory. Struggled for 5 minutes and finally tracked up the spine to a good thermal that went over 5K.
Pretty easy going with some tail wind and extra altitude, but didn't get up at Power Line Ridge, and had to search out the SE spine to the low front knob. Got a few hundred and ran over to Noon low. Worked up to the low bump in front of the Trapezoid Saddle, and finally back up to the Trapezoid. Stuck for 15 minutes. Something finally let off, but it only got us into the low 4s. Looked back up the ridge to the higher peak and got into the upper 4s. Downwind glide for West Divide with 47. Got there above the Saddle and fished around for 5 minutes before it let off. Climbed above 6K and got to White Ledge above the Peak. Back above 6K again and eastbound for the Nut House.
Came in 500 over launch, but no wind, and we didn't luck into a thermal. Looked uphill, but nada, so we stretched over to the next spine. After a couple of flounders, we were able to center a core tracking up the lee and got over to Spine One (light wind from the SE drawing toward Matilija). Back up above 5, and the high 5s in strong lift off the east side of Nordhoff. Came in above Twin Peaks but got stuck for another 10 minutes. Finally got enough to get over to West Repeater, and went back to big altitude. Pulled a glide to Puckers with a skip off the spine behind Boyd's. Little wind with variable direction. Reached up the spine and hooked a small core over the tit. It let off and we climbed into the upper 6's for the glide to Santa Paula Ridge.
Came over about mid way up. Not much wind. Maybe a little east. Picked up a few hundred and got on top. An earlier report from Edward's home base indicated the sea breeze was likely moving up toward Fillmore. Diablo was chasing past St Thomas. Seemed to be a nice convergence, and climbed to 77 short of Santa Paula Peak. NE wind once out of the thermal, and used a thousand feet on the upwind glide to the peak. No luck at the Peak, but seemed to be below the NE. Continued on past San Cayetano. Found weak smooth lift about half way down the ridge to the east and got back above 6. South Side (John Scott) came over and tagged the lead. Diablo reached Fillmore. He reported light onshore in Santa Paula, calm in between, and east wind in Fillmore. Stiff around the corner at Tracy's.
With stiff east wind at Fillmore, I figured I'd back track to the west side of Santa Paula Peak where we got high, and then try to bridge south. We started back westbound, but seemed to have light west, and we had found lift off to the east, so I turned around and found it again. Got back up to 6ish and headed over to Oat Mountain. We seemed to be protected from the lower level drainage east wind out in the Santa Clara River. Picked up a little headwind approaching the lee side of Oat, but cleared the top with 500 and found some up action. A little on guard in mild wiggle down low, but the air higher up was smooth and sweet. South Side came in overhead and we both climbed to 78 hundred. I thought we may be able to track up toward Tar Flats, and stay out of the east wind. I'm not sure where we would have gone from there, but I was hoping to perhaps get out to I5 up by Lake Castic.
John was a thousand above us, so he topped out first and left toward the Piru Valley. His glide looked ok but Diablo was reporting stiff east wind coming down the river. John's was angling toward the river, and his direction looked like a dead end upwind glide for us slow pokes. I was thinking of trying more of a northern route away from the river, but opted to bridge south toward Moorpark instead. We pulled an ok glide, finding a little over the VOR, and another patch of broken lift over a golf course a mile north of the 118, but wasn't able to lock onto a core and climb out. Landed in a field on 118 just west of an electrical substation, a couple of miles west of 23 in light an variable wind. 2:45. Diablo was there about 10 minutes after touchdown.
Went back to the Santa Clara and upriver past Piru to collect South Side (Fusion) and Mark (Atos). Found Dane in Fillmore on the return leg. It was still east in Piru, but stiff west came up the river to Fillmore about an hour after landing. Diablo got all 6 of us back to Carp. Mark took John to retrieve his truck in SB, and I took Dane to SA's pad for the sunset, soup, and war stories with old friends.