Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mike Tracks Solo

This morning, Mike began back at Saddleback Peak and Journey was there, waiting for him. Unfortunately, Mike had to wait an hour and a half for Journey to pop up.  Mike reported that at 1015 he had a bearing of 50 degrees with the attenuator "ON"... which means that Journey was close!  Mike sent out a text message which ended with,  "Lovely as this music is, I'm leaving now for Elsinore."  He was referring to Elsinore Peak which has been a critical highpoint for us during Broad-winged Hawk tracking.  From that location you can track a bird along the Coastal Route (down through San Diego) or a bird taking the inland route (like Zoe and Marathon).

At 1405 (2:05 PM), Mike reported that he had arrived at Elsinore and had a weak signal with a steady bearing of 260 degrees.

At 1430 (2:30 PM) Mike reported that Journey had picked up speed and the bearing was 232 degrees.  "He's pealing out, post-dawdle."

At 1445 (2:45 PM) Mike updated the text,  "1445  222.  Wind 15 steady from him to me"  That was short hand for a bearing of 222 degrees with the wind 15 miles per hour coming from the west.  Mike debated with himself, whether he could make it to a more southern highpoint before Journey went down, and he decided to stay put.

At 1500 (3:00)  Mike reported a bearing of 207.  "I don't see him crossing today, but by noon tomorrow prob."

At 1530 (3:30) another bearing from Elsinore of 181!  Almost due south!  "He's high, using west-slope updraft from these strong onshore winds, now 15 - 20.

Mike, the energizer bunny, not wanting to give up for the day, sent his next text message from Double Peak, just north of San Diego.  No signal.  "In honor of the eclipse, the entire top plaza of Double Peak was full of cameras, telescopes, and convivial people.  Extra park personnel and mobs from the local college.  Wonderful scene."

(Earlier in the day, Libby had offered to drive back down south if we thought it was worth it.....Such as if Journey was still dawdling along. But with Mike's location so close to the Border, it looked like there would only be a few bearings before Journey crossed the line into Mexico, so we did not send a team down)

So Mike, solo, will document the end to Journey's journey from the Marin Headlands to the Mexican Border.

No comments:

Post a Comment