Saturday, August 07, 2010

Silent Karma

Well it happened again, Karma struck. On Thursday, I snuck one in at Makapuu, and on Friday I got one in the morning at Kahana, went off to work, and then snuck a solo in at Makapuu that evening. Saturday came and I had to work. It was very difficult driving to Waianae with my 'clipboard' when everyone was chirping about Kahana on Windlines. I really have to stop monitoring the chatterbox when I know there is nothing I can do.

Due to my playing Thursday and Friday, I was backlogged with reports, so Saturday was going to be a catch up day. Back at the home office after a trip to Waianae, I had several interruptions and client dramas, but I actually did pretty good and got mostly caught up. The draw to Kahana grew unbearable.

I headed out at 3 pm, figuring everyone had had their fill. I was going to fly alone so I drove directly to the trailhead.

Alex radioed me a few times as I hiked up, but my radio did not have enough juice to transmit. I called him on the phone and he said "I am coming up, can you give me a hand with a tandem?" "Ah, yup, I will wait for you at launch". Alex did not need any help other than clearing two 'huge' sticks in his lines that I flicked away, and off he flew with Kaaawa Larry's lil sista.

Then I launched with an A line twist on the left side - damn it, how did I do that? I flew cautiously with it anyway, to get these pics of Alex and Larry's sista.

After a while I scored a top landing to fix the twist. Sweet - my third at Kahana that can actually be called a 'Top Landing'.

My second flight was the trip. I played around launch watching others clamber back up the hill for their second and third flights of the day. I benched up to see where cloud base was, and unfortunately, when I turned, it hit me in the face. I was watching, or so I thought, but it came up on me quick. I jumped on my speed bar and yanked down some big ears, but I was still going up, though at least forward this time. Visions of my OTB made me tremble. The GPS and compass had me heading over the bay when the cloud circled me, I could still see ground but was not liking it at all.

When I finally felt comfortable again I let out the big ears, and I was at the shore with about 1,600 feet. Clouds were above me so I surfed them out over the bay. Pressing speed bar half way, I reached the middle of the bay with 1,300 feet. Got a rain water wash, and then, somehow, I made it to the road with 1,250. I crossed the bay and could hear chirping on my radio, "Sidehill crossed, all right!" but I could not respond.

I had crossed the bay and could not yell to anyone over the radio - I was silenced. Most would say that was a good thing - okay, it would be unanimous. But once over there it was tricky to stay up, since the wind seemed to keep changing directions and strengths. I heard Alex say "8-13 at 49" - wow, strange, the wind lines still looked 60ish. I was not having much fun. It was like being in a maze, tracing back to where you got lift seconds ago, but now it was sink. I finally got to the valley and decided no Kualoa today, back to Kahana.

I entered the bay scratching the clouds again at 1,500 feet, applied big ears, and a few wing overs and spirals brought me down to play on the trees. I landed and had my first beer in eight days - thanks, Jim.

The more I fly, the more I want to fly.

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


Duck said...

Great reading for MY morning coffee! We have had two good flights in two days, can't beat that! Watching you cross the bay yesterday was simply amazing--you were soo far out front and yet still soo high. Congrats on a well deserved bay crossing and the top landing was nice.

Hope to see you out there this afternoon.

Mad Dog said...

Fantastic flight & congrats on the top land sidehill. Wish I could be there on the weekends w/ you guys but work is calling, my time will come in Chamonix & I'm glad your tuning up nicely for it! Wait till you see the size of te top landing field at Plaine Joux, its a pasture with a bar/restaurant in it. It just draws you in like a Torpedo...