Monday, March 19, 2007

Three Out of Four Ain't Bad

Day One: Aloha Friday March 16 A few people made appearances at Makapu'u to fly (some to wish our President a good journey). Based on rumor and hearsay Navy Don was first off of Cactus, followed by Jorge in a tandem with the new student Doug launching from Manics, then the intrepid Alex and Don showed for a last fix of airtime & also flew out of Manics.

By the time I showed up there were a couple of hang gliders putting on a show for the tourists at the lookout, and occasionally buzzing in to pay Alex a little visit. The launch conditions were a little too strong at Manics and too cross at Crazy Man's for my taste so I decided to wait for the late shift to show up. Jetflap Jeff didn't disappoint, by time he showed conditions on Crazy Man's had improved. He got off easily, followed by visitor Jai Pal from Malibu, and then Me. Flew around for a while in some rather ratty air and had a less than desirable landing, but wasn't hurt. Late in the afternoon as I was leaving Nick launched from Crazy Man's t00 and Scrappy joined him to get their taste of the high life.

Day 2: Sunday March 18 Kahana. Much to my amazement I got a call from Christine saying conditions at KNA were perfect. Since I'm always looking fr an excuse to get out of household chores I jumped right in the car and headed out. Thanks Christine, another day of drudgery avoided. The wind was super North so everyone was going for the fun trek up the muddy beginning of the trail. Upon arrival Submarine Steve was up in the air cruising and Billy had just launched. Visitor Jai Pal and I hiked up in time to help Christine get off. Jai Pal was gracious enough to let me go ahead, since I'd let him go off first at Crazy Man's on Friday. Later on Stalker and Hillbilly showed up too, as well as Reaper with students Rich and Doug. Submarine Steve wins the prize for long flight of the day with 3+ hours, Myself and Jai Pal secondat 2 hrs. The late arrivals Hillbilly and Stalker got much shorter times due to approaching rain squalls. Rich had several valiant tries at launch in some strong conditions that kept getting worse. Reaper and student Doug had a short adventurous tandem ride down to the beach, while Rich eventually opted to hike it down.

Day 3: Monday March 19 Kahana. Conditions on the beach were a little strong but back to normal trade direction when visitor Jai Pal and I hiked up to normal launch. Iopted for low while Jai Pal set up on mid down the hill a bit from the lone pine tree. The wind picked up and we waited for a good 30 minutes or so for a lull to get off the hill, both launching within a few minutes of each other, and having no problems finding abundant lift out in front. We soared around for a while but the wind remained strong enough that we both had to use speed bar to get where we wanted at times. Christine made a late arrival and we encouraged her to wait out the wind for a while. Jai Paul stayed up while I went in to land as Christine was getting ready to go off low launch. The wind was quite strong in the LZ and could have soared the trees for a while, but my time to land was nigh. After I landed Christine got off low launch o.k. but immediately reported she had to use full speed bar for penetration. She did a great job of using speed bar to make a quick flight down to the LZ and landed safely killing her glider well. Jai Pal followed in and closes this flight.

The real adventurers: Kudos to Scrappy, Stalker, Sub Steve and Hillbilly for flying in some super strong North conditions on Saturday 17 March. the luck of the Irish must have been with you guys.

I'm sorry I didn't take too many pictures, if anyone has some feel free to add them to the story.


Alex said...

Great report Jim! Nice picture of Jai Pal too. Sounds like you guys are having an interesting mix of conditions. Thanks for keeping the blog rolling.

Anonymous said...

Best thing to have flying at Kahana is a $1.00 emergency poncho... Saved my *ss at Kahana during those heavy sqaulls. It totally covered all my gear and my Fat *ss...


sandy said...

Great report Jim! I've been kicking myself for not getting in the air -- but then when I read about it, I quiver and quake with the thought of being caught in those high winds (been there, done that). Still, I sure wish I could've gotten out there earlier on Sunday. I'm glad you were brave and successful.