Monday, July 19, 2010

Flying Solo

I guess I'm a lot like the king -- I don't like flying alone either. The king and Mad Dog had a nice flight earlier in the day that consisted of a few bay crossings, to Kualoa and they ended up landing at Hauula. I went to Kahana in the late afternoon, after work to find light, north conditions. I got to launch and thought the conditions were good to go. I had an idea to make a video for people who don't know what it's like to fly - so I filmed my hike up to launch, tried filming my launch -- but realized I needed both hands to pull the wing up; then proceeded to film as I was airborne.

Even though I was jammin' to my tunes, I was pretty bored flying by myself (as you can tell by all the self-filming) and was glad to hear Brazilian Ray was on his way. He said he was going to do a tandem and I told him I thought it was too light, but he could try. Then Tommy got on the radio and said he was coming up too.

As I was about 1500' in the air Alex could see me from his house. He chimed in on the radio and said, "Wow! You're lookin' good up there Bonnie! I can see you from my house! If you can get high enough, it's perfect conditions for a bay crossing." I was going to attempt it, but I could only maintain at 1500', and could not get any higher no matter how hard I tried. As I would even try to leave the ridge, I would immediately sink.

I watched Ray launch his tandem, but, unfortunately it was too light, so they went to the beach. Then Tommy launched, he scratched for a while and he went to the beach too.

I flew around for a bit longer and decided to land. I flew for about an hour and a half. As I came in to land, I made a regular attempt, but didn't think of the light conditions. I came in high, and fast. I was hootin', hollerin', and yee-hawin' at the kids watching me from below. Ray came to watch me land and told me I was too high and I should go towards the bridge. But due to all the horror stories I heard about the bridge, I was too scared to head that direction. I know Ray wouldn't tell me to do something that was dangerous, but for some reason, I didn't listen. Anyway, I went over a tree that was hanging out over the water, saw hundreds of trees heading my way, then leaned left and pulled hard left brake, then landed long, in a little spot between the high tide and tons of trees. My wing did a frontal (I was sure it would get wet), so I grabbed it, and started running towards the trees, saving it from the drink! I thought, "Yes!... Tommy said it right, 'it wasn't pretty, but I'm dry!'"

Here is a link to the video - my 112th flight.


Gravity said...

I love the music. It's so 'lade da'
Some of my best flights have been solo, but it's always much more fun to share with your flying buddies. Good write-up babe. Fly high, fly far, fly safe...

Bon Bon said...

I love that song and when I listen to it over and over in the car, I think of flying...and of family and of a lot of things really. And when I'm flying, I think of my family a lot. Actually, my mind goes off and thinks of lots of stuff - especially my family - the kids.

MauiDoug said...

Congrats Bon Bon on your solo Kahana flight and your cool intro movie! After, I clicked on the Makapuu spiral dive link, AWESOME!... I am still dizzy! Great camera work capturing your facial expression....priceless moment!

Thanks again for filming and posting the stall link. I'd love to hear more of Mike's piano tracks!
See you in the air real soon!
Much Aloha:-)

Anonymous said...

Yup, have to agree flying alone is not as much fun, my bay crossings have all been solo, well my first one Reaper followed me along the road all the way to Kualoa.

Glad you stayed dry, if you did get wet it would have made it harder for me to pass you on dunkings. hehehe.

It's Time to Fly, Get Your Gear and Go !!