Saturday, 12/17/03
Santa Barbara, 3 flights
Brotherhood / 350 over / top land
Brotherhood / land out on north side at 2,800'
Skyport to Pigeon Ranch Golf Course (Hwy 150) ~ 17 miles

Weather Archive

Collected Frank and headed uphill from Parma with Chris Paul and Sharon in Topa Chase at 9:30.  Blowing down at the Bypass and the Skyport, so up to the Brotherhood.  Good conditions, strong enough, but not too strong.  Airborne about 10:20.  Big fat lift band, but only getting about 350 over.  Super cold, so came in for a top landing to add a layer of glove liners.

Conditions were getting weaker.  Launch cycles only zero to 7.  Chase had already headed down.  With conditions getting weak, we could go OTB low, but needed to get airborne.  Forced one off, swimming through the brush to get clear.  Poor energy launch and lost 30' right away.  Should have put it down on the road, but stretched across to try the HG launch.  No luck and lost too much in the 180.  Trying to get back to the road but coming in below it.  Was going to stuff it just below the road, but took another drop and was going to be 30 feet below in the tall brush.  Broke it off with an empty feeling that I couldn't reach base.  I always say "keep the road with reach", and I broke my own rule.  I'd gotten below it before and been able to thermal back up out front, so I went for a sunny spine off the NE.  Didn't work, so I had to consider the possibility of not connecting.  Went west for the highest intercept to the dirt road that goes down to Gibraltar Reservoir.  Put down at the 2,800 foot level.  Probably should have gone west originally to shorten a potential hike back up.

In the bag and hiking at ten past eleven.  Wasn't as far as I thought to Camino Cielo. Got there in 30 minutes with one rest stop.  Continued on to the intersection of Gibraltar and Camino Cielo.  Hooked up with Carolyn who was retrieving South Side and Chris Paul from The Brotherhood.  South Side had hiked his HG up to launch, but couldn't fly due to equipment trouble.  Chris had flown and top landed, but opted to take the ride down to the Skyport due to the lighter north conditions.

The Skyport was on the edge of the north wind, back and forth / up and down.  Chris Paul launched first and opted to pass on the lift at launch and head away from the north/south edge.  He got up at the Antenna Farm.  I followed about 12:30 and took the house thermal straight up to about 35.  45 at the R&R, but encountered a north shear above.  Went east bound

Lee side all the way down range.  The better line seemed to be a little out front and a bit lower, but not too low.  A few places were blocking and drawing in, but most of the ridge line was OTB.  Got to 44 at the Power Lines (a little out front) and came in on Noon Peak above the Trapezoid.  Stuck for 20 minutes.  Seemed to be shutting down early.  Finally left for the front of West Divide with 4K.  500 below my minimums, but my rational was that I'd have to flush down the Divide Spine anyway. (I would have been better off taking my 4K from Noon and heading out front).

Diablo had gotten to 48 at Noon and beat me to Divide.  Didn't work for either of us, and we fizzled off.  Looking at the wrong side of a glide to clear Gobernador Hill with a low power line crossing and possibly a half mile hike up the firebreak for relaunch.  Down to 24, against a quartering west wind (would have been quartering downwind from Noon) trying to hold the spine where it jogs right.  The spine's right jog put me a bit downwind, which is where I needed to be to line up with the trajectory of the lift coming off the spine.  Hooked one and got back to 32.  Diablo cruised down and went around my upwind side, in front of the lift, to flush in the sand at Bates.

There was some light west wind, so Cate School was questionable.  The hill behind the Gobernador was good for a few hundred in a couple of spots.  Took it across the canyon up the 150.  Climbed back up from 12 hundred to 2K.  Took the downwind glide and cleared the first summit.  Threw out the anchor at the Pigeon Farm and opted for the golf course.  Good landing about 2:30ish.  South Side was right there.  Packed up on the grass at the new park in Carpinteria.

Pam came over with the San, Tess, Evan, & Paige.  We played on the grass and watched the rocket launches.  Nice sunny day.