-------- Original Message --------
|Subject:||[norcalsoaring] Riding high and far on Sunday, 300km myth broken!!! [9 Attachments]|
|Date:||Mon, 28 Jan 2013 21:34:49 -0800|
|From:||Buzz Graves <email@example.com>|
|To:||Norcal Soaring <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|CC:||Buzz Graves <email@example.com>|
[Attachment(s) from Buzz Graves included below]
It is very unusual to get farther than 300 km in January, but like is always said if you don't paddle in you will never know what the day can offer, Sunday will go down as a very special day. Nearly all the lift you read about was offered, thermals, convergence, streets aligned with the wind, and that magic wave that is so eerie smooth and exhilarating when you are literal on top of the world above the clouds.
As Ramy called the day , both the NAM and RASP from Avenal were showing a good potential for clouds and winds that were not going to stir things into a mess of turbulence. The whole time I was rigging the skies over the Diablo's to the south looked very inviting and as time passed stepping stones of other clouds were forming nearby. From the start you could see a large range in cloud bases with over a 1000ft difference. This usually means convergence, if you are trying to go far during this time of year where the days are the shortest, key is not turning and continue to go forward and start as early as possible. Goal for the day was to try and break the myth a flight over 300km in January was nearly impossible in thermals, maybe in wave but not otherwise.
Launching near 11:30 was the best I could do driving from Los Gatos with my glider in tow, rigging and all that overhead stuff. Moving fast I could I got help from Glider ground as I taxed by as the spotted my shoulder belt flapping in the breeze, thanks guys you are great!!! I took BG to slightly over 4000ft just south of 580 and then glided to the first cloud. Climb was slow, 1-2 knots with bases about 5000ft, not high enough to get into San Antonio Valley where the clouds bases were up to 7000ft. I headed to Mtn Oso keeping the valley strips in reach. Nearly every wisp was working, great when you are not all that high, only the lift was 2-3 knots so slow going. 300km was looking tough as the myth predicted. Further south things were looking better and better as the RASP predicted. As I neared San Carlos Res. there was a well marked cloud convergence line toward Los Banos and beyond. As I got in the area you could easily see how that was happening, valley air was converging with the airmass coming through Pacheco Pass at the 152 crossing, wind patterns on the reservoir were telling the story. This was a great run, not turning for mile after mile bring that 300km into the realm of possible. I continued south until a out and return would break the myth. Actually there was no end in sight for good clouds as the went beyond I could see at the Benito's, only end was when the sun would set and could you make it back in time.
The return had its tricky moments, the lower cloud bases near the reservoir ( 4000ft) wasn't enough to get to he higher clouds in San Antonio valley ( >7000FT) and a easy ride back north. This leg was an exercise in patience, 1-1.5 knots was good enough until you could stretch to he next good looking cloud over higher ground. It all paid off when I got close to Paradise Flats where the vario started sing those higher notes that tingle the spine, 4-6 knots to cloud base at over 7000ft and Bob's your uncle. Heading north in San Antonio Valley near cloud bases and not turning again was again bring that 300km day closer and possible. So time to relax and snack on the Starbucks sandwich. Get to Rel 2 I couldn't help bit turn around and finish the second half of my sandwich and enjoy the views. Back down to the reservoir and back north again. The nice clouds I came down on were looking different and so a bit more turning to move on.
Then as if a gift had been handed to me, just south of Mtn Stakes I found wave on the up wind side of some clouds running perpendicular to the wind. Smooth and easy to climb at 4-5 knots from 7000ft to top out at over 9000ft. On top of the world and feeling very the 300km was in the bag and maybe even more. Over most of the clouds heading north I had to pick cloud canyons to as I sunk lower and lower. Cloud bases near Rel 1 near Livermore were only about 5k. Looking further north Mtn Diablo was looking possible. Tanking up as much as possible near Meadow Lark I cross a big blue hole and then connect north of Los Vaqueros Then on to the next wisp coming ff the thermal plumes from the Antioch Power Plant.
Working the power plant plumes to 5k in 1-2 knots I headed across the delta till I had Byron in final glide to with a 1000ft margin over pattern. Getting back near Discovery Bay I meet up with Mathew in 972 looking really good in the late afternoon sun. Yep it was time for a photo shoot, hope you enjoy the pictures.
The myth has been broken with plenty of margin....OLC 395Km!!! A personal best for me in the month of January and maybe the longest flight from Byron as well this time of year.
It was a great day we all shared in many ways for those who paddled in, both on the ground and in the air,
Attachment(s) from Buzz Graves
9 of 9 Photo(s)