Friday, August 12, 2011

Take the Bait and Run

When I arrived at Kahana Bay yesterday all the "non-jobbers", as Thom likes to call them, had already landed, and the wind seemed a bit brisk. The ground crew pilots, Alex, McStalker, Harvey, John, and Woody, made it sound like it was going to be a low flying day, without much possibility of going anywhere, as Thom had already reported when I called him earlier (he had already departed for w**k). The support crew Ginny, Jen, Mazzy and pilots were having some beverages and Jeff was supplying his culinary creations to the masses. 5-0 Mike and Sharky were on scene, but present wind conditions didn't look that inviting to them.

But since I've only flown once in the last three weeks I opted to hike up and give it a go from North launch. By time I arrived up on launch the wind had subsided considerably, and I radioed down to report current wind to Mike and Sharky, hoping to lure them up to get in a flight. After launching in nice smooth consistent lift I kept testing my forward speed and reporting my current penetration via radio. Mike and Sharky did hike up and both were able to get up in the air for nice flights. Maui Doug made an appearance as well and launched from high north in his Aspen, that happens to look just like the one I fly but is one size smaller.

The winds had backed off more by now, enough to allow Maui Doug and I to go back above Pu'u Piei, and we even made a half-hearted futile attempt at crossing the bay. I did get over Crouching Lion, but I just didn't have the stones to push into the venturi to establish myself on the Ka'a'awa side. Made it back easily, and once I got back up high on the Kahana side, Maui Doug cast out his lure - "you wanna make a run down to Pounders" - you bet I did. I had the boatiest crossing I can recall, departing Kahana at 2200, and getting to Punalu'u at 1850, so I didn't even bother stopping there and went on down to Hau'ula ridge, where I radioed Mike that we would be landing at Pounders. Since it was getting a bit late for my taste I decided to head on down that way ahead of Maui Doug. He was still back at Punalu'u way up in back by the Sacred Falls headwaters, where I wouldn't have gone anyways.

As I departed Hau'ula, I caught a nice cloud, and was so high I changed my landing intentions and headed to BYU. Made it easily there, and probably should have gone further, but that will wait 'til next time. Maui Doug made it to Pounders, followed by Harvey who had tanked up as quick as he could to chase us. Thanks to John for the ride back, all the people in the field at BYU who are always so friendly and welcoming, Ces for generosity in providing ground support, Mike and Sharky for sharing the air, Ginny, Jen, and Mazzy, and all the "non-jobbers" who cleared the way for me to enjoy a late afternoon reel.


Thom said...

Jim & Doug you were both on small wings. Well not you Jim your just over in it slllliiiiightly.

Glad you scored a trip.

Hope to be out there later again today.

Sharky said...

Thanks for the reports 1-I, it helped me with making the decision to fly. Not my favorite kind of air, but I got a flight in! Tested out trying some spirals, but just didn't like the tracking due to wind.

Thanks to Woody for keeping an eye on me and 5-0 on approach and radioing us conditions and advice. The winds had picked back up to 11-12 in the LZ when we came in, and Roxy wanted to stay up more than I did.

Hope to be out there today, and the weekend to finish off my vacation with flying and friends. :)

=-) Sharky

p.s. really hoping I'll get some monkeys to drag/guide me farther than Punalu'u if conditions permit.

Mad Dog said...

Nice flight on a windyish day 1I ! Can't wait to get back to Hawaii & enjoy the best company in the world...
Aloha Mad Dog in Annecy