Sunday it was neither post-frontal nor Santa Ana, two conditions where Santa Barbara works the best. However, the weatherman was calling for record high temperatures. All the models were calling for at least 7k tops for Ojai and light SW winds through the boundary layer. But, and there is always a but, there was a prediction of a high cloud deck. How would it affect the rest of the forecast?
For me, it didn't matter. My daughter is back for spring break and she brought a couple of her friends with her. One of the things that she wanted to do with them was chase for me. Sunday looked as good a day as any.
Three potential drivers, but no one to drive for. The high clouds kept everyone home, including the person who would have been my flying partner for the day, but, had a change of heart between the time we left the house and the time we showed up at his doorstep. I made one other phone call when we got into Santa Barbara, but still no takers.
We arrived at EJ Bowl all alone around 10. Considering the recent time change it was early regardless of the thick cloud cover. But, it left plenty of time for the blue hole to the west of us to work its way over to us and still have the time for a good flight. It took 3 hours. Ladies, welcome to hang waiting. In the interim, a truck load of PGS showed up to fly. However, none wanted to wait for the sun to arrive and all flushed off the hill in the shade. By the time I launched around 1:00, after waiting for the sun line to bathe the RR for a bit, I was the only one left around.
|R and R|
|Start of the Casitas Pass|
|The climb just short of bump three|
After a couple of lazy circles above Whiteledge I took my altitude and B-lined it for Bump 3. However, about half-way there I found another great thermal over a nondescript area that topped out close to 8k. From there it was basically a straight glide to the Three Stooges.
I stopped at Nordoff for a couple of turns but the air was a bit too textured for my blood. As usual Three Stooges was good enough for a skip over to Chiefs. However, despite being probably the most reliable spine on the range, I could not climb out. I was forced to fly off of Chiefs low to the foothills in front of West Repeater.
|Close to 9k above Santa Paula Peak|
|Last climb of the day|