Monday, March 30, 2015

Cloud Crossings

What a crazy weekend of low clouds and variable airflow at Kahana. Lots of pilots flew both days despite the strange conditions, and a few of us even managed to fly cross country despite cloud bases as low as we've ever seen them. Apparently some kind of surface trough had snuck in behind the forecast for sunny trades. But nevertheless we managed a tentative bay crossing on Saturday and a full fledged trip to Kualoa on Sunday, connecting the misty ridge lines by surfing below, around and above the clouds. Great to fly with visitors Chris and Lindsay, Miami Eddie, Maui JJ, and AK Jason who is back with us for a few days.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sunbeam Session

As many of us all around the island can attest, there's nothing like living right next to your favorite flying site. The forecast called for very strong wind, but the sensor was strangely mellow, and a quick drive out to check conditions confirmed that the forecast was, ahem, overblown. And while the tenuous thread of rural island roadway that connects everyone else to this place was temporarily tied off, three lucky pilots savored a gorgeous afternoon session along the foothills of the Koolaus that lasted until the last sunbeams streamed over the mountains. Kudos to Allegra for the genius plan to drive the long way around the island to get here! And thanks to Duck for the timely retrieve!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

6th Annual Bob Johnson Memorial Fly-in Festival

Please join us for the sixth annual Bob Johnson Birthday Party and Flying Festival, at Kahana Bay, from May 1 to May 3. We will be camping and flying and celebrating all weekend long. Everyone is welcome: family, friends, visiting pilots. More details coming soon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dude! Welcome to Chuns!

Six happy pilots scored unusually mellow conditions yesterday on the North Shore, soaring and thermaling multiple laps between Kahuku and Waimea, with two of us ending our flights by blazing into the sunset towards Haleiwa to see how far we could go. The wind was lighter than our typical post-frontal flow. In fact I'm not really sure what kind of flow it was: it was more intense than a sea breeze, but just barely. Whatever it was, I'll take more days like that!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Back Door to Kahana

Sometimes a visitor flies one of our sites and shows us what can be done. They may not know that flying over Boogaland, in the lee, dodging clouds isn't a good idea. But this time, serendipity inserted itself, took one pilot that should have known better, put him in a place were he wouldn't normally be, and offered up a new line.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I don’t often go all the way; many times I just go halfway. I've taken some heat for that, but halfway isn’t always bad. As some wise persons have noted, courage stands halfway between cowardice and rashness. Today I thoroughly explored both ends of that spectrum, but eventually I was elated to make it to the halfway point with my little half sack of courage.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

King of the Hill

Monkeys going up the hill, off the hill, even asleep on the hill, and unfortunately, down the hill, have been documented endlessly in the HPA archives. But only once does a monkey finally reach the apex of life. Lucky for us, Noell has invited us all to the Bylaardt residence to witness the passage to middle age of Raimar van den Bylaardt II, aka Brazilian Ray, RayRay, B-Ray etc.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Lions and Lambs

Today we flew fun cross country flights in the full spectrum of March conditions, from the most rowdy thermic leonine air at Kahana to the smoothest ovine air and the most beautiful cloudscapes at Makapuu. I was lucky to be involved in both missions, savoring a double scoop of aerial sweetness. I’m partial to thermals but I’ll take beautiful and smooth if that’s what it takes to get some company.

Monday, March 02, 2015

The Northest

Conditions at Kahana on Sunday were even more north than on Saturday. At some times during the day it was a bit west of north. But a certain trio of die hard individuals refused to believe that it was too north to fly there, and somehow we made it happen. But not before a lot of kiting all around north launch, repeatedly launching, scratching, sinking, and top landing, until we got a lucky cycle to climb up and out and around the corner. I was glad to discover I can still do that!

Chasing Waterfalls

It’s always interesting to fly the day after a big rain. Usually it means a muddy ocean, a muddy trail, and damp or muddy gear. But on Saturday at Kahana it also meant extra waterfalls everywhere. For instance, there was a waterfall running down the cliff face of the valley between east and north launch, feeding the stream that usually trickles across the north trail. But on this day the stream was a raging whitewater rapid, four feet across. Four of us leaped over that maelstrom to score improbable flights in the northest of conditions, three of us making it across the bay.