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EJ to TeaBowls 3/26/17

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:06 pm
by gracecab
First cloud flight.

Attached kmz to see the path I had. Bader landed in Montecito, later on Mitch and Neal got down range to Bates and Toro Canyon.

Notes: I used the Rock to squeeze a save in, actually to cloud base at that time. Then, moved, over Parkers, then to over Tea Bowls. The main thing that I learned this day was using the front vs. back side of a spine is as much a determination of staying up, as picking the right place to fish. (I guess not learned as much as a painful reminder that grounded me earlier than I wanted)

I'm still getting these things into my brain, it takes longer but spending time visualizing them before and after helps make up for lacking the time to be able to put in consistently.

You can see from the Elevation Profile (if you happen to open the log in GE) that the couple times I went to the left (West) of the spine was where I lost all my altitude just worked for, but the themal was on the lee, lapping nicely (see the one 4 turn thermal from almost the bottom back up)... It's just exactly these decisions that make or brake you in this game.

Super fun cloudy day with low cloudbase challenges, and fun with friends.


PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:47 am
by sd
Chris, I recommend you watch Aaron’s Cracka Sauce Tutorial titled Playing the Odds.
In reviewing your flight, I added a Ground Track to your Google Earth KMZ (to see your ground track). I presume the reason you flew out the canyon from EJ launch was not to avoid the lift and search for sink, but rather to avoid the rocks? I suspect you might have launched too high for the day? Pilots flew from SB to Bates on Sunday, so it was obviously soarable.

As per Crack’s video, I would recommend reaching for higher intercepts and getting on top of the triggers. I didn’t fly Sunday, but I suspect the clouds and sun line played into choices and options?

On low base days the sun is a huge factor. You might need to slow down and wait for it or try to race to catch up to it. Usually, reaching for the high ground is a good move, but if the high ground is in heavy shade, the you might want to fish out front instead. The problem with fishing out front is it often leaves you committed with nothing to cling to if you don’t get any bites.

You don’t want to be “out in the sun”. The better lift is usually on the shady side of the sun line. Advancing shade is often yields the best lift. New sun will only offer small broken thermal teasers until it has had time to heat for a while.

It is helpful to monitor the medium size picture and be aware of the OD/Clearing iteration timing. You also want to be aware of the time of day. Each iteration will be a little different than the one before. On spring day, the wind will often build from the west later in the day. This weekend we had west wind to the west but flow from the SE further east?

You could have reached for a higher intercept crossing from the Holy Hills toward the Round House.

You did a good job fishing out a thermal and then climbing out from the Rock, but you left the thermal going up, gaining 200 feet on glide. Was cloudbase your decision to move on? Dave Bader’s photo (posted above your photo from EJ launch) shows cloudbase above the Round House. Likely higher in the back and lower out front? I suspect you were at fuzzy cloudbase in front of Parkers?

Sometimes you need to be patient and slow down, then make good time when it heats up. Low cloudbase days often iterate from OD to clearing, lifting and then OD again. As a general rule, if I flush early on a low base day, I try to get back to launch and try again. It is often good to be driving to launch when it is dark and ODed. If it looks good driving up, you are probably too late and will need to wait for the next iteration.

On my first flight Saturday, I launched too high (from the Skyport). Cloudbase was higher in the back but much lower out front so I was forced way out front and out of position. Landed by Sheffield Drive after an extended sleder, packed up quick and took an Uber back to Parma and then got a ride back to launch for another try, which worked better. I was a tad late on the iteration so I was racing low trying to catch up to the sun/shade line that was moving west to east (never did catch up, just got further behind). Got low but was able to hang on and eventually capitalize on the weak lift late in the day along a front route (Polo Ridge and Snowball).

Video and Photos

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:18 am
by sd
Chris, Just figured out how to view your videos from Sunday on Facebook (I’m not a facebooker). Looks like you launched too high for the day? EJ is clear in your video. How much time did it take you to set up and get off? By the time you landed at Tea Bowls it looks pretty filled in. I can’t offer firm guidance, but in some scenarios getting high or being high on low cloudbase days can be problematic because the lack of visual reference can result in navigational issues, and there are also legal and ethical considerations about not jeopardizing other people or property.

I strongly recommend getting back to launch for another try on unstable low cloudbase days, even if it looks dark because it will often iterate. You might need to spend 15 bucks on an Uber ride to Parma (on weekends it is usually a quick thumb up the hill from the stop sign intersection of El Cielito and Gibraltar), but when you consider the total cost of any flight, spending an extra $15 when necessary is cost effective. In accounting there is a huge difference between price and cost. Cost includes everything it takes to put something into service like the storage space to keep your glider (cost per square foot), depreciation on your equipment, time, etc.

Re: EJ to TeaBowls 3/26/17

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:16 pm
by gracecab
Thanks for the advice, education and encouragement amigo.

All of that sounds pretty much just like what happened...

I was talking a little longer than usual to launch, due to nerves a little, and was waiting for more of a thermal cycle to launch on which never really came... Bader was already down around the Tit by the time I launched.

There was talk of a second round, and I do try more and more to make the most of a day where we are already invested in being there... the other day I got 3 launches from EJ thanks to 2 cars and one Uber...

I pulled out of the thermal due to cloudbase wispys... (video shows it), a little after Dave on radio says 'good job Chris' part (the 'save'). I got to the next spine (video cut off due to memory full) (after Parkers) and Dave H. and I spent time there, I struggled and ended up at the Montecito Water District building/field.. It was getting really light (at least for me) and shading up... Dave Bader ended up Montecito mansion Park Ln... oops, etc. I believe he mentioned that one bad decision decked him for his case too..

As it was pretty early, I think there wasn't enough residual heating (and it was East faces only in AM) to release on the spines to keep us up... but Neal launched at almost 11 I believe (doarama) and ended up going far thanks to the first sun-cycle after the first big development... like you were saying about Saturday for you... wait for the sun, not necessarily the best thing to be early bird and high... it's all dependent on the days weather menu, you gotta read the menu to pick your meal ! ;-) :)