Monday, September 28, 2009

Long fun weekend

More than twenty pilots flew over a long weekend of three days in a row at Kahana, including visitors from Maui, the Bay Area, and Brazil. We made good use of a variety of challenging conditions on all three days.

Friday's flying was marked by light winds and numerous squalls, with brief gorgeous sunny periods. After watching the Maui instructor Woody and his former student Kylie scratch valiantly before sinking out, I found a lucky cycle to get me up for a quick high flight in one of those short sunny windows, and then ran off to pick up the kids from school, as the other guys ran back up the hill to spend the afternoon waiting out the squalls, along with some more pilots that showed up for the late shift.

Saturday started out strong, briefly faking out kitesurfing fanatics Ray and Mad Dog, but the wind speeds gradually ebbed down to a smooth and sweet level by the end of the day. We flew Kahana low in the bowls for the first part of the day, swooping and buzzing around the low launches, and as the wind lightened we found ourselves getting nice and high, up to 2,400 feet or so. Maui pilot Kylie had an awesome first long and high soaring flight there. Mad Dog's sailing club chugged into the bay around midday for a night of partying and camping at Kahana, parking their boats in a line at the front of the LZ. Brazilian visitor Kennio and I tried a downrange trip at the end of the afternoon, but cut it short in Punaluu after finding it was still pretty strong over there. Somehow I managed to leave my boots behind at the party site - thanks to Thom for grabbing them for me.

Sunday started out strong again, maybe even stronger than the previous day. Visitor and new PG pilot Dan from DC opted to ride out to sea with the departing sailors rather than take his chances with gusty launch conditions on borrowed gear. But the wind speeds gradually waned again just like the day before. (Thanks to Ginny for her accurate prediction, or her awesome power over the wind.) I didn't have my boots, and I was in too much of a rush to run home for my sneakers, so I blithely raced up the hill in slippers and then flew barefoot all day. (I felt like Dave Goto for a minute there. Except I was wearing a helmet.) We started out buzzing around low in the bowls again, gradually following Jim up into the back by the end of the day. I was just leaving but I think Maui pilot Rodney got into the air at the end there as well. Visitor Harvey from the Bay Area was out for all three days, winding up six or so straight days of flying.

It was great flying with so many nice visitors this weekend. And it was great to welcome back our wayward son Mad Dog from his alpine trip, and Jim from his east coast training trip.

Meanwhile, in the distant fabled steep wonderland far to our east, a gimped out Jared and his buddy Skydive Mike took turns flying a speed wing on all three days, with Frank and Dave there on some days as well. If you guys have any good stories or pictures to share, don't be shy, let's see them. All I have to go on is chatterbox banter and that's not really enough to fuel my imagination.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The Hawaiian island of Maui is a destination for true nature lovers. I visit there after miami bus tour. I saw the Haleakala National Park over there. This Park is at the extreme end of the paved roads beyond Hana on the east end of Maui. If you ever go the chance than must visit this park because there are some good day hikes.