Saturday, May 16, 2009

Koko Hop

I don't have the gift of prose like Alex, but felt the need to pass along my excitement about making my first foray from Makapu'u to Koko Crater. I arrived at the lookout a little behind Alex, Fireman Dave, Jorge, and Mad Dog, they had already hiked up and Alex was in the air. I enjoyed a nice little hike up to Cactus launch, where the conditions were ideal, arriving just as Mad Dog was taking off.

I set up quickly just in case the conditions changed. I had an easy launch and started to work the easterly flow to join everyone already up over Three Poles. No one was getting super high but it was fairly easy to stay up. Alex made the call to jump over to Koko Crater and soon ventured off in that direction after getting up to around 1400'. I opted to stay put for a while.

Reaper showed up on Cactus with Joel and Bonnie and made an offer that couldn't be refused - let's just say it involved beverages and special service for anyone that would come in and top land Cactus. Who could refuse? So, I went in for a landing, followed by Fireman Dave.

After an assisted launch from Reaper I cruised around a bit longer, having some fun playing follow the leader with Joel who was doing a great job flying an aged pink Edel Saber. Then, I went back to trying to get enough altitude and gumption to make my own journey to Koko Crater. Mad Dog and Alex both prvided inspiration and advice. My lucky moment arrived as a big cloud bank was rolling through I got up a bit over 1500ft, and decided to make a run for it.

Amazingly to me, the trip over was buoyant and easy. I arrived at Koko Crater at the rim of the crater, and there were nice thermals over there that allowed me and Mad Dog to get higher than we had been over at Makapu'u. Mad Dog went out over the flats in an attempt to make his way back over to Makapu'u. I was already thrilled with my flight, so decided to stay near Koko.

Ray set up a wind sock over near Bob's house in case anyone wanted to land there. As Mad Dog made his approach to land, I did a celebration spiral over the beach and had an effortless touchdown at Sandy Beach park.

A big Mahalo to Sidehill Thom for the retrieve - we owe you again man!


MauiDoug said...

Congratulations Jim! Hope to fly with you soon!

Nick said...


I'm jealous. I've yet to accomplish a Koko hop. Great job in furthering your experiences. Toplanding, going over the back...did you do a SAT too? :)


Alex said...

Congrats, Jim, for yet another fun milestone. I linked my pictures into your story at the bottom - let me know if you'd prefer any other arrangement.