John & Anne Wiley


Fog Fun

We took Tripp up for a fun flight this evening, intending to fly an hour or two with brief stop at Santa Paula for fuel and return at sunset. As we walked across the field to trusty Tripp (who seemed to me a bit excited to use her wings), my eye was seeing a different flight. Even though Tripp has all the latest gear to fly on instruments, my license doesn’t have the required notation to use it. The fog I could see blowing over UCSB made it clear that we had an hour at best before my VFR (Visual Flight Rules = no fog) license would make landing back at SBA unlikely. So we changed plans.

Taking off on Runway 33 we got a beautiful view of downtown with fog menacing the entire shoreline to Ventura in the West and beyond where the coast turns South toward L.A.

1013 Foggy Coast

1013 Foggy Coast

So we just flew to the harbor and back, enjoying the unusual weather while keeping one eye on the airport. Because of the westerly wind blowing along the shoreline, we could see the fog moving among the trees on the hills of the “Mesa” and Hope Ranch areas. So fun to watch!

1031 Fluffy Fingers

1031 Fluffy Fingers

Years ago, before getting my pilot license, we used to drive the Big Sur coast occasionally so I could gasp. Every time we drove there, several times I would take an audible deep breath. It was involuntary, and so predictable that we took to counting them. Well it happens much more often now that we fly, and not just in the Big Sur area. Our twenty minute flight today was a two gasp jaunt that consumed far less time and fuel than those scenic drives.

Flying the Big Sur coast is nice, but in some ways driving it is still better. Driving from here is an all-day adventure each way, with only brief stretches of highway along the scenic coast before the views get gasp-ish at San Simeon. Flying it again is in our near-term to-do list, as is repeating our way of touring it in more detail. We land at Monterey, ride the inexpensive metro bus to the southern end of the line, get off and enjoy the environs for a while, then catch a later bus back to our plane for the flight home. This gives us four views of that amazing place, all in an easy day from home. Meanwhile, I can get my gasps from a few minutes of flying around SB in Tripp.

1037 Hope Hills

1037 Hope Hills



  1. Happy Birthday and so glad to hear your were airborne for your celebration. Love Julie

    Comment by Julie — 2010/09/03 @ 11:24

  2. Great photos thanks for sharing

    Comment by Brad — 2010/09/04 @ 03:47

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