Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just another poopy day in paradise

As I was looking at the Doppler before leaving the house, it seemed to be one of those hit or miss days at Kahana, with the squalls peppered across the upwind flow, but also spread out a bit. The biggest plus was the 30 degree wind heading for the easy bay crossing, the kinda day we all love so much. Did I mention it will be our last chance to fly before a low arrives with possible T-storms and rain for 2-3 days?

As I arrive, the wind was dead from a squall passage. Torrey Bob and Donna waited out that one to hike up with Maui Doug, Cherie, and myself (Mad Dog), to north launch, which was light at best! Just as I lay out my Advance Sigma 4 (Alex thought my Aerodyne Dune was old), another out-of-nowhere rain falls for a couple minutes to heavy up my wing in the light air just for good measure. Cherie showed us all the lift was good enough to lift her 110 pound soaking wet body skyward, so onward and upward I went also.

As Cherie and I were climbing higher, we saw, yes, another squall coming right at us, just as Bob and Donna helped Doug off the hill in the very light conditions. We had only 1,900' of altitude when we made a break for it across the bay to avoid the oncoming rain … Cherie and I both made it, no problem, with the 30 degree wind direction, only losing 900' on the crossing. The best part is now coming: we are surrounded by rain squalls! So I radio Cherie, there is a hole between them and it looks good to hang over Swanzy Beach Park, as one passed over North launch and the other up Kaaawa valley. She thought us Hawaiians are crazy as she was sucked up into the white room. I went 1/4 mile out over the water at 1,300' to avoid the incoming dark clouds. Maybe she only thought I was crazy since she followed me into just another poopy day in paradise.

The moral of the story is, 30 minutes later it all cleared, and Cherie and I continued on to the next stop, above Kualoa Ranch, back up to cloud base, and yep, back across Kaaawa Valley, then onto Kahana. Cherie was now cold, and landed as Torrey Bob and Donna were in the air, and yes, another squall was on its way, so Doug never hiked up for round 2. I quickly got up to 1,500' above N launch and made another break for freedom to the other side of the bay with Bob and Donna. I made it across but the tandem rig went for the safety of the beach, although they had the crossing, no problem.

I flew for the second time above Swanzy Beach Park a short bit, before racing back to North launch where Jared was still trying to get into the air, as his wing wound up in the bushes yet another time … I now got on the speed bar from N launch to the beach, and I just made it to peaceful earth as the next closing squall of the day pushed through Kahana. We all packed up for the drive home quickly, with rain falling at dusk. We did miss our usual locals who were at work or off island on this special north wind day. I will now carry a camera so I can post some pics with the story, but today no pics are necessary, as it was just another poopy day in paradise.

Aloha, Mad Dog

This is my first article, so I must owe someone some beer!

11 comments:

Alex said...

Editor's note: Thanks for the great story, Mad Dog, and I hope it's the first of many! I'm pretty sure I'm the one to whom you owe that beer. And sorry, but I had to replace the colorful words you used in the title and story with "poopy". Not quite the same effect as your original choice, but this is a family site, for gosh sake! My kids read it!

Thom said...

Thanks for the story Mad Dog, Frank and I had a nice late session at Makapuu. Thanks for the edit
Alex my kids read these stories too!

Alex said...

I think "another poopy day in paradise" might even catch on for its own sake - I know I'm going to be saying it a lot.

Surely one of the other intrepid Kahana squall dodgers took pictures: Maui Doug, Torrey Bob, Donna, Cherie...? Please send me one at windlines@rr.hawaii.com when you get a chance, and I'll paste it into the story.

JeffMc said...

Nice write-up Mad Dog.

Alex - I think you meant "hawaii.rr.com" ?

Alex said...

Oops. Guess I need an editor too. :-) Please send any squall dodging pics from Tuesday to me at windlines@hawaii.rr.com.

Alex said...

In the meantime, I found a picture of a dog, perhaps a mad one, and some poop, just as a pertinent (or is that impertinent?) placeholder until someone sends us an actual shot of the day's flying.

Thom said...

Nope I like that picture its perfect.

Ginny said...

I really like the picture too, please add a link, but don't take the picture.

MauiDoug said...

Way to go Maddog! It was great watching you and Cherie soar through the clouds down to Kualoa. Sorry Alex I didn't get any pics due to the bad lighting. It was definitely a wet day at Kahana.

Waianae Jim said...

Nice story Mad Dog - Glad you had a nice flight. You killed any inspiration I have to write stories. Nine comments on your one post, only nine for the three stories I wrote. So you and Bonnie can take over. I'm done.

Alex said...

Jim, do you want me to beg? Because I will! You better keep posting your stories - they are awesome. The comments on your stories are substantive and interesting - these comments are about a picture of a dog scooping up poop. I mean, come on. Are you really jealous of dog poop comments??? Your stories have awesome flying pictures, that you took while flying. That automatically makes them great. And your stories make me feel like I was there. (You know I'm wishing I was there anyway!) The only reason there are 9 comments in front of yours on Mad Dog's poopy story is because it was a slow flying day, for the first time in a long time. People are wound up with nothing else to do. And finally, cut poor Mad Dog a little slack, he has been flying for 13 years and it took him this long to get a story out. Talk about constipation!