Thursday, October 14, 2010

21 is a Bust!

Gambling is illegal here in Hawaii, so only here would a "21" be a bust. A little background: Fireman Dave discovered a launch behind Fire Station #21 between Bobo's and Crouching Lion in Kaaawa. He said it was a good launch, and it was located across the bay, which would save a lot of bay crossing effort. He sold us when he described the short hike and fern covered launch.

I arrived today at Kahana with plenty of time to get some action, including my regular training routine of practicing top landings, with a possible chance of an excursion to Pounders and maybe beyond, but then I bumped into Fireman Dave. "What are you doing at Kahana?" It usually takes a nuclear blast at Makapuu to make him take the pilgrimage to Kahana. He said "I am going to 21 with Scot." I said "Hey, never tried that one - I'll drive, you lead."

Well, the hike was something else. I heard Jeannine echoing in my head, "It is just a leetle bit further, just around the corner". Maybe without a 40 lb pack it would have been okay on the way up, but part way through I made the mistake saying, "This better be flyable cause I ain't hiking down". The skinny little worn out ropes were a necessity in every area but putting trust in them was difficult. Okat, steepen the grade at Lanikai and loosen the gravel to marble like, add some hand over hand clawing and you got this trail. Oh, then there was the trees that you had to crawl under.

Finally we made it to the top. The grade to stand was steep, very steep and very short. Dave said you just lay your glider out, kite it up and your gone. Well, his glider is half the size of mine and the lines are at least a third shorter. By my visual calculations my wing would encompass the top and I would have to dangle over the cliff to to stretch the lines long enough to kite it up. I had pretty much decided not to fly here, but dreaded the thought of the hike down.

Dave laid out and got pulled to the right, then a snag, then pulled up and wavered off. Scot, with more experience than I, decided to give it a go. I told him I was not going and would give him a hand. A few snags later and a twisting launch and he was gone. Before I hiked down he yelled, "I am never launching here again!!"

New paragliding launch, "21" from Bush Flyr on Vimeo.

Dave had taken a line towards Kahana that proved to be futile, and landed at the fish pond without getting wet, his luck. I slowly hiked down wishing I had listened to Alex when we told him our plan. "Dude, I hiked that once, and no way I would do it." That is twice that our fearless leader has tried to show me the way and I strayed to the non-conservative path. When I finally arrived back at Swanzy Park to get my truck, there was Scot.

He said he just couldn't get anything and was glad to have made it to Swanzy Park which is right below the launch. We drove back to Kahana beach to commiserate.

We have to hand it to Dave for all the other launches he has discovered and groomed that are in use today. But there has to be something said about a launch that is marked with a white cross. This site is going to the top of my list of non-launches beating out my old nemesis 'Tomato Patch', which for those of you unfamiliar it is above Tomato Juice, way up in the pucker brush.

Well, I was exhausted after my hike and did not want to make a guaranteed hike up Kahana to actually get a flight in.
I did get to retrieve a barrel a monkeys that made it to Pounders and one to BYU. I am glad to be at the point where if I did not fly, I can relish the stories of those that did.

It's Time to Fly Get Your Gear and Go !!!!
But Launch "21" is a big fat NO !!!!


Anonymous said...


Duck said...

Thanks for the write-up...I have only done part of that hike, and I did not have a pack on to slow me down. I'd imagine there are days when that site would work, but I think I'll just have to improve my bay crossing percentage.

Your disease shows signs of improving in the fact that you can relish in the stories of those that have flown even though you did not...

Thom said...

I LIED !!!!!!!!!!!! I was sick good thing for the Torpedos to drown my sorrows.

Brazilian Ray said...

As I was reading about the "relish bull shish" i was thinking... someone check his pulse! call a doctor!!
good story

Anonymous said...

nearly to 18 grand tonight in Telluride Oclorado! come visit and speck out!!!