Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I shared a rare two days of pure thermal flying at Kahana, Makapuu and Koko Crater with Mad Dog, Scot, Joey, Jim, and Don. Not to mention two hollow-boned hang glider pilots. I've flown so many circles these last two days that my head is still spinning.

Yesterday, I flew with Scot, Jim, Mad Dog, and Pillel at Kahana, scratching in light north conditions. Scot caught some strong thermals in the back and got above 2 grand several times, but I maxed out around 1,800 only once. Scot said it was his best thermalling day ever at Kahana.

But we darn near killed Mad Dog, making him hike up, launch with a compression knot, topland, get himself all snagged up at mid launch in weakening winds, and finally throw himself off hours later in no wind at all for a fast sledder to the beach. On a day when he could have been soaring Greenwalls with Thom and Doug! He said it was his worst Kahana flying day ever. We really gotta start treating our old timers better than that. I bought him some refreshments as a token of consolation.

Today, I only had a couple of hours to join the guys at Makapuu, but I arrived early and left late and truly made the most of it. I flew with Mad Dog and Jim again, as well as Don and Joey, and the lift was just as light as it was yesterday at Kahana. If you weren't turning in thermals you weren't staying up.

After about an hour working it, Mad Dog and I caught a nice one at three poles and burned over the back to Koko Crater, followed by Mike and Leo in their hang gliders. The four of us thermalled there for another hour, over the Crater, and over the flats, and finally Mad Dog and I landed at Sandys. Mad Dog said it was the kind of day that reminds him that he knows how to do this. I had to agree - I think that's what Scot was feeling yesterday. Thanks to Jeff for the retrieve.

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