Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Lost and Found

After a modest but well-attended warm-up day of kiting and flying on the first day of the year, the second day delivered a super low cloudbase and an unlikely cross country adventure. It also delivered some undue anxiety to my flying buddies, when I disappeared into the mist over Sacred Falls just as my radio battery died. I hate it when that happens!

I could have been the first paragliding news story of the year: Hang Glider Rescued after Crash in the Clouds Above Sacred Falls. But thankfully I wasn't actually lost, just temporarily misplaced -- I found myself surfing a tube through the clouds to begin my last downwind glide. I was pleasantly surprised to arrive above my customary landing spot at Pounders with some bonus altitude, and I managed to eke out my glide over the town of Laie to land at Malaekahana, for my personal best distance from Kahana.

What an auspicious start to the new year - I hope this year will see more personal bests for all of us! Thanks to Don for being such a good flying buddy today and worrying about me getting lost in the clouds. Thanks to One Eye Jim, McStalker Jeff and Hilo Ken for hiking down to come look for me (and also for the retrieve), and thanks to Ray for heading over to join the search party.

Happy New Year!


Alex said...

Actually, I did once fly further than Pounders before - on my first XC ever, seven long years ago, I blithely followed Reaper downrange on a similar low cloudbase day. Pete told me to follow him down to the soccer field behind PCC, but we both ended up getting blown further back into the farm fields in the increasing airflow. Pete landed first and then talked me through a surprise landing where I used big ears to drop down onto a dirt road between tall trees and power lines. Now I know better than to try to pull off a stunt like that!

JeffMc said...

That was a sweet flight Alex! We just couldn't fly, thinking you were M.I.A. - but we had the feeling that you were more likely on your way to Haleiwa than stranded in the jungle, or worse. BUT, better safe than sorry... I notice you were quite the gentleman in not mentioning my subsequent light wind bomb out and Jim's hike-down. Our streak of recent epic Kahana flights had to come to an end sometime. But it was a fair trade-off to know you were were OK, and moreover that you set a new personal distance record. Welcome back!