Saturday, November 21, 2009

last few weeks at my appartment

A few weeks ago, projects where I was working, seemed to just end. Even at the best of times I was breaking even, so I have decided to cut my losses and move on. In the mean time I have been doing Tandems here and there, and enjoying what I like about my little rental. Right out the back door there is a really nice walking trail.It starts off a bit steep. Then opens out into a nice sunny clearing, its amazing how quickly things turned green after a bit of rain. Its a mixture of Redwood, Douglas Fir, Tan oak, Eucalyptus, poison oak, and chemise. The trail winds it way through private property from Lodato park,
to up above the mystery spot. The view opens up there of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz in the foreground. Quite often I stumble upon evidence of Mountain Lions, I've not seen one in my back yard yet but have seen 3 up north in Wilder. Deer, Coyotes and Racoons are common, with the occasional Bobcat. I feel like I am getting ready to say goodbye to Santa Cruz, but I am not sure what is in my future 9 months from now... I will miss living in the forest. I've been there over 7 years.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cold water classic

Big waves in Santa Cruz this weekend, I beleive they topped out at 23 feet. They are down to about 14 feet when I saw them. and it was still impressive. Its hard to capture the perspective of these ocean mountains. There were some very competant surfers out there tearing it up. I am curious what speeds these guys get up to, looked like more than 40 mph. The were large weights of water being flung around with great energy at the cliffs. The lighting got pretty toward sunset. Here's a natural arch, that is probably much closer to becoming a stack after this weekend.

Local flying at Ed Levin

Ed Levin or "Sled Heaven" as it is affectionately known, does get soarable in the right conditions. There was a good showing for these "right" conditions Friday. The weather pattern that works : the day of or before a cold front passes. There were 3 days this week where that was the case. Typically the wind is south in the morning and NW in the afternoon. This generally allows one to fly over to Mission peak as the wind switches, and fly back to Ed Levin. This flight is dubbed "The golden eagle". Co-insidentally there have been a family of golden eagles at Ed Levin all week. Thurday I got to thermal with the whole family (6 of them). Its entertaining watching the scraggly young ones that don't even look like eagles yet trying to learn the air currents. It certainly appears that the tip stalls and slipping turns are unintentional. As the wind swiches the lift band gets really wide, and if you are close to the clouds they have some good and genally weak "cloud suck" that allows you to glide out over Freemont. Its important to make it back to the park before an hour before dusk as the park gets locked, and you'll be stuck there. Fun day ! A nice break from packing up my house, in preparation for the next chapter of adventures. Dave had a really good flight Friday - top landing at Mission before re-launching and flying back.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Canoa ridge race

The Canoa ridge race is an annual event, I've wanted to attend the last couple of years. For a number of reasons I haven't made it. Canoa is on the west coast of Ecuador. Many of my buddies have just returned from this years event. I have been following it online. While there last year Jeff, was struck by the poverty, and was determind to make a significant difference this year. This video shows how.

The below link, gives an opertunity to contribute to an ongoing effort to help this cause.