Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Baja Trip - Day 3 (Part 1)

Friday, July 15, 2005 (Morning)
After the past 2 days, we were itching to fly. We awoke to the entire coast fogged in, but we expected it to lift. After breakfast we did some motoring as we waited for the sky to clear. The winds were slightly South and by 10:00 cloud base was up to around 800 feet. With the southerly winds, the La Salina ridge was out, but we figured that once the fog burned off thermal heating in the flats in front of launch would have it blowing in.

On a previous trip Jeff and Stinky had soared a small hill with condominiums and houses on top at the golf course about 2 miles to the south. It’s a small site, definite bandito territory as you have to get past the guards to get into the gated community. The site is slightly south facing so we hatched a plan where Jeff and I would motor down and see if there was enough lift to stay up while the rest of the crew avoided the guards in the truck.

Jeff and I launched and we flew down the coast. Once we were past the La Salina marina, the coastline changed drastically, becoming rocky and gnarly. On the way down we saw some interesting things, including some very expensive homes hidden in with the typically Mexican shambles. We even saw the fuselage of an old prop powered airliner that was up on stilts and being used as a home.

Upon arriving at the golf course hill it was obvious that there wasn’t enough wind rolling up the hill for us to stay up. We made several passes, waving at the condo owners having breakfast on their balconies. On the way back to Brent’s, I swung over to the ridge to test the lift and found the wind starting to turn to the west.

Once the truck crew made it back, Steve and Brad did some motoring. Steve headed back to the ridge and found it starting to pick up. We load up the gear and headed to the top, with Steve electing to top land with the motor and wait for us. (No small feat for a guy with zero PG flights, but Steve is a great motor pilot and he had no problem.)

Getting kinda long here, so I will post the afternoon activity in a seperate post.

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