Friday, 4/25/03
Three tries from Bates

I was busy with a house projects, but the breeze got my attention once I was through.  The wind started coming up earlier in the afternoon, but my speed bar needed repair, so I didn't leave the house till 3.  I brought a ballast bag just in case.  Pam and Sam were out for an hour.

It was 12 to 16 on the deck, and 20 up higher.  The ocean had light consistent caps.  Only moderate wind in the middle of the channel, but blowing harder at the airport.  It had been cloudy earlier as a weak front pushed through, but it was clearing from the west.  Used full ballast, and could penetrate without the speed bar down lower.  Backing up a bit up at altitude when slowing down for sink rate.

Topped about 350 msl, and got to 400 backing up.  In good position for the jump, but probably too low for the direction.  The velocity was about right, but the direction was a little too cross from the west.  You can connect from 400 if the direction is good, but if it's too west you don't get as high, and have to get further down toward the Gas Plant to get back to some up air.  Gave it a try hoping for a thermal boost off the flat ridge, but only got the usual spank.  I was on the north edge and had to run back for the ocean side to avoid a top landing.  Drifting away from the cliff face once over the edge (not good).  Had a couple of pops that drifted in, but needed to get another 2 or 300 yards further.  Landed on the tracks about 1/3 of the way to the Gas Plant.

Chris Grantham collected me for round 2.  It seemed to be getting weaker.  Same altitude, so I went back top to offload my 20 pounds of ballast.

Tried again with the same result.  Pam called and wanted me home, so back top again and off to the house.

Christian also flew, along with Tony De Groot & JR in their HGs.