Online newsletter of the Hawaii Paragliding Association

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Super Fun Saturday

I knew there was supposed to be something super about this weekend, and I was hopeful that it would be the flying. The forecast was super optimistic about a brief return of trade winds, but Saturday didn't start off very super at all. Super southerly flow and sea breezes confounded our best efforts to get an early start. But all's well that ends well. Thanks to Drew and Steve for figuring out that Dillingham was really working, despite the early offshore flow.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

To 'B' or Not to 'B'

Definitely 'B' but barely! Poor Jack has had a brand new Ozone Enzo2 sitting in my office for weeks. His only chance of getting it over his head has been on Friday lay-overs, none of which have been even close to flyable. It was worse for me as I cracked the plastic packing larvae just to smell it and I have been on the ground for way too long. At least Jack has had some flights. Okay, in the control seat of a 737, but it's still a flight, right? Okay, that's the "Not to B" part of this log, cause Jack considers that to be w**k, a very bad word. The "To B" part almost didn't happen, but we pulled it off.

Hike Down? Hardly!

Now we know what HDH stands for: the last two leeside launches out of there were far from guaranteed, but Allegra and Vin were determined to avoid the ignominious downward trek. It turns out that yesterday’s vaunted postfrontal north flow was MIA at Dillingham. Instead we got the most leeside air ever: barely wafting up the front, but streaming over the back. We made the most of it, thermaling in the offshore drift up to 2,500 feet between clouds, and exploring the leeside convergence between the point and the drop zone. I spent three hours figuring out how to work that stuff. For the first hour I just wanted to land, but once I had some company I relaxed and started to enjoy it, and by the end I was reluctant to come down.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Chase

There's only one way to catch the elusive flying conditions that mark our winter season: release the hounds! Oahu pilots will drive around the entire island for days on end to hunt down a flight. Over the past week, a determined pack of air-starved beasts could be heard baying for their wily quarry at every corner: Dillingham, Kaena, Makapuu, Kahana, Koko Head, and Diamond Head. On many days we've done more driving than flying, but we know that's what we have to do this time of year for any chance to bag the big game.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy SeaHawkensmith Day

Another awesome flying day and a great day for Washington football fans, including one particular monkey who is hanging his hat in Seattle, temporarily! Bill 'FlyStrong' Hockensmith has been back visiting his home sites. He brought some amazing weather, not from Seattle I am guessing, but he and we have scored flights for the last ten days from the End of the World to Makapuu.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kona Wind Wonderland

An anomalously strong Kona flow today brought ten pilots to Diamond Head, and seven of them flew, some for many hours. I'm not sure why it was working that well. There does happen to be a front approaching Kauai tomorrow, but this didn't seem like a true prefrontal flow. I wonder if it wasn't just a stronger than usual effect of the surface ridge parked over us that has been producing these consistent southerlies.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Journey to the End of The World

Yes, it's a journey, but worth every step. First there is the drive: over an hour and a half for many of us, to the most remote beach park on the island. Then you walk for 45 minutes, starting at the end of the asphalt parking lot, along an abandoned, dilapidated dirt road. You can see where the beachy sand ends. Well, it's a walk, all the way to the point, the End Of the World. Then it's a hike up to a launch about twice as far as the Makapuu juice trail.

Monday, January 12, 2015

...and I Feel Fine!

There is a secret shining jewel of a flying site hidden on our northwest peninsula. As much as I love to fly Dillingham, I am even more enthralled with the other side of that beautiful point! We don’t have a good name for the site yet. Southwest Kaena? The End of the World?

Nanakuli Faithful

Sunday dawned with a forecast of light southerly winds. We know there is only one place that is going to work well in those conditions. (Well, and that other one that is a pale echo of a flying site.) And yet people were posting hopeful messages about Makapuu and Diamond Head! But a small group of faithful thermal zealots made the proper pilgrimage to pay tribute to Nanakuli, our long neglected mistress of the west side.

Makapuu Koko Party

Zillions of pilots got into the air at Makapuu on Saturday. Conditions were light and easterly, and Cactus was the launch du jour. The ridge was working well, with some nice thermals, but it was cloudy and leeside downrange.