Saturday, October 07, 2006

Three in a row - going on four??

Three days flying at Nanakuli. Not so epic days, but decent flying (for me).

Thursday 10-05: I met Doug at Ulei Loop after my diving job. we hiked all the way to the top launch and had no problem getting out of the hill or up, after going up and down to 700 ft, I hooked a good one and climbed to 2100 on a single thermal. sweet! when I saw some dark low clouds coming form the back. I just chicken out and landed at the baseball field. Doug showed me the air was still smooth by going around the valley for the 2nd time... The kids were having fun at the LZ, especially after we landed. They helped us fold our gliders and played "hermit crab" with Doug's harness.

Friday 10-06: after the YMCA presentation some of the pilots went to the golf course for lunch. Doug called me and said nanakuli was looking "epic". Johan joined us and we carpooled fom waikele's KFC, dropping a car there. I launched first from mid launch, followed by Johan and Doug. I was staying up but it was just not happening right for me . . . the thermals were very close to the hill. closer than my confort level with this "new to me" sigma 5 glider. I couldn't get much higher than the top of the hill (aprox 2000 ft) and decided to land. Doug went over the back and landed by walmart at Kunia Rd.

Saturday 10-07: I called the day "not flyable" in the morning because the sky was gray, but Doug mentioned something about "blue sky patches" and "nanakuli looking good", so I couldn't pass it... after posting in the chatter box my intentions I got some company: Russell, Frank, Sandy and Nick volunteered. Johan was interested but failed to show up. Jeff McCloud drove up there to show support. Thursday was high launch, friday mid launch, today (saturday) is low launch. I Wish! It was so dead at low launch, not even ghosts were there! We kept going and the wind started to blow from the dump side at mid launch, here we go! I thought it would be fast, but it died again... what was I thinking by stopping there instead of high launch? Until it started to blow again.... get out of the way, here I go... and straight up I went! I cruised for a bit, finding good and smooth thermals. Again, close to the hill, but this time it was better. Once I made over the top and the "end" of the thermals at 2700 ft I decided to cross the valley, towards pyramid rock (going east, towards town). Made it there with 2000 ft... hook one up to 2400, down to 1800 up to 2200, down to 1700, up to 1800, I'm out of here! I glided back to the hill, just below mid launch and played over the lifting air for another 10 minutes over the houses and baseball field until it was feeling a little low and I decided to land. On my way back to the car some local guys bbq-ing in their yard offer me a soda and we talked story for a few minutes... the bbq wasn't ready but I was going to pick up Sandy at the dump side and couldn't stay longer. Frank landed there as well and before Sandy could fold her glider he was by my car. "How was your flight" I asked, the answer "I got beer in the car!" he was thirsty, so we drove back to his car right away. Russell landed in the baseball field after some 30 min flight, and joined us on the retrieve of Sandy and Nick on the other side. By the road we shared cold beverages and stories like "At some point it was so light I was afraid I would have to hike down!" Sandy mentioned I got the "last train". Maybe we'll be there earlier to catch the first train and the 4th day in a row at nanakuli. Keep checking the chatter box!


Pics available under my flickr acc.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Great article Ray! Thanks so much for sharing your flight reports. I hope you get out again today for a fourth thermal flight in a row.