Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Vernal Equinox

Yet another great weekend of flying at Kahana and Makapuu, just in time for the official start of spring. While the conditions at Kahana were on the marginal side for one reason or another on both days, we made them work and enjoyed some great flying, including some nice little first time XC trips for a few folks.

Saturday started out blowing offshore at Kahana, despite all other signs showing strong north flow, but Dave, Jeff and I hiked up anyway, and launched for a day of strong and gusty north wind flying. The air was strange. I got my best lift as I headed out over the ocean, reaching 2,100 way out over the reef. Never could make it across the bay though, there was massive sink and the crab angle stole all my glide. Jeff had to go, but Dave and I ran back up the hill after a nice lunch at Bobo's, launching in even stronger wind than before - I think the sensor was averaging 15. It was a low in the bowl kind of flight, Kahana style. We didn't stay up long because it was really just too darn strong, and we had to rush off to wish Ray a happy birthday. Thanks to Thom for the venue, and to Duck and Ginger for seeing me home safely.

Sunday started out too east and pretty light at Kahana, with super low clouds, and most folks opted for Makapuu. I heard it was sunny there! On the other hand, at Kahana it was pretty much drizzling lightly the entire day, on and off. Scot, Duck, Jeff and I launched Kahana in the drizzle as the wind filled in a bit more north, and after climbing in and around the low clouds in front of the ridge, Scot led Duck across the bay for his first crossing to Kaaawa. It was the lowest cloudbase I've ever seen for a bay crossing - they were essentially above the clouds for much of the trip across. Jeff and I never made it across, which was pretty disappointing, but we were totally stoked for the other two. I ended up landing because I wasn't able to get up very high above the Crouching Lion on my final attempt, and I was too low to make it back to the hill. The other guys came in soon after that.

Jeff had to leave, but we ended up running back up for round two, with Scot flying his first tandem with Duck, and Larry joining me for some more cloud surfing action. Scot landed as the wind started to turn super east, and soon after that the drizzle action in the bay got pretty intense, so Larry and I headed around for a landing in Punaluu. I didn't leave with much height, but I ended up crossing the valley to scratch my way up at the Punaluu ridge, under the lowest cloudbase ever, finally joining Larry for a landing in front of Ching's Store. Great landing, Larry, and congrats on your first time at a new LZ. Thanks again for the refreshments!

What a fun weekend. Happy vernal equinox to everyone!

1 comment:

Thom said...

Holly crap Duck your gonna finish all the XC route before year end.
Congrats will have to be rubber stamped on all your flights.

Congrats Larry on your XC as well.