Monday, September 22, 2008

Perfect as a Picture

After missing the fun at Makapuu on Saturday, I savored a very satisfying Sunday at Kahana: a long leisurely day spent with friends and family, punctuated by two separate downrange flights in the sweetest of conditions, with light wind, abundant thermic lift, high clouds, and beautiful lighting. There were more than a dozen pilots at Kahana over the course of the day.

The kids had slept over with their grandparents, so I enjoyed a nice quiet weekend breakfast with Dorothy, before meeting Jim and Ginny at Kahana for the early shift. The air was inexplicably still despite the sensor reading of 13, but we were relieved to find it filling back in as we hiked up. I got up quickly and dodged a potential incoming squall by heading downrange right away, flying over Dorothy as she picked the kids up from Punaluu, stopping to venture into the back of Punaluu Valley before drifting on to Pounders. The morning light on the terrain lent a refreshingly different perpective to the flight.

After I landed, Dorothy kindly picked me up, and made a nice lunch, which Logan and I ate in the car as I drove him to his bass lesson. As we passed Kahana we saw that Rich, Alan and Wayne were just arriving for the midday shift, and Jim was helping Ginny wrap up an inadvertent north ridge top-landing adventure. And visiting pilot John from Vancouver was there just to say hello and scope out the scene.

I returned from Logan's lesson and staggered back up the hill for the afternoon session, as Jim and Ginny were enjoying a cool dip in the ocean. After assisting Reaper with his couchsurfing tandem, I patiently worked my way up in light thermic conditions, and finally followed Chandler and Mad Dog downrange, again just as a squall was approaching. I worked my way high into the back of Punaluu Valley once again, and also did the same at the back of Sacred Falls Valley on the next ridge. The afternoon lighting was exquisite, as usual, with the shadows growing longer as the sun dappled the valleys through breaks in the clouds.

New pilot Larry, who has just moved into a place located around the corner from Pounders, had come out to watch us land, and he kindly returned us to Kahana. Mad Dog sprung for some delicious refreshments, and a nice party ensued at the LZ as people packed up and shared their fish tales. Brazilian Ray had arrived just as I was launching, to fly tandem with a friend of Mark's, but after they had been airborne a while, and well after the little squall had passed into Punaluu, the wind had inexplicably died, and they were forced to set down early. His buddy was still stoked though. I was also happy to see that Berndt had come out to join the party.

Finally, Dorothy brought Logan and Amelia and our old dog Jack out to the beach for some exercise and water play in the late afternoon shade. Later on, as dark fell and the party began to break up, she brought us food from Bobo's for a twilight picnic dinner at beachside.


firedave said...
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Rich. said...

I'll vouch for Maddog. I personally consumed 3 of his & 3 of Reaps..., but who's counting?