Online newsletter of the Hawaii Paragliding Association

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Calm Before the Storm

After four long wingless days in Kauai with the family we were headed to the airport. We were driving through Anahola, and Donna cautiously looked over to me, not sure if she should say it, but then she did: There are two wings in the air. Sure enough, I watched Joe and Courtney fly over my head. Argh, so hard to enjoy watching others fly when I haven't had a fix for four long days. Joe did chat an offer to lend me a wing and harness. Thanks, Joe. I declined in order to spend some time with the wife and kids.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Smokey and the Bandits

Aloha 'Ol Smokeys! Well, today was a little smokey, with the fires in Wells Canyon, Brewster, and a few remnants from McNeil canyon fires. This morning was a bit strong and North on launch so the task commitee almost called off the days task just to give everyone a much needed break. Forty plus hours of flying, and more than that for us volunteers, plus 100+ degree heat and dry hot weather really takes it's toll. Even Jorge looked worked after yesterdays task, and he even said to me "Reaper, I'm taking a month off from tandems when I get home, whew".

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Alone in the sky

Yesterday I enjoyed a solitary little round trip in the sweetest light easterly conditions, thermaling under a low cloud base and hopping the ridges down to the little hill before Pounders that we call Sucker Hill, before turning back for a slow return to Kahana. It's a fun challenge to see how far we can go in that direction before trying to make it back, especially on days that are less than perfect for it, with lower cloud base or more easterly flow. But next time I hope to have more company!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Dodging Bullets

"A little piece of advice. You see an agent, you do what we do. Run. You run your ass off.” I always think of Cypher's line from the Matrix when I see pilots trying to take on a big incoming rain system. Yesterday Mad Dog enticed me to play that game with him, shooting crazy lines and dodging between numerous squalls and rain bands and gust fronts. As usual my timing was sometimes poor and I got stuck a few times. But somehow Mad Dog always makes it look effortless no matter how close he cuts it. Great flying with you as always, Neo!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Colors and Clouds

Makapuu was graced by at least a dozen pilots yesterday, and we kept the skies busy all afternoon between the lighthouse and Green Walls. I think each of the four launches was used at some point during the day. It was light enough to head downrange, but clouds were on the low side, brushing Puu O Kona and Green Walls, so we had to dance some intricate figures to get around them. I spent most of the day flying alongside Thom, admiring the indelible hues of his new ride.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Going to the Dark Side

Last Saturday I got home from work around 3pm and found a box sitting at my door.  It had Ozone tape all over it, yaaa! Christmas in June!  I grabbed the box and headed out to Makapuu where reports of wings in the air.

Well, got there no wings were in the air, I unpacked the box and laid out my the new machine. While I was trying on some of the Ozone swag I saw the wing go up in the air.  Scrappy had it over his head, "Well, how is it?"  in my usual soft tone.  Scrappy like a little kid with his hand in the cookie jar, just smiled and said, "It's so nice".  I didn't need to kite it,  because this is the first wing I ever bought that I actually got to demo first.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Perfect Days

We all have our own idea of the kind of flying day we might call perfect. Some of us like to think we are more parsimonious with that designation, but the day before yesterday at Kahana met even the stingiest criteria for perfection. We flew all day until dark, roaming the surrounding valleys, peaks and shorelines with abandon, from Mokolii islet to Goat island, climbing to rare lofty heights around the sparsely scattered clouds above Sacred Falls.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lift Lines

Sometimes the lift on a cross country flight is not organized so much into thermals as it is into lines. Yesterday was one of those days at Kahana. It was certainly not a perfect day: conditions were pretty light and almost too east, and the lift lines were forming well out in front of the ridges and over the valleys. At least a half dozen pilots flew, and three of us followed some interesting lines to the Punaluu ridge, and later back to Kahana, hitching rides on fuzzy cloud bellies whenever possible.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Tradewind Marathon

Yesterday’s classic trade wind conditions gave us our first real summertime marathon flying day at Kahana. The trade winds were a bit strong and easterly, but we’re not complaining. Twenty pilots flew throughout the day, with seven making cross country flights, some for their first time, to various points between Mokolii and Malaekahana.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Sea Breeze Cloudscapes

Yesterday a few lucky pilots shared a sweet little window in the southeasterly sea breeze conditions at Kahana. Base was around 1,800 but it was possible to get a thousand feet higher in nice thermals, above the low clouds. Woody and I marshaled our forces for a scenic trip to Hauula. Thanks to Joey for the socks and the retrieve!