Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Plan for the Day......

The three teams were spread out over the Santa Barbara to LA basin.  Spread out so far, that the teams ended up in three different towns for the evening.  Libby and Ken were up by Mt. Pinos and stayed near Lebec.  Maxine and Mike drove from Figueroa Mt. towards LA and stayed in Camarillo.  And Bill stayed...... somewhere????

Saturday morning, Bill and M & M met up, and Maxine switched to Bill's team.  Mike headed up to Saddleback Peak, and Bill and Maxine headed inland and set up again, on Mt. Wilson.  Surely Journey would fly by one of these three high locations.

Once again, Libby and Ken had difficulty picking up any clear signals.  But Libby did record 2 possible bearings which came and went very quickly.  We could call it "essence of beep"!  How frustrating to be at almost 9,000 foot elevation and not hear a nice beep, beep, beep.  The view is expansive, but that only satisfies for so long.  Now, remember, Libby and Ken had driven down to Southern California yesterday morning, and now they would have to reverse direction and be back to the Bay Area by tonight because they each had events to attend on Sunday.  So, unfortunately, a little past noon the team was back on the road headed north.  Tracking Journey's journey would be left to the two remaining teams, Bill and Maxine, and Mike.

Mike, on Saddleback Peak, began picking up Journey's signal, very faint from the west. And for the next few hours, Mike recorded various bearings, indicating Journey was moving slowly eastward, but never moving past Saddleback Peak.  In the afternoon, weird noises haunted Mike, who was having trouble picking up Journey's frequency.  What was going on?

So, maybe Bill and Maxine were able to get cross-bearings on Journey.  Nope!  Bill and Maxine had a day of silence.  That made two days of silence for Bill, who is a great tracker; but with no signal to track, it was very frustrating.  After four days in the field, the exhausted  team called me and told me they were exhausted and felt they had to end their effort.  So, Bill and Maxine began to head northward, back to the Bay Area.

And then there was Mike, whom I affectionately call an Energizer Bunny.  Indeed Mike kept going.  He no longer had a signal from Journey, he no longer had support teams for cross-bearings, but he was determined to restart the following morning, back by Saddleback Peak.

Will Solo Mike be able to pick up traces of Journey, or had Journey really given everyone the slip.  Stayed tuned........

Lynn Jesus
Season Coordinator for the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory's Radio-telemetry Program

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