Monday, September 13, 2010

Threading the Needle

It was super east and light at Kahana all morning on Saturday, but I had hopes that the airflow would veer onshore from the sea breeze effect as things heated up. I started the day early in town with a 5k benefit run with the whole family, and amazed myself by pushing hard to come in 3rd. I haven't run more than 20 feet since high school! Of course my primary concern was just to make sure I came in ahead of Logan, who was not far behind, finishing around 10th. Great job, kid, but it looks like you've still got a few years before you can outrun me! On the other hand, my leg muscles are still full of painful knots two days later, while Logan and Dorothy are feeling fine because they have been working up to it for a few weeks.

At around noon the readings suddenly turned good, moving from 85 or so to 74. Just as I'd hoped! I met Woody from Maui and we rushed up to upper launch, as Jeff was arriving to set his family up at the beach. I told Woody that it would be prudent to get up high quickly and head downrange, in case the nice onshore direction didn't stick around. Well, it lasted about 30 minutes, just barely enough time for us to climb up to cloudbase and boogie out of there.

At Punaluu we found some very spanky thermals, and frankly it wasn't much fun, so we bailed as soon as we were high enough to make the hauula ridge. There we were surprised to find ourselves practically parked in the super easterly flow which really seems to pick up speed along the hills over there.

We landed at Hauula Beach Park, where I was once again accosted by a couple of loony panhandling denizens of the park. One dude told me he couldn't light his pipe full of weed in the strong wind, and he asked me to help him light it. Normally I'd help a guy out with that kind of dilemma, but this guy kind of gave me a serious creepy vibe. Another guy asked for a couple of bucks and I paid the fine. For some reason no one bothered Woody. Maybe because he is too smart to make eye contact with these zany park dwellers.

Woody's student Tom picked us up and we stopped at Ching's store on the way back. We found Jeff, Jen and Mazzy back at Kahana, and also JD, LeeAnn, Ginny and Skydive Chris. Sharky apparently made a brief appearance too, before we got back.

Woody and I felt very lucky to have threaded that needle to pull off a little XC adventure on another super easterly day at Kahana. He's headed over to SB for his advanced instructor clinic, and he'll be back on Oahu to fly with us again on Thursday.


Thom said...

Did Sky Dive Fly?

Good to hear he is starting to show up again.

Alex said...

Only Woody and I flew that day, during that one slim little window of decent wind direction. That's why I called the article threading the needle! Skydive has been flying quite a bit - it is great to see him out again after such a long break.

I should clarify to anyone who might have been unduly impressed by my running adventure Saturday morning - don't be! it wasn't actually billed as a "run" - it's the Alzheimer's Memory Walk. Lots of folks walked the whole 5k. But Dorothy had planned to run it, and a couple of serious runners from her office led the pack, with me plodding and gasping behind. Dorothy wants to try the Aloha Run next, 13k, yikes. I will surely have to practice for that one!