Friday, May 20, 2011

Flight to P2

First, let's clear up the title. P2 is not a rating - it's a nickname for the spot Alex dubbed the new Pounders a while back: Hukilau Beach. Thursday was another work day for most, but Alex had to post up that he was hitting Kahana, and launching around noon. I picked up the King of Non-Jobbers, Ike, on the way, with Mad Dog en route as well.

We arrived at the trailhead to find Air Force One already in flight. Allan drove in and the three of us hiked on up. Mad Dog had filled our heads with visions of crossing the bay and making it to the Pyramid, but it wouldn't be easy since it was pretty easterly. Larry Mac showed up on launch just as I was ready to launch.

We all tried to cross, but the only winner of round one was Alex, who crossed to Kualoa on his first attempt. Mad Dog made a low attempt, and after finding nothing there, had to turn for the beach. On my second attempt, I got low on the knob, and turned and burned back, but as I did, I caught a glimpse of Allan's feet and I heard a shout, since he had no radio: "Thom, I am right here!" He was still 30' over me, but I did not even know he was there. What is that we are supposed to do? Look, Lean and Turn!

Ike had to catch a plane back to the Big Island, and Alex made it back just in time to land for Logan's bass lesson. Allan almost made it up on the other side, but got low and went to the beach. Larry Mac had launched with a riser twist and found that trees are your friends. I had to land to take Ike back anyway, and stated that I would run a saw up to Larry. Alex said he could take Ike home on his way, so Allan and I were off to the rescue.

I had never been up there before, but Alex gave us directions to the Puu Piei trail, which at the beginning was nice, with stairs, etc. Then once we got past the tent dwellers, there was not much of a trail. We found Larry had most of his wing down by the time we got there. It was a pretty gnarly trip: he left East Launch with a twist of sorts, and flew backwards to the next ridge toward the valley. Some more Monkey Luck: pilot and glider were A-OK. Hopefully Larry will write up something on this one and try to figure out what happened.

We got the wing out of the tree, which I have a vested interest in, since it was my Ellus2, and it was fine. I actually thought of launching it out of there and taking it to the beach. I had seen Fireman Dave do it a few years ago, after landing on this ridge under reserve, but that's another story. I woke up in time to remember "Oh, yeah, it was Fireman Dave who did that," so we packed up and hiked down.

Mad Dog had hiked up again, and tried to cross again with his new Torck 2, and again he sunk to the beach. I was packing up, and I heard One-Eye was up on launch. Allan and I packed and hiked up again, and Mad Dog did a third trek, and JK had already started up as well.

We all launched and got up. JK was rewarded for finally having no line issues, by being the only one in the late shift to make it across the bay. Alright, Team Sol! He started down to Kualoa, but when he heard the rest of us were going to throw in the towel and head north, he turned and came back across to follow us.

Jim, who is not one of the non-jobbers, had to land, so he could make it back to Waianae for a 3 AM wake up call to work … ouch!

Four of us headed downrange, skimming the bottom of the clouds at around 2,500 feet. Mad Dog made some deep passes into the valley between Kahana and Punaluu. There were times I thought he might try for the Pyramid from there, since he is the Mad Dog. I was the first to turn to see how far I could get. JK took a deep route and got a warning from Mad Dog: "Uh, if you're going to play back there, you better scope out a hiking trail while you're still up." But JK made it out without a problem today, since the wind was light.

I had BYU on glide, but I remembered Alex advising me that we should only use that as a bailout and not as a destination, so we don't wear out our welcome there. Mad Dog was in front of me, coaxing me to Hukilau, and we both made it there with plenty to spare. Team Sol again! Allan and JK made it to Pounders, where Reaper grabbed them, and Jeanine retrieved her hubby and me.

Back at the LZ Bar, I was pretty excited to have made it to Hukilau, and was informed by Duck that he has it labeled "P2" on his navigation device, short for the new Pounders. So what's next, Turtle Bay??!!

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


Duck said...

Turtle Bay it is then Thom! P3???

Thanks for the morning coffee read! Glad to hear that Larry was ok and the gear not damaged...congtats on good flights!

Puka Wai said...

No, I think Alex already identified Kahuku Golf Course as P3. Besides, Ushpa says you need a P4 before you get to a T1, so where is that?
Congrats to the nonjobbers on another fine weekday XC!

Alex said...

P1: Old Pounders.
P2: New Pounders: Hukilau!
P3: New New Pounders: Golf Course!
P4: Shrimp Ponds?
T1: Turtle Bay!!!