Sunday, August 28, 2011

Escape Artists

Today's flying at Kahana was all about escaping the squalls. There were showers and rain cells and gust fronts blowing in all over the windward coastline, and it seemed like you had to be a flying Houdini to escape them. Most of us managed to stay dry but a few of us got pretty wet.

Jim and I were the first to launch at Kahana this morning, and we climbed up together over Puu Piei to scope out our options. I heard Frank on the radio at Makapuu. Jim and I spied a squall bearing down into the bay, and we decided to escape by running to Punaluu. From there Jim hopped over to Hauula, and then landed at the beach park. I stayed up at Punaluu a while, and after the squall cleared, I was lucky to complete an upwind leg back to Kahana.

I climbed back up there, and watched as Bill launched, while squalls drifted over Kaaawa into the back of Kahana Valley. Visitor Steve from Tahoe launched soon after that. I blasted across the bay to Kaaawa, coming in low but working my way up. I knew Duck and Larry were kiting at Kualoa, and I was hoping to make it over there.

I escaped a huge squall coming in to Kaaawa and Kahana by diving for Kualoa just in time. I arrived at the corner super low, and I barely got around the tip on full speed bar. Bill was getting wet at Kahana, but stayed in the air a while to dry off. Visitor Steve headed down to land at the LZ, but he encountered massive sink, and ended up having to land at the boat ramp.

I saw another squall forming off of Mokolii islet, so I tanked up above Kualoa to watch it pass. After it cleared, I headed out to tag the island, and while I was out there I saw a few sharks swimming around. Before I got too low, I returned to the shoreline to land at the park where my buddies were kiting, after a fun three hours in the air.

Duck drove me back to Kahana, but not before stopping at Bobo's for lunch and beverages. We watched as Bill circled over our heads at Hidden Valley. When we got back to the LZ, we were sort of tempted to run up the hill, but we cleverly opted to fly the cooler instead. Bill landed to join us. Ginny hiked up and down and joined us as well. Brad and family showed up too.

Thom, Maui Doug, visitor Steve, and Five-0 Mike hiked up and launched for our entertainment. Some squalls came in and scared most of them away to Punaluu. Duck and I chased them down -- Mike landed at Hauula Community Park, and Thom and Doug landed just past Pounders. Steve stuck around and landed at the LZ. Ray showed up with the family and hung out to share some beverages and cigars.

Great to see so many people out enjoying the crazy weather. I was stoked to complete the "reverse chronic" by dashing to Punaluu and then to Kualoa, especially after I was unable to cross the bay the day before in my tandem. Today, I was determined to get some XC flying happening, and I wasn't going to let some pesky squalls stop me!


allanc said...

Alex, sure sounds like you are having a great flying streak. It is great to hear about flights and friends at Kahana. Will get my chance once again soon. Was raining in Kailua as well off and on all day. Cheers.

Thom said...

Squall dodging not my favorite thing to do. I got misted on at Kahana but it was quick and painless.

But we could see a fatty coming and outran it to Punaluu. As we were going from Punaluu to Hauula, Maui Doug said, "Hey Thom, check out that Rainbow chasing you". I know thats why I am running to Pounders.

had 2100' over Hauula Beach park and made it just past Pounders to a vacant lot that Maui Doug has used before.

It was fun and the squalls were pretty harmless this time. WATCH out they can bite you in the butt.

Thanks for the write Alex.

JK said...

If you got your iPhones wet, see me. I'm becoming proficient at component replacement on these little gems. A dry bag is a good investment...

Jack Brown said...

Glad you guys and gals are getting some nice air time! Things pretty much turned rainy and windy up here 1st of AUG and haven't really changed since. After several incidents, there's been a fair amount of discussion recently about flying the modern EN C & D gliders in the rain, with a possible consensus being that they aren't as forgiving as their predecessors. Parachutage, stall, and spin may be closer than we are aware....due to past experience.
Hope to fly with you monkeys soon!