SBSA Big Sur spring flying and camping – April 17th – 19th

The trip was this past weekend……how was it you ask….. hella fun awesome!  Several people showed up on Friday to fly and there were a handful of people who had been there since earlier in the week.  Friday turned out to be a pretty good day of flying.  I showed up at the LZ around noon, several people were already launching and climbing out high above launch.  There was a nice little gaggle going as I was making my way up to Launch.  Conditions were not quite as good by the time I launched but it was still good enough to soar for a while and the air was crisp and clear.  You could see a little hazy fog bank way off shore but the coast was completely clear to the North and South.   After we landed we setup our camp and it was pretty amazing to me that there were so many tents already up in the campground group sites.  A group of us headed back up for round 2 and got another nice little flight (Thanks to Brian for the ride up).  The wind had picked up from the N/NW and it was easy to soar the spine on the way out to the ridge with some thermals mixed in.  After we landed we headed back to the group sites, relaxed for a bit and then loaded up a van with around 10 people to catch the sunset flight from the launch above the campgrounds (Thanks Lua and Steven for the van and ride up).  It was really light cycles on launch and there was a group camped pretty much in the middle of launch but we all managed to get off and take an extended sledder down to the the LZ at Sand Dollar just in time to enjoy the sunset and a beer!  Friday night we had groups in the lower and upper group site and people were being social and mingling among the two fires.  We eventually had some music and a good campfire at the upper site.  I estimated there were probably about 45-50 people camping on Friday night with a few stragglers who came in late night.

Saturday we woke up to a fog bank (not unusual for Big Sur).  After everyone got some coffee and breakfast we motivated about a dozen people to hike to launch.   The rest the pilots loaded the vans and headed up to launch.   When we left the LZ to hike up to launch it was pretty chilly and everyone had on several layers, after we hiked up to about 800ft the fog broke and the heat was on.  The rest the hike was a beautiful with a nice layer of puffy clouds lining the coast.   We arrived on launch quite a bit later then the vans but just about the right timing for when the fog bank was starting to dissipate a little along the coastline.   Only issue was the random group that was camped on launch with their tents setup blocking us from using the whole launching area and not being very willing to move them.  The clouds were breathing in and out and we could see the LZ well enough to make the call to start launching.  The first few pilots made it look easy soaring and catching thermals off to the right of launch.  Wayne and LJ went left on their hang gliders, dived deep and climbed out on the back range.  Many pilots were able to launch and either climbed out or got the scenic sledder gliding out over the puffy clouds before finding the hole above the LZ.  Unfortunately several pilots got stuck when the fog bank decided to breath back in and end the day of flying in the mountains.  Fortunately, the ridge came on at the same time and many were able to drive down and go soaring until almost sunset.  This is a beautiful ridge right above sand dollar beach and can handle quite a few pilots being in the air together.   Saturday night we announce that the potluck would start at 7pm.  Wow is all I have to say!  The potluck was a huge success with some amazingly tasty food.  Great job to all the cooks out there!!!  There was an abundance of food for all with some crazy good desert to boot.  The campfire was raging early and Chad showed up with his bag of instruments to get everyone in the mood and playing something.  Ivan got the crowd started with “Don’t worry, be happy” and that pretty much set the tone for the rest the evening.  The lively crowd was singing and playing instruments while there was a light show going on above and in the trees.  Pretty amazing night!  From my random count around camp on Saturday night I estimated close to 70 people.   Good times for sure!  Ahhhhhhh Big Sur you never disappoint, such an amazing place.   Thanks to everyone who showed up, contributed, drove to launch, helped out, socialized and help to keep the vibe positive.  Much appreciated.  Hope to see you all for the fall Big Sur trip in early November.


-Jon Blake

SBSA Holiday Party – Dec. 6th at Robin’s Cantina

          2014 SBSA Holiday Party

The Santa Barbara Soaring Association’s 2014 Holiday Party will be held this Saturday on December 6th at Robin’s Cantina.  Robin has again graciously offered his Cantina for our annual party. His Cantina is a bar on his private property in the foothills of Santa Barbara. This is a very special place and our past parties have been great fun! This will be a POTLUCK style party so everyone needs to bring a dish. Potluck signup sheet

Who: You, your friends, your family are invited
When: Saturday, December 6th, 2014 – 6:30pm

Where: Robin’s Cantina – Map

Dress: Casual festive holiday attire!

The club will providing beer, wine, soft drinks, water and utensils. Everyone is always welcome to bring more spirits to help keep them flowing all night long.

We will have a live band again this year!! “The Caverns” will play starting around 9-9:30pm in the evening and rock us into the night!

It will likely be cold outside, so if you have any extra firewood, feel free to bring it and add to the supply. Warm clothes are highly recommended 🙂

Carpooling is encouraged as there is limited parking. Camping will be possible if you wish not to drive after the party. Please plan to be responsible when drinking and plan to camp or have a designated driver or ride.

SBSA BOD elections and meeting

We had an excellent meeting last night!!!

It started off with a discussion of some recent local flights (people have be flying daily all week), then yours truly  conducted some of the local club business and distributed some information that was important to communicate to our local flying community.  We then had some heavy voting (j/k) to lock in our candidate wins for the 2015 board of directors.

The highlight of the night was our guest speaker.  I want to say a big “Thank you!” to Tom “SD” Truax for coming out to meeting last night and giving an excellent XC presentation.  As always he was very enthusiastic about our backyard playground and all the possibilities of routes that we have to fly here.  He covered the weather and what to look for on skew-t charts for our surrounding ranges.  Showed flight logs from his recent, as he called them “Boutique” flights, most of us just called them incredible.  He explained in detail the routes he flew and why he chose to go where he did on those particular days.  Showed various bailouts and ways to get out of the back country if you happened to land out.  I heard from at least two people that it was the best meeting they have been to for the club.  I myself was thoroughly enlightened and learned a ton of new stuff about our ranges.   I’ve included a few pictures from the meeting and presentation.

IMG_5800 IMG_5801 IMG_5804 IMG_5805 IMG_5806 IMG_5807 IMG_5808 IMG_5810


Here are your 2015 SBSA Board of Directors.  A hearty thanks to all those who volunteer their time to help make this club a success.  If you see or run into a board member,  congratulate them and do me a favor, thank them for their effort.

President – James Zender
Vice-President HG – Willy Dydo
Vice-President PG – David Koski
Treasurer –  Cort Flinchbaugh
Secretary – Lauren Selonke
Activities HG – Jeff Galvin
Activities PG – Jon Blake
Public Relations – John Greynald
Elings Park Liaison – Rob Sporrer
Web Master – John McMahon



Reserve re-pack party

Reserve re-pack party

Do you have 2 reserves?

When was the last time your reserve was inspected and re-packed??

Why not make sure that first one works correctly!
We are planning to have a reserve re-pack party on Oct 12th.  Here are the details:

Reserve clinic and repack for HG’s and PG’s
3:00 Sunday, Oct 12
John Greynald’s house
2774 Puesta del sol, S.B.
682-Three Four Eight Three
The Clinic will provide opportunity to practice throwing your chute in the simulator of your choice and then have experienced re-packers inspect your deployment system and repack the reserve with new bands and bungees ( if required ).
Your deployment technique will be analyzed and feedback provided 
The people who design reserve systems recommend that they get repacked every six months. Previous clinics have revealed that about 25% of us have systems that will not deploy correctly. The problems are usually from poor maintenance, improper equipment or limited understanding of deployment sequence issues.
The cost for the repack is $50 and includes simulator use, clinic, food and beverages
Bring your helmets for the simulation!—-kids and dogs welcome.
If you don’t need any repack stuff done, come for the party anyway.
If you’re only doing the repack and can’t stay for the party, you can drop off your harness on the front porch any time during the weekend. Don’t leave all your accessories such as varios and flight suits etc., and please ID your gear
You can pick up your harnesses from the fort porch any time after Tuesday Oct 14th.
See you on Sunday!

SBSA Big Sur Fall camping and flying trip

October 24th – 26th 2014

It’s that time to head up to beautiful Big Sur for our semi-annual camping/flying trip. So get your camping gear dusted off, flying gear ready and come on up and join us for the weekend!!!

We’ve got a two big group camping spots at Plaskett Creek campground, so bring your family and friends!

Big Sur is appropriate for all levels of pilots and partiers.

There will be a potluck on Saturday night for those who wish to participate.

Plaskett Creek Campground
Getting There:
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
35.91722, -121.465
35°55’2″N, 121°27’54″W

From San Luis Obispo, take Highway 1 north for approximately 60 miles to the campground.

From Monterey, take Highway 1 south for approximately 55 miles to the campground.