Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Calm Under Pressure

After scratching and struggling in weak thermals the day before, we were lured out to Makapuu once again by the clear skies yesterday in hopes of a long awaited XC flight. Maybe the high pressure would abate so we could core some thermals and fly downrange. But our hopes deceived us: the thermals were once again sparse and weak. The high pressure is keeping the air a bit too calm for our liking. At least there was more ridge lift today.

Don and Mad Dog and Marathon frolicked around Cactus with touch-and-go approaches and top-landings. The conditions were perfect for it - medium strength and straight in.

After a while the sea breeze turned way east, and a bunch of us managed to soar the lighthouse ridge up and down for hours. It was my first time doing that - it's kind of spooky because there's nowhere to land if you get low. But yesterday the lift was huge over there and I never worried about getting low. From my high vantage point I watched Marathon Mark down low buzzing the lighthouse over and over like a moth around a flame. But thankfully he managed not to get burned.

Russell tried numerous approaches to join us while we were over there, but when it's that east it can be challenging. I remember many days when I was the only one who couldn't figure out how to penetrate the headwind to get over there. Keep working on it Russell - I know you can make it work. Sometimes it helps to go with a pack so you can see which approach is most efficient.

We also had visitor Pierre from Florida (and originally Utah) out there, and Alan from Indiana.

I took more than 80 photos but I pared them down to a more reasonable 15 for uploading to Flickr. I can't wait to get back over to that ridge and take some more. Maybe next time I'll launch over there!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great photos, Alex. One day I'll make it over there to the East side with you all. I just hope I don't sink out when I get there....