Friday, February 3, 2012

Penultimate day at the SF

I hate Sacamacate, I really do!

The task committee decided to go big for this next-to-last day with a 120km task that criss-crossed the mesa to Saucos, La Pila, past Llano, Santa Maria, and finally the lake.  When I heard it was 120km and involving a east-->west crossing of the mesa, my heart sank, as in all my years of trying this mesa crossing against the wind, I've only accomplished it once.  But, maybe this would be the second time :)

Anyways, heading to Saucos was pretty uneventful against a quarter-headwind (it was NW up high) and coming back at least to Mesa-D was also fine.  The problem came with crossing to Sacamacate from Mesa-D...on the mesa it was SW, not NW, which meant it was an uphill and upwind slog to get to the other side.

Saucos TP
Now I possibly had the altitude to get over the edge of the mesa back to the Penon side, but it was gonna be tight, and I'm not fond of pushing full speed bar into the wind, low, over trees, approaching the probably-rotory edge of the Wall.  The potential risk is too high for me; over the years I've watched lots of pilots chuck reserves as they get a rotor-collapse too low to the ground and end up in the trees, or just plain ol' don't make the glide over the edge and end up in the trees anyways.  Call me a wuss but I wanted more height to get this right.  So back I turned to the hated Sacamacate to tank up and try again, and of course my curse replayed itself, with no coherent lift to the clouds sitting above it and I landed on the plateau right at the base of my nemesis.

Other pilots with more balls sailed overhead and apparently made it over the trees and to the Penon side, where they presumably flew many more km's.  From the preliminary results, it appeared if you could make it over the edge of the mesa you were golden for at least another 50-60km.

Did I mention how much I hate Sacamacate?

On the flip side I did have a beautiful afternoon waiting for retrieve, working on my tan and enjoying the last bits of warmth and sun before I head back to Canada on Sunday.  Retrieve took a while since the regular road to Sacamacate is apparently closed so I eventually had to get a local to drive me down the little-known "back way".

It would be nice to break my streak of not making it back over the mesa against the wind, but unless we try this again tomorrow it'll have to wait for another year :)

5 comments:

  1. Did you see any monkeys or donkeys at the base of Sacamacate? There were rhinoceroses in the field I landed in. Brett Zaenglein

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  2. Did you see any monkeys or donkeys at the base of Sacamacate? There were rhinoceroses in the field I landed in.

    Brett Zaenglein

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  3. BZ, what have I told you about drinking before flying...rhinos...c'mon ;)

    Nicole, I've really enjoyed your blog. Flying Valle is always a very long day, so I don't know where you find time to write about it afterwards, but thanks for keeping me entertained.

    rhinos...really!

    Dean S

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    1. Deano, reread Nicole's post about Task 6 and then check out where I landed yesterday. Yes Deano, there truely are Rhinos in Mexico - Really, honestly!

      Nicole, I also have really enjoyed your posts. I see you in Pemberton if not sooner.

      BZ

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  4. Deano, reread Nicole's post about Task 6 and then check out where I landed yesterday. Yes Deano, there truely are Rhinos in Mexico - Really, honestly!

    Nicole, I also have really enjoyed your posts. I see you in Pemberton if not sooner.

    BZ

    ReplyDelete