Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Super light days at Kahana

Dave met me out at Kahana Monday with plans to join me on the XC trip that I wished I'd flown Sunday. Sunday was a light day that saw six pilots out at Kahana, but only four that flew, and only two that soared.

We knew it was going to be on the light side again on Monday, but it seemed just strong enough for a nice XC. I launched into a good cycle on my first launch, and got high over Puu Piei without too much trouble, as a bunch of low clouds wafted in. Meanwhile Dave was setting up to launch. To kill some time, I crossed the bay, and made it past the lion, but I couldn't find much lift over there, so I came back to top land just as Dave was hiking back up from low launch (where he had toplanded to avoid bombing out).

Over the course of the afternoon, we both did a dozen more desperate flights as we hoped for the wind to fill in: we launched, scratched, and top landed to avoid bombing out, sometimes at high launch but mostly at low launch. This was turning out to be a lot harder work than we had hoped.

Before calling it a day, I was lucky enough to get up for one more little squeaker of a high flight, by following a friendly group of frigatebirds into the only decent thermal to be found. Then after trying in vain to break 1500 feet or so, I finally gave up and went to land in a grassy field in Punaluu. Gotta keep my new wing sand-free as long as I can. So I guess that was an XC flight, although certainly not the best effort to distance ratio. Thanks to Dave for being a good sport and for buying beer too.

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