Thursday, January 14, 2010

Northern Exposure

Lots of parawaiting and parawondering at Kahana today, as the wind slowly clocked around from the northwest. We sent a probe up to check the wind at the Anti-Kahana launch (thanks Hans!), but it was already too north there.

Finally, a bunch of us hiked up north launch and experimented with the very cross, light flow, with varying degrees of success. Some of us had quick flights to the beach, one of us landed a bit short of the beach, some others managed to stay up and work it for a while, and one lucky despot flew his favorite little flight to Kualoa.

It was a challenging day all around. Conditions were light and thermic, but also cold and lumpy, which is pretty typical for these northerly days. I had to work hard to get up, but once I figured out that the lumpy lift could be cored like a thermal, I circled my way up to 2,600 over the front of the Kahana ridge, and then hopped over the bay like it was a puddle. That was surely my highest bay crossing ever.

I had to work to find decent thermals at Kaaawa, but after working at it for a while, I got up high enough to cross the valley to Kualoa. By that time it was super light and north, and there was no lift to be found on that side, so I resigned myself to a rare one-way trip, setting up to land at the park. It was fun to land next to new students Duck and Jack as they were kiting over there. Thanks to Alan G. for the ride back.

It was great to see everyone out there: Jayson and his buddies Lee, Hans, Linda, and PMac; Alan G., Duck and Jack at Kualoa; Thom, Bonnie, Harvey, Oregon Peter, H2 Brent and Brian. I heard Jim was there too but he flew and left before I got back.

Peter, I hope you were able to get your gear rinsed and hung up to dry somewhere. If not, we can do it tomorrow. I tried to call you after I landed, but perhaps your phone didn't survive the splashdown. I assume your reserve got wet too - we'll need to rinse and dry it out as well, and then we'll find someone to help us get it repacked.

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