Today was interesting. Lance and I got down to Hollister around 11am and each grabbed a Pegasus. I didn't have one reserved and needed to have mine (9JH) back to the field at 1pm for its reservation. So I launched first (just after noon) and headed toward the Three Sisters.
I got off tow around 6,200 feet and scouted the area around the microwave towers. It was very calm until I got down to 5,000 feet. Then I noticed an area of zero sink. It seemed to follow the power lines along the northwest end of the valley, so I flew the power lines several times very slowly (48 knots or so) and lost no altitude. At the south end of the valley I found a little pocket of 2 knot lift. I couldn't quite stay in it but I could get enough to give me a 1 knot climb on average. So I hung out there for a while before I left to go explore.
That was a mistake. There was no other lift that I could find, so I headed back in the zero sink and arrived at my lift pocket around 4,600 feet. By that time Lance was headed my way. I told him what I'd found and he explored the area a bit too.
After a while, he wasn't finding much and had already come down to my altitude, so he came my way and continued south along the power lines. He found bits of lift and eventually got higher than I was. However, I happened to glance at my watch and noticed that the glider was due back in 8 minutes!
So I put the nose down to fly toward Lance for a minute before heading back to the field. Not finding much, I flew the south ridge at about 75 knots, skimmed the peak, and flew back to the airport. I still arrived at 3,000 feet and needed to burn off that altitude. So I flew some 90 knot circles near the airport (apparently a few folks noticed that!) to get down to land.
Lance was only 20 minutes behind me.
After a ton of gliders launched, I headed back to the staging area and noticed Mike getting ready in the Grob. I went over to lend a hand with his launch and he offered me the back seat. How could I resist?
We launched and flew toward the same area. We didn't find much, but then Mike figured he knew a good place. The trouble was that it was all surrounded by 6-8 knot sink, so we didn't stay up very long.
Then, at the end of the day, after we'd packed the Grob up for the night, Jonathon appeared and decided to take the Grob up. He offered the back seat, so I went up again. We managed to find bits of lift and zero sink in the foothills, so we stayed up for about 45 minutes. Not bad at all for a 4pm winter flight.
I think Lance went up in the Fox while I was in the back of the Grob. At least neither of us were bored!
Posted by jzawodn at January 04, 2004 11:26 PM