SB to the Oxnard Plain
Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:13 pm
Photos by Chad Bastian from a previous Bates Beach to Ventura flight: http://www.flyaboveall.com/psbates.htm
Typical post-frontal day in Santa Barbara: moderate NW(OTB)winds but a great lapse rate. Everyone thought that with such a good lapse rate it had to thermal block -- and the winds did seem to be dying as the morning progressed -- but we ended up being stuck on the hill longer than anyone anticipated. By 11:30 some of pilots had seen enough and decided to either call it day or to head over to Bates for an attempted trip down to Ventura. Eventually, however, we got enough up cycles for those of us who stuck around to get off the hill.
I was fourth off, and like everyone before me got up out in front of the Thermal Factory, the first big spine east of launch. But as I was climbing out I heard one of the other pilots, Tony Deleo, say that he was flushing off of Montecito Peak, the next trigger point downrange. I've been in that spot before on NW days, sitting there all nice and happy and the next thing I know I'm skimming the roof tops over town and I didn't want any part of that again. So when Tony came back on the radio to say that he was working something over the golf course in Summerland I decided to take my altitude and head in his direction. On more than one occasion in the same conditions I've gotten up (NW/W convergence?) at the same spot so it seemed like the right thing to do. But then Robert Millington came over the radio to say that he was getting up at Montecito Peak and heading over to East Romero. Hearing that I decided to angle back to the mountains. As I got to just east of Montecito Robert transmitted that he was climbing through 5k above the road cut at Romero. At that point I was still out over town and didn't have the altitude to make it there and thinking to myself how much of a mistake I made not staying in the mountains. But out in front of East Romero I found something that got me high enough to make a play for the road cut, just as Robert came back over the radio to say that he was working something between Castle Point and Polo Ridge, which is out over town. I didn't know it at the time but Robert was out above town the whole time and was just reporting that he was even with the landmarks stated above not above them. Hearing that I stayed out front working the convergence and then angled out to Bates when it looked like I had the altitude to make it there. Of the six or seven pilots that got off of the hill, only Robert, myself and John Greynald made it to Bates. There we were joined by Terry Taggert who had just launched and was making the jump across the freeway as we flew in overhead.
PG getting ready to make the jump across the Fwy from Bates
What awaits him
Flying over Bates and the start of the coastal range
If you live in So Cal you owe it to yourself to head up here. Ridge soaring down the coastal range is as much fun as you will ever experience on a hang glider. All four of us seasoned vets had a blast just drifting down the coast on our way to Ventura. However, at the end of the range at Taylor Ranch I couldn't convince the other guys to make the jump to the Avenue so I went out on my own. Got there with about 1600 ft. and left for the Oxnard Plain at just over 2k. A couple of low leaners got me out to Kimball rd and the 126 (32 miles); everyone one else landed on the beach in Ventura.
Making the jump to Avenue and then out to the Oxnard Plain
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