Friday, November 19, 2010

Good Day at Mount Tamalpais

Just occasionally Mount Tamalpias where I work, becomes soarable, its rare and sometimes a surprize. Yesterday turned out to be one such day. Very pleasing indeed.The typical flight down is 8 mins or so, at 2000ft MSL and a sink rate of 240 feet per min descent rate this adds up.Yesterday though we climbed up over launch and caught the rare views.It was a bit bumpy and after 30mins my student could do no more.We came in for a sweet landing into a 12mph headwind. With 3 flights in the day we were just in time to catch the sunset!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kayaking in the San Francisco Bay

Another fantastic kayak journey I've been wanting to do since I bought the contraption, is a tour of the north San Francisco bay. However you if you want to have a most excellent time, getting the weather right is a must. The water is cold, the currents are enormous, and the winds can pick up, howl and create quite a chop on the water!We were very lucky to get another rare hot (89'F in the city) day like this, it happened to be a Wednesday, and so Tracey took the day off.We "put in" in an industrial area of Sausalito, and paddled through (and under) the touristy part. The tide was coming in so we decided to head for the Golden Gate bridge first and see how close we could get, before conceeding to the tide and wind. Heading in for Angel Island, we passed to the north of Alcatraz. We landed on Perles Beach. It was a beautiful 85'F right there, quite unusual for SF.We picniced and explored the beach before putting back in. On the Eastern side on the Island behind point blunt there are some very nice sheltered beaches. We passed by east garrison (an old abondonned missile base). On to China cove, the old immigration station of the west (no Statue of Liberty here, but there is a very cool bell).Angel Island was used as an immigrant processing station from 1910 to 1940. Immigrants were required to come here and stay until released after undergoing medical exams, interrogations and sometimes internment. In the 1940s the island changed to a POW camp. The Bell was intended to be used in Fog. The next cove is Ayala, the modern day tourist boat wharf. Some sea fairing folks call this home sometimes. I like the old colonial houses... From Ayala we hugged the island shore as a squall came through from the west, then made the run across Racoon Strait.
It was a fabulous trip, could not have asked for better weather! Or company ;)
It was a 5hr30min trip, and about 11.7 miles of paddling.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Back in San Francisco.

Since being back I have been quite busy, collecting up the pieces after being mostly away 6 of the last 8 months. I was pleased that my glider was not smashed in transit from France after it was denied access to the Xray machine for the flight. I've since learned the technique to getting it through security at the airport is to talk the staff into scanning half if it at a time. I don't know if that would have worked at 5am in a hail storm with the power going in and out, but I would have given it a try ;)

So what have I been up to? Mostly Flying tandems from Mt Tam.

While test flying my Litespeed at Funston I did get to see some unusual animals!Tracey and I went for a nice bike n' hike in Point Reyes. Down to arch rock.

We also went for a ride along the Bay Trail which has some nice parts, and plenty of birdlife.