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Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by kimberlyanne546, Jun 28, 2012.
Did you book at the Inn of the Lost Coast or the Shelter Cove Inn?
It was Inn of the Lost Coast. I spoke with Mary Jane for quite a while. Referred to the 'Kimberly' group and she knew the story. The imagery on the website looks pretty neat.
I love that she and her husband own the inn and are so helpful. I talked to the people she recommended (at length) and they were happy to let me use their area near the runway. That was the deli. I really hope Shelter Cove works out (and not the alternate).
With two pilots going the night(s) before, would you mind posting a PIREP for us here the morning of August 18th? I probably won't be taking off any earlier than 9am but I could if you said it was clear. I can get the keys to the plane the night before.
I'm sure we can post some Pireps. We were planning to take fuel about 100 miles out (possibly Colusa O08) and I was going to call Mary Jane for weather advisories. Anyone been into O08?
Their site recommends these places for fuel, but I don't know that they are on your way. Little River is awesome in and of itself if you want to explore Mendocino, I just saw another thread from a POA member stating there may be a van service soon:
"When you fly into Shelter Cove, stay at the Inn of the Lost Coast at the north end of the field. They will see you land and come pick you up. Pilots can also use the van to drive around the area. The hotel is excellent, the service is great and its right on the water. There is no fuel but Little River has 100LL about 45 miles south and Ukiah has 100LL and jet about 60 miles S/E. There are several fields to visit between Santa Rosa and Shelter Cove. A great place to fly."
Ok, I have a reservation for the nights of the 17th and 18th.
I would love a PIREP and also tell us on Friday how the cell service is. I'll assume it is non-existent.
Mary of the inn wrote me back that she wants me to cancel by 9am that morning (Saturday) but she won't charge me no matter how late I cancel. I don't think I can make a good decision by 9am.
It says they have high speed wireless Internet, so I guess, even if I can't get 3G service, I should be able to post a PIREP that way.
Thanks, mostly interested in what time the fog clears up, but I guess if it appears to be lifting I should leave. I have seen others say I can go underneath (depending how high the clouds are) and land from underneath.
CTAF: 122.9WX AWOS-2 at O16 (12 nm E): 133.0 (707-923-4291)
I called but "sky condition" is missing. It only has wind and vis etc. No clouds. That doesn't help.
Maybe. I have flown over that coast, coming back from Eureka and going to Oakland and it is pretty mountainous. It would depend on how far inland the clouds reached. When I came in to Eureka, coming up the central valley, I cut over around Redding. I ended up on top for a little bit and eventually there was enough clearing to get down, but lots of big rocks sticking up. Not the best place to be in a single. I will let you know, but I am probably flying in late afternoon on Friday.
I'll be getting in on Thursday afternoon (in theory) so I should be able to see how Friday goes and pass that on. One observation really won't tell us much about trending but it is a data point. The folks at the Inn may be able to provide more useful info if it's been breaking up at the same time of day the last few days. In talking with Mary Jane, it sounds like there's a fair amount of randomness so we may just be stuck dealing with it in real time. As John pointed out, with all the rocks below, it will be good to have your backup plan(s) at the ready. I'm starting to look at planning for getting across the Sierra's (origin = AVQ), some pretty high stuff there. I had mapped out the route several years ago, just starting that process again.
I'll probably fly over to the coast and down it at some point, flying just offshore. One problem I see is that the land that would be within gliding distance would often be cliffs or wooded slopes. No land-able beaches for quite number of stretches. So a water ditching is a likely outcome of any engine or flight problems. So I'm buying a couple of these:
I think the BF has several (for his boat). I could ask him if we coud dig them out and bring them too.
The ones Jim is considering are low profile and presumably more comfortable to wear while flying. If you are not wearing them, they are useless. With a marine PFD, it might even be too bulky to properly work the controls. You should test that, before you take off.
Doubt I could talk the BF into wearing one and I fly the Bay Tour (over water, low altitude, very few landing spots) all the time.
The risk exposure is lower than you (and I) have previously accepted, so on reflection I suppose it wouldn't make sense to read too much into my decision. Maybe the last 20 miles of the flight would be in an area where an ocean ditching would be safer to do than a forced landing on land.
I've got other flights that I am interested in doing where life preservers would be advisable, so that is also a driving factor. And a tad more disposable income than you I imagine.
What's going to get you in an ocean ditching off the North Coast is hypothermia. A life vest in itself isn't going to buy you much. If you really want to prepare yourself for a survival in an ocean ditching you need to wear a survival suit. Or an inflatable vest and a wetsuit would work, I guess.
LOL I can just see me now buying a wet suit and wearing it while flying.
Even in my training we had to do water crossings and my CFI never mentioned buying anything. I did notice that he flew out of our way a bit so that the part where we crossed water was much shorter than flying direct. This was when we had to fly to places like Oakland or Rio Vista (San Pablo Bay, Reserve Fleet Area).
Understood. I haven't been able to fly much if at all and right now - I'm still saving up for a $600 car service. Shelter Cove will be a big expense but that is what getting my PPL is all about, going somewhere not easily accessible by car. In fact, to be honest, this has been a "goal" since last August - an aviation vacation all my own. The XC to Morro Bay area was a trip I was going to drive 5 hours each way and it was 30 people in my BF's family. I was a guest. This is my first vacation which is "mine" and is done purely for the flight part of it.... though if I have to I will drive to our back up location just so that I'm there in one way or another. I probably won't be driving to Shelter Cove.
Unfortunately you have a point. A raft would be best - which I'm thinking of, but involves a big investment relative to the risk in this particular flight. By the way, the following web page seems to provide some useful insight into what to do to increase survivability in ditching:
"Last, if you take no other wisdom away from this examination of ditchings, know this: All things considered, when faced with landing on the water or impacting trees, rocks, or other rough surfaces, the water is more likely to be survivable. Where this might come into play is during an emergency landing where the choice may be between a crowded beach or a rough wooded area and an expanse of open water. This should be no contest; the water wins."
There is one that just went up for sale on the red board for $600.
Just a few miscellaneous items:
Unless it has to go in for maintenance, I'll be flying N1227U, a C-172. I may also buy some tie downs and rope for it, in case all of the half dozen (or maybe a dozen?) of the tie downs they have at Shelter Cove are in use when I get there.
Since different people will be arriving on different days, maybe it makes sense to make Garberville the alternate airport in case coastal fog prevents anyone from landing at Shelter Cove, and contact one of the shuttle services that appear to be based in the area. If they can be available to shuttle people between Garberville and Lost Coast, at least accommodations are less likely to need changing at the last minute.
I've found three places that advertise shuttle services that may be able to handle our unusual requirements:
(Reviews: http://www.yelp.com/biz/lost-coast-shuttle-whitethorn )
(Reviews: http://www.yelp.com/biz/lost-coast-trail-transport-service-whitethorn )
(Couldn't locate any reviews; rather new.)
None actually advertise an "as needed/if needed" Garberville airport-to-Shelter Cove service of the type we need, but I suspect at least one or two would be willing to provide such a service for a price. I'm willing to contact them if anyone is interested - let me know the likely days and times you'd need their services. May need to pony up a non-refundable reservation deposit; to be negotiated.
I think weather other than fog that might prevent one or more of us from getting in to Shelter Cove or Garberville will be of the type that will appear in a forecast that allows more lead time to make a cancel decision.
Ok, Jim, that might be a better plan than rerouting to Columbia. I didn't realize that was an option. We might have to coordinate our arrival for something like that, though and I am scheduled to come in Friday evening.
I think it may be worthwhile to make the effort to make it an option, given that you have scheduled to get in on Friday and Jonathan (focal_plane) has scheduled to come in Thursday. Kimberly and I have scheduled Saturday arrivals. I don't know who else will show up, or when.
Given all that, I'd like to hire one of the shuttles to be available on an on call basis Thursday through Sunday so that we have some flexibility, not be forced to coordinate to use them. Just need a phone number to call them if someone finds they need to fly into Garberville. This wouldn't save any money over diverting to Columbia (may actually cost more) but I think reduces the diversion angst.
I guess, if I can't get in on Friday, we could coordinate an arrival on Saturday and possibly share a ride from Garberville, if needed. I will probably work in the morning that Friday and plan on a 5:00 or 6:00 arrival.
How far of a drive is it? The Lost Coast Inn did say we could borrow their van but I'd hate to make the pilots arriving on Thu or Fri come pick us up.
BLACK SANDS BEACH, SHELTER COVE TO MATTOLE BEACH . . . . . . . . . . . . . $200
USAL BEACH TO HIDDEN VALLEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $350
USAL BEACH TO MATTOLE BEACH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $450
SHUTTLES ARE AVAILABLE TO OTHER TRAILHEADS, PLEASE CALL FOR A QUOTE
That seems like a lot, though I didn't look up the distances, and I guess we'd be splitting it several ways.
I thought the rental car (one of us, such as me, landing at another airport, to pick up the car) idea was OK. I don't even think they charge your credit card on some rental websites - some don't even ask for payment information.
According to Google, that is about an hour drive (driving from Garberville to Shelter Cove). But the airport is inland so that seems it would be a good alternate and then we could still enjoy our Shelter Cove hotel, local attractions, dinner, beach, etc.
Google says I can drive my car to Garberville in under 3 hours, so I guess I could be the shuttle myself, though I really wanted to fly. I will have to call those businesses you listed to get a quote. It really is too bad we can't tell them how many people or if we will need them etc.
According to Google maps, Shelter Cove to Mattole Beach is a 2 hour drive over about 50 miles of road. Shelter Cove to Garberville is about a 1 hour drive over about 24 miles. That should translate into a rate lower than $200.
The only problem with getting a rental car is the locations you'd have to fly into to pick up - Arcata or Eureka, both of which can also be fogged in.
Just FYI for anyone who I haven't sent a private message: I have started contacting shuttle firms to see if they are willing to provide backup ground transport between Garberville and Shelter Cove. I've explained the requirements and gotten interest from the two firms I've so far contacted, but I have yet to discuss details, like price and availability. I don't have a clear idea of who would like this service option, and what days, but I need that information to move forward.
So anyone who I have not contacted privately that is interested in flying in to Shelter Cove on or around the dates proposed, and would like to have that option, please contact me via PM or this thread with the days you'd be flying in and out.
Been there, it's stunning. My favorite place to fly.
I'm in, tentatively anyway. My parents may be visiting at that time at which point it will not be possible, but if not, will be there.
I was just browsing the "cool places to fly" threads, and came across this one for Shelter Cove. I felt compelled to share my experience, for planning and awareness purposes.
I flew to Shelter Cove last summer, but made the mistake of flying over in the afternoon, to accomodate schedules.
Use caution, when crossing over the cliffs, and decending for landing. If the water looks choppy, be prepared for moderate turbulance, and wind-shear/down-drafts. I caught one severe enough that I've been nervous about getting back on the horse and heading back over there again.
Having said that... I've been there two other times, and absolutely loved it! It is definitely worth the trip!
I will definitely be going back, but will likely do a morning flight (if weather permits).
Thank you. I have several ways I could fly:
1. Wait in Petaluma until weather seems clear, then go
2. Fly as close as I can, land, then wait out the weather (in a place I can get data / cell coverage).
3. Fly to the alternate and pay for a shuttle in, if and when I see Shelter Cove is blocked by fog.
4. If safe, lower my altitude and come in under the fog to land VFR keeping legal cloud clearances and terrain clearances.
5. Best case scenario: I wake up to a CAVU day and go as early as I can to spend more time there!
Sounds like a great plan! I'm sure it will be a blast!
My windshear experience was in severe clear conditions (no fog or marine layer), but as I said, I've been there two other times without issue. Trust your eyes... If the water looks choppy (white-caps beyond the surf), it is possible to expect some potential windshear. Not fun!
EXPECT CROSSWINDS, DOWNDRAFTS AND EXTDD PERIODS OF FOG YEAR-ROUND
Looking forward to hearing how great it was! It is such a cool place!!!
>1. Wait in Petaluma until weather seems clear, then go
Foreflight will show you the fog bank reasonably accurately and you can use your previously posted webcams to check.
>2. Fly as close as I can, land, then wait out the weather (in a place I can get data / cell coverage).
Which won't be very close. Ukiah is likely fogged in if Shelter Cove is. You're looking at Little River, probably.
>3. Fly to the alternate and pay for a shuttle in, if and when I see Shelter Cove is blocked by fog.
Yeah you could do that. Long ride.
>4. If safe, lower my altitude and come in under the fog to land VFR keeping legal cloud clearances and terrain clearances.
It's Class G airspace so you just need to keep clear of clouds, but still, you have to get above and below them somehow. That means a flight down the coastline until you see a break that you may or may not get. And there are a couple 700 foot floor class E airspaces extending out in the water to the South.
>5. Best case scenario: I wake up to a CAVU day and go as early as I can to spend more time there!
That would be nice.
UPDATE on the Garberville alternate for people who I haven't contacted by private message:
I've contacted several of the shuttle firms that normally transport hikers or do area tours, and the following two have indicated they can be available to anyone needing transport between Garberville airport and Shelter Cove in case the latter stays fogged in on arrival days from Thursday to Saturday (with a Sunday departure):
Roxanne of Lost Coast Trail Transport Service responded to my email with an email that said that she has done this sort of transport before; understands about the fog, and would know to expect calls if Shelter Cove stays fogged in. She could be called on her land-line (707-986-9909) or cell (707-273-7414) for a fog report. She can carry up to 3 people on a trip and the rate is $120. No deposit is needed; we'd call if/when we needed her service.
Blu Graham at Lost Coast Adventures responded to my email by suggesting we talk on the phone. For a single trip the price would be between $80 to $100. If the pilots are packing light, it sounds like he could carry 4 or 5 people in one trip, lowering the per person cost. So if we can manage any sort of scheduling coordination on landing in Garberville that may help. Otherwise there would be a 1.5 to 2 hour wait between shuttles, since that is how long it would take to go from Garberville airport to Shelter Cove and back again. (This of course would be the case with either firm.) He also said that if he had to do a lot of shuttling his cost would be at his hourly rate of between $40 and $50/hour.
No deposit is needed for him either, and he has already penciled us in for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. He would schedule in hiking groups on those days anyway, but presumably keep some flexibility in his schedule in case we needed his services. He asked that I contact him 7 to 4 days before any of us arrive to let him know if other weather precludes us from even getting in. (He says he has a friend who is a local pilot and was willing to provide that pilot's contact information if we wanted a local source of weather. I said we already had a hotel innkeeper who could provide that info.)
The price range given by Graham is due no doubt to this being the first time he has considered offering this service. The above all comes from notes I took during our phone conversation, hence some ambiguities.
I have not settled on one firm, but I think I probably should. Should I simply go with the cheapest, or the more experienced?
Just a thought, and maybe you folks already know this, but a way to estimate the likely onset and severity of coastal fog is to watch the forecast temperatures for the inland valleys. High heat inland will draw the cooler air off the ocean and create some rapidly forming and often dense fog along the coast. A high pressure center centered northeast of the location will give you offshore flows and dampen the effect.