Santa Barbara S.I.V.- EJ Bowl to Parma 3/15/14

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The morning dawned clear, but there was still some residual wind battering about from the nights activity. I checked the forecasts, and everything was in agreement- the wind will decrease from a moderate NE, down to a light to moderate SW. Perfect.

I sent the tweet and rallied the Eagle van.

We all started showing up at Parma just before 10:30, and everyone seemed pretty fired up for the day. Winds were dropping almost to zero, and the sun was shining bright. We headed up with a great crew of both local and visiting pilots. Some familiar faces were: Marge, Morgan, Chris H., Spencer, Dave B., David H., Lee, Aaron (not Laplante), Ernesto, and more. Everyone was having a great time on the ride up, exchanging stories and getting ready for a day of flying.

Once we pulled up at SkyPort, the cycles were light with no real base wind at all. We kept the van loaded with all the bags as we hopped out and took a look. Pretty nice conditions, but I wanted to go to the upper launch. I checked the La Cumbre weather sensor, and it was coming in perfectly up top. Everyone jumped back in, and we proceeded up to EJ Bowl.

Morgan had brought his friend Mike along as a driver, so once we parked up at EJ all we had to do was fly. The ten or so of us headed up the two minute trail, and started setting up. Cycles were coming straight in, at about 3-5 mph. Nice and perfect. Lee got out first, then I think it was me, and soon everyone followed. Most everyone got up, and were able to cruise around.

I launched in a somewhat weak cycle, but was able to make it work just in front of launch. I soared on up, and got a few minutes in, before making a quick top land for fun. Not the best top landing, but it worked, and I immediately took back off. I took a thermal a few hundred feet up, before setting off to the R&R. I met up with Chris and another in this area, but they did not quite get the thermal I did. I was able to get up over the top of R&R pretty high, maybe 4,200 feet. I took it over to the Thermal Factory and then the Antennae Farm, and topped off with as much altitude as I could. I had a few friends to meet in the LZ at 12:30, so I went out to land.

Dave B., ended up going XC and heading down range before gliding out to Padero it seemed. Lee had a great flight, top landed EJ, and continued on. Spencer had a great accident free day, we are glad to see him back and ok (no low acro anyone!). Ernesto landed out in some hillside after a wandering flight path.

I was high over Parma when I came out, so I had some fun with my wing. All the time I throw down some s.i.v. to stay current, and today was no different. Here is the video of it-

After landing, the friends showed up, and some of us went up again for a second lap. I was taking a friend tandem, and a few pilots were taking a second lap as well. The only hang up was that a big rock fall had happened while we were up at EJ Bowl, and had closed Gibralter road just below Skyport. Our Driver had to go all the way out to the 154 and back to Parma the long way. In the meantime, the slide was somewhat pushed aside, and on the second lap we squeezed on through.

Skyport was perfect, with moderate to strong cycles coming up. Ulf and Morgan got off nicely, and Adam and I went third. We soared up above launch, and made our way over to the radio towers just in front of the Thermal Factory. We climbed in some weak thermals there for a few minutes, but kept on going to the Antennae Farm where I knew we would find a bigger one. Yep, we found it, and climbed to almost 4,000 feet in it. We boated around for a while, then we made our way to the LZ to meet up with the crew.

Great day, I’m glad you guys came out and enjoyed it as well. And if you missed it, no worries- we do this almost every day….

Dave Turner