Sunday, July 26, 2015

Makapuu to Lanikai

Not a creative title, but just a scribble to keep the log up while Alex is out of town. Finally, on a Saturday we had a showing of pilots. While I was on launch, Reaper asked me where I was going. I replied jokingly: to Lanikai and back. Like I really ever have a flight plan. I had an easy Crazyman launch and off I went.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pilot Down!

For those of you who don't know.  Divot Steve is getting married next month.  For his sending off he would like to have all friends and paragliders for a campout at the ususal spot since he is immediately moving to Boston following the ceremony.  So...  If you can make it for camping and help us out by reserving a spot for the weekend of August 22 please help out by reserving a spot as they become available!  More details to follow.

https://camping.ehawaii.gov/camping/all,details,1679.html

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Cartoon World

Today started out strong and north at Kahana but ended up much lighter. Cloudbase was just above two grand but the clouds were sparse enough that it didn't matter. I flew a solo chronic mission, waiting for my cartoon friends to figure out the plot, then I followed them over to Kaaawa for a spectacular session of cloud soaring. Clouds began to form below us and we climbed up the edges to somewhere over three grand, a thousand feet above cloud base, steering out to sea between towers of mist. An exceptional day of flying with Woody, Heckle and Jeckle, and Kristina!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Another Wingman is Back!

After nine months off, Mad Dog has emerged this past week from what could well have been a permanent retirement. After arriving first to help out last year's injured visitor below Manics, he took a long break to sort through his feelings about the risks and rewards of what we do. It's a balancing act that is easily disrupted for many of us. But now he's slowly and steadily getting back into it, starting with three fun flights at Kahana over the past week. Yesterday he joined me for a nice long loop between Hauula and the Hat under a low ceiling of gorgeous clouds. Here's to more great days flying fun and safe adventures with all our wingmen!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Is This Thing On?

I've flown almost thirty cross country flights since my story a month ago about getting my wing man back. Which was a false alarm by the way: he's healed up but super busy with work now! Anyway, for whatever reason, I just haven't been motivated to write anything about all those flights! But today's conditions at Kahana were exceptional, and I was moved to film a fun cross country flight with my other favorite wingman. I am enjoying the simplicity of shooting and editing on my phone. See below for the video...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Wingman is Back!

After months carefully healing up from a broken wing, Duck finally snuck back into the air a little over a week ago, taking a quick spin in his freestyle wing to make sure everything felt right. Well I guess it did, because last week, at the first sign of good cross country weather, he was right there charging across the bay and all over our back yards! It sure is great to have him back.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Cross Country Craving

As predicted, the wind ramped up to nuclear levels after last weekend's lucky window. But somehow we still managed to score a couple of spicy and delicious cross country days from Kahana this week, for separate flights in both directions and back. Apparently when the wind is that strong we can't do the whole double out and back loop in one day! We have been hungering for cross country action lately and we'll have to settle for snacks like these until we get some proper feasting weather!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Big Turnout for Big Bob

That has to have been the biggest and most successful fly-in we’ve ever had. Not to mention the most relaxed: a minimum of organization and infrastructure, and no planned activities. Just an extended weekend of hanging out and flying with tons of our favorite people. We counted over twenty tents and around fifty pilots, including thirteen visitors, plus around forty friends and spouses and kids and dogs. That’s almost a hundred warm bodies! Over forty pilots flew for many hours over each of three breezy and beautiful days, under wings of all sizes, buzzing below launch and skying out over three grand between the clouds, as we celebrated our memory of Bob and our good fortune to live this paragliding life.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Diamond Head Dogz!

My first introduction to flying Diamond Head came long before I was a pilot, and it was actually pertaining to a select once-upon-a-time apparent hang glider that chose to soar those onshore winds. Gifts of Kona were the basis of the story: this was a connection between a Hawaiian spirit, with a passion for the view and the importance of place at the precipice of Diamond Head, and an unsuspecting Californian, a surfer who came to know and respect the particular form and shape of the mountain which formed the winds and the waves on which he rode.

The article was in The Surfers Journal, quite a few years ago now, and was about a time long before me. As I have been flying for approximately five years, it must be at least seven years ago that I read this story. It created an indelible image of a period in time and a way of life in which limits were being raised, a time when Diamond Head would have been soared by one and one alone, and so spiritual levels were raised. I would have to say that today was one of those days, in a modern way, and though we did not have Dave Goto to grace us with his presence, we did have Leo and Nancy, and about twenty paraglider pilots.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dream Weekend

For three straight days, the forecasters stubbornly repeated a dire prediction for breezy conditions and showers. And for three straight days, we were delighted to prove them wrong. Over a dozen pilots flocked to Kahana each day for a variety of surprisingly good thermal and cross country missions, ranging from Laie to Waikane, and topping out at four grand. We ignored the forecast and just enjoyed the heck out of this surprise streak of perfect cross country weather! Or perhaps it was all just a dream, as Thom suggested. But my phone is jammed with over a thousand pictures from those three days, so I’m pretty sure it really happened! Here’s hoping for more dreamy weekends like that!