Monday, January 12, 2009


What a nice day! I have been a little "out" of the paragliding scene with a thousand and one excuses (most of them lame) but today I said it was enough, and it was time for me to get out there. After spending a good amount of time on the computer trying to figure out where the flying was going to happen, I just decided to call our guru, Alex. He was chasing it, and I decided to join him as soon as I could. After a stop at Kahana, he kept on driving to Makapuu, just to find out both places were super light. Alex called me with updates about the possibility of flying Tantalus :) One-eye had also been calling me to give a little extra push. (Thanks, I appreciate it!)

On my way to Tantalus, I heard from Alex that it was getting strong and he and Jim would wait a little, hoping it would mellow out (even though Jorge was in the air). Then I rushed to Diamond Head, just to find it was too "east". Good strength, but way too cross! I call Alex one more time to give him the DH update and he said "It is good now! Me and Jim are launching." It was time for me to put the pedal to the metal and rally my way up there.

As I was parking, Tim was running with his gear to the lawn. Right after I got to the grass, Reaper showed up too. It was PERFECT. After a little kiting, turning and a couple of steps I found myself going straight up. Up and around with some para-buddies in easy and abundant lift. After some 30 minutes I top landed, but it was just too good to stop there, so I launched one more time. Scrappy joined us as well, and after a couple of passes I needed to land one more time to check on Noell. She was home sick, and I wanted to give her a call. I balled up the glider in a shady spot hoping to fly one more time, but the wind started to mellow out even more and also turned more north. Frank arrived last, but conditions were not flyable anymore. Sometimes, chasing it pays big (one more time)!

In the air we had Jorge, visiting pilot Mark, Alex, One-eye, myself, Reaper and Scrappy. The ground crew was Tim, Kui, Ginny, Thom, Frank and a bunch of interested visitors … what a happy day, I am glad I went! Noell has a 101 fever and I might use that as an excuse not to fly tomorrow, but I sure need to say "that's enough, get out there" more often!

Brazilian Ray


Alex said...

Thanks for the great article, Ray! But please don't call me a guru - that title should be reserved for people like Jorge, who told me it would be perfect at Tantalus when I called him from Makapuu (where I had just picked up visitor Mark after his sledder in a light offshore breeze).

It seemed too strong at Tantalus at first, and I was inclined to leave and check out DH with you, Ray, but Jorge encouraged me to stay, saying it would really be getting perfect soon. And boy was he right. That's your guru right there.

I'm so glad you came out, Ray! It was great sharing the air with you again. You definitely need to make some time for it. I can think of some other folks who are making lame excuses too: building a house, moving, having babies, joining the Navy... now those are some lame excuses. Get your rear ends in gear, guys, and follow Ray's excellent example. You'll be glad you did!

I can't believe I've flown Tantalus like four or five times in the last few weeks. And the last couple of times have been perfect glass off conditions. I hope we can keep things mellow and low-key up there, as much as possible anyway when we're in full view of most of Honolulu.

It was a treat to have Tim up there shooting pictures - his great shots are inspiring me to think harder about getting another DSLR - I don't have Tim's skills but it doesn't hurt to start with good tools.

Gravity said...

Guru? Jorge lived below Tantalus for 3 years before I told him that he lived below the best XC spot this side of the Pali, and that he should fly there. Hehe. But hey, since the 'Guru' lives at the base of the hill, call him 1st to check on conditions... Boy, was that fun.