Ramy called a north wind wave day for Friday and Paul very kindly offered to get out to the airport early to support Ramy's audacious attempt to fly downwind to Santa Barbara.
Ramy launched around 9am and connected with the Los Vaqueros wave at WAVE3. Soon after Walter and I tried to do the same in KP, but we didn't see any lift worth taking, so we exercised patience and stayed on tow until WAVE1 where smooth 2kt lift was found. As you will notice from the flight trace, we attempted to find better than 2kt lift to the east and west of WAVE1 but no joy.
Walter alerted Ramy on 123.3 that WAVE1 was working and he soon joined us and out-climbed KP. We took about 1.2 hours to reach 18,000 where the wave gave hints that it was getting stronger. Had NorCal granted us higher, I think we could have made 20K+.
After topping out and hearing Ramy head south, we decided to burn up some altitude by exploring West, however, NorCal wanted us out of there:
"1KP, I'm vectoring SFO departures around you, state intentions"
Time to cut and run- we turned around and headed towards Tracy. On the way back a different NorCal controller inquired "say type of aircraft" and we had to repeat "glider" several times. Cognitive dissonance I suppose. No one expects a glider to be at 15,000 feet.
By the time we got back the winds were blowing strong at Byron- 320 23G28. Walter made an excellent low energy landing, despite getting smacked around on short final.
Many thanks to Paul for getting up early on his day off to make it happen for us. Yesterday was definitely a top 10 flight for me. And thanks to Ramy for the encouragement.