Sunday, January 21, 2007

Shine On, You Crazy Diamond

Friday's flying at Kealakekua was both challenging and fun for the first wave of Oahu pilots here - I had an hour-long thermal flight followed by some extended buoyant sled rides later on, and several of us had a chance to practice our rusty forward launch skills. Big Island pilots Charlie, Gene, Scotty, and Moku flew with us and helped us make the most of our flying as well as our parawaiting between flights. Thanks to Moku (Captain Cooler) for the sandwiches!

Day two of our Big Island misadventures saw the arrival of more Oahu pilots and more Big Island pilots as well. I think we had at least twenty people flying and parawaiting throughout the day, including Eric from Pepeekeo flying his paramotor. The morning conditions were great, and people managed some nice long thermal flights, with one lucky visitor making it all the way to the beach for the first time. The sky conditions were the clearest I've ever seen and the summits of the three volcanoes were visible once you got away from the hill.

Jon's first account of Kealakekua six years ago described the site as a delightful treasure, carefully nurtured and generously shared by the local pilots - that description rings even more true to me today - it is a gem of a flying site.

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