Here's a copy of the note I sent to the HGC list after flying on Sunday. It was a hell of a day.
Every glider was in the air this afternoon and they weren't coming down. Even Ramy came out to play. It's too bad more private guys didn't come out. There were many multi-hour flights from 2,500-3,500 foot tows and a shortage of gliders! We had cloud bases at ~3,500 with a nice big cloud street just west of the airport, running toward northwest--probably into the Santa Cruz Mountains. It headed south over Bikle and appeared to go all the way to Panoche (or farther?) where there was another cloud street visible. There was also a line of clouds over the east hills--maybe just past the 2nd ridge, but the bases looked a bit low and not as solid. Everyone seemed to fly west of the airport today. The lift was quite strong in places. I had at least two really good good 8-10 knot thermals, with 4-6 knots being quite common. If you were lazy, you could just fly straight under the clouds at 60-70 knots and still gain a couple hundred feet every few miles. And, if you were in the right place (just west of the cloud street) it was even possible to get a few hundred feet above the cloud bases. Later in the day I ventured over the airport and then to Christiansen, loosing maybe 200 feet to get there. After a bit of playing I discovered an invisible cloud street that seemed to be roughly half way between the one to the west and the one over the east hills. I must have flown that triangular route 3 or 4 times, never getting below 3,000. There was lift all over the place. We had some serious (8-10 knot) sink in a few places. Jamie had his first flight in a Pegasus and was treated to a nice 2+ hour flight. Excellent December soaring! Hopefully we'll get to hear how far Ramy ended up going...
The only thing I didn't mention was my first flight. I released at 2,000 feet thinking I had great lift, only to end up back on the ground 12 minutes later. Doh! Luckily, I more than made up for it on the second flight. :-) It was about 2.7 hours from a 3,500 foot release in Pegasus 2BA.
Ramy ended up going all the way to the beach near Santa Cruz and back!
Posted by jzawodn at December 14, 2003 09:44 PM