North Coast Classic
My wife and I had been wanting to do a weekend trip in the club plane so I booked a slot and we decided on Shelter Cove. The plan was to load N89YB with camping gear and stay at the campsites south of the field that Saturday night. It was forecasted to be a clear weekend with little wind, a perfect flight as this was the first cross country my wife and I had been on since the engine overhaul. The night before our trip Flight Services was forecasting clear skies for our flight up, but the return trip the next day was getting mixed results. Chances of thunderstorms were starting to creep into the forecast on some of their charts. I figured we could do a one day trip and return the same day if these rare California thunderstorms actually materialized.
We hugged the coastline on the way up to give us some views and take advantage of a heavy tailwind to make up the time. Brooke listened to her podcast and watched the California North Coast go by under us.
We arrived at Shelter Cove midday and saw about a dozen other pilots had the same idea that day. It was a bit crowded in the parking area with more arrivals landing even as we taxied.
We got lunch at Gyppo Ale Mill, the local brew pub, and were treated to a view of the airport arrivals and departures. Of which there were about six during our lunch. After we ate I gave flight services another call to check in on our return trip the next day and found the thunderstorms were still lurking and due to the extended time frame of the forecast it was still uncertain. We decided to scrub the overnight camping and head home later that day. We were still able to hike down to the Black Sand Beach and confirm that we can fit all our camping gear in the Cherokee for future trips. We decided to take a direct route home to Gnoss Field but were still treated to some views as the sun started to get lower in the sky. Turns out those thunderstorms did end up manifesting themselves. As we watched the sky flash with lightning from our home the next day we were happy we flew home early!