Monday, October 18, 2010

Lanikai without the Hike

This damned disease! I have found out that there is a four letter word ending with "K" that gets in the way of my habit: W-O-R-K. I had to do a quick electrical job today - at least, I thought it would be quick. I knew today was going to be good when Jorge called, followed by Maui Doug and then a few others. I was hurrying along and just decided, I gotta go.

I left the job half done just to get a chance at an XC fix. When I arrived at Manics, Allan C was launching and Mad Dog launched soon after. Jorge and Scott were already on the prowl to Green Walls. I laid out my gear and chased after them.

I caught up to Allan C, who decided to stay local. I benched up and chased after Mad Dog. It was a bumpy ride to Green Walls, and radio chirping started coming from the roadside monkeys as they made their way to Makapuu. Finally in the middle of Green Walls I looked toward the Pali. "Damn, the clouds have dropped." I could see Scot, Mad Dog and Jorge over at Olomana. I guessed that the long ride to Kahana or beyond was out for today, and so I slid under cloud base and headed to Olomana.

I have been there only twice before but this was the first time I actually got lift on the way, not great lift but little bullets that maintained me at around 2,200 feet. On my way I could see that Scot had gone off toward the Quarry. "Hey, Scot, I see you, but where are Mad Dog and Jorge?" He returned, "Over to Lanikai". Sure enough, they were heading that way. I reached the front of Olomana where I was able to get up to around 2,600 feet.

Should I just go back to Makapuu, or try to head to Lanikai? Of course I have never gone to Lanikai from here, so off I went, following the trail of the two experts. This was a test in flat land thermals, and there were some to be had, and the negative of those showed me the down side as well.

Wow, this was cool, there is my house! Just off to my left I could see my house. I grabbed my camera to get an aerial shot and got whacked. I dropped my camera, which was attached by a lanyard, then after a few more rumbles I had a good drop to around 1,500 feet. Now I was scoping possible landing zones as I got flushed some more.

I was headed directly for the back of Lanikai, but I thought I was out of any rotor. However, the whacks kept coming. I veered off to the left of Lanikai to keep Mid-Pac Golf Course in range, and got a few bumps up. When I arrived at the front at around 1,300 feet, well above Mad Dog and Jorge, it felt pretty good to see the top of their wings for a change. It did not last long though. There was no lift at Lanikai, just an occasional teaser, and soon we were all eye to eye, going round and round.

Jorge had had enough, and went to the beach, while Mad Dog and I kept making futile attempts to get up. Reaper chirped in and said "Where are you guys?" We told him, Lanikai LZ. "No shit! I will pick you up, I just got Scot". Knowing that Reaper was on his way, we went to the beach. Jorge and I jumped in to cool off, and then we watched Mad Dog land. "Hey, that was my first time from Olomana to Lanikai!" Jorge and Mad Dog both responded in unison, "Mine too!" So Reaper got his beer, again.

We got back to Makapuu to find Alaska Jack waiting for Reaper's gear so he could get a fix. Reaper launched with the retired "" wing and kept right up with World Champ Jack Brown. We all decided it was due to ballast. AllanC's Hook had come in and it took him forever to open it. Joey and Maui Doug had already landed due to the OD condition that forced them in. Scrappy and Jared were heading up to Juice to do some discovery flights and Harvey took off from Manics. I went up to Juice to help with the tandems and to check out the new and improved Juice. Thanks Dave and company, it looks great! AllanC arrived at Juice to christen his new Hook … nice.

War stories were exchanged at the LZ as The Red Bull speed wingers provided the final entertainment. They are actually headed to France next week to continue the Hawaii Invasion, but they are sponsored. We have to work on that. Then AllanC capped it off with a perfect landing. I think he likes his new toy.

I got home at "O" Dark-Thirty, again. My kids left me their version of Elton John's song, 'Yellow Brick Road':
Daddy, when are ya gonna come down
When are you gonna land
We should've gone to the LZ
Just to see our old man
That is as far as they got, but it was enough. Darn, the kids almost made me wanna quit flying.

No chance of that,

It is Time to Fly Get your Gear and Go !!!!!!!!


Thom said...

Thanks for the edits again Alex, another late type and I am sure there was plenty of red ink on this one.

Alex said...

What a great story, Thom. For you to be able to follow Mad Dog and Jorge, with all their years of experience and their hot EN-D comp ships and pods, chugging along in your little EN-B jalopy, on a new and uncharted course over the swampy flatlands of Kailua - that's an impressive feat, and those guys really better watch their backs once you get your new wing. But to type up an entertaining story, with pictures, the same night - now you're coming after my job too! As long as you're flying amazing flights, taking pictures, and writing stories, a little editing is the least I can do to keep you going. I only wish I could edit the boots out of your pictures. Or maybe we can all chip in to get you a new and more photogenic pair...

MauiDoug said...

Great flight Thom, Jorge and Maddog! Thanks for the coffee and morning read. I tried to catch up with you guys, but I got spanked down at Puu O Kona. Awesome XC you guys and great recap Thom!