Saturday, September 24, 2011

September Serenity

Yesterday there was some talk about dream flights in the LZ, and I was thinking quite a bit smaller, leaving that epic flight for a later time when I had a lot more experience under my belt. Alex and Scot hiked up North launch while I settled the family on the beach. I was still on the beach, and I watched Alex dance higher up the hill while kiting his wing. He makes it look so natural. Alex was across the bay before I was on high North launch. The wind was about 5-7 mph on launch, and I waited for a good cycle. Launched without any difficulties and found good lift up to about 1,200 feet. I boated around the valley looking for those thermals to punch me above the ridge. Great day for combo of ridge soaring and thermaling.

I followed Iwa birds into a few thermals. They always know where the good ones are. They disappeared across the bay like the King. I get such a great feeling, I am not sure how to describe it, when I am able to core the same thermal with the birds.

I made a stab at a bay crossing after following the iwa birds out to sea, while they were showing me where the lift was, and went on glide at 1,800 feet or so. Just testing the air and seeing how low I can go before turning back without going in for a landing. Thermaled in the middle of the valley, a little behind east launch, up to 2,100 feet, and made another stab at a bay crossing. I was doing good until about 4/5ths across the bay, and hit some sink as I was trying to get past the venturi of anti-Kahana. I dropped from 1,200 to 800 feet in what seemed like a few seconds, and had to turn back. Made it back to the hill and into the lift a little below high north launch.

I was on a time constraint so the wifey could get back and do some work while I watched the baby, so I was just planning on staying local and enjoying the great air. I tanked back up and watched as Scot flew back from Punaluu. Man, that R10 is fast. I flew back to Puu Pei where Alex was tanking up again for his crossing. I followed him across the bay but wasn't about to take his royal path. I stuck to the ridge and followed a small cloud street across the bay as opposed to the king's direct route. Scot left Puu Pei after me, and passed above me like I was parked in the middle of the bay. I tucked around the corner at about 1,100 feet, and was on bar until I heard those beeps … Argh, my legs were tired. Alex gave me a lot of advice and pointers that helped this noob out tremendously. Thanks for taking me under your wing! I appreciate any and all pearls of wisdom.

Eventually skyed out with Gaza, Sidehill, Alex, and Scot above Kaaawa. You're right, Alex, that bowl is perfect for generating lift. Get to that one and go where-evers you like. Got a few texts from the wifey, calling me back to terra firma. Must keep her happy. Alex and SH continued on to Kualoa, while I drifted back across the bay. I did a few B-line stalls for more practice over the bay, and made top landings on East and North launches, before heading in for a landing. I so wanted to stay and party with the gang, but family duty was ringing in my ear, and I was getting the eye, so had to bolt right after landing.

Thanks Duck for the delicious grape juice. This flight definitely refueled me for the long work weekend. I am learning with every flight. I love this sport.


Duck said...

Congrats on the great flight and the nice picts! Thanks for the great coffee read. Sounds like you had an awesome flight--no kidding about those Iwa birds. This sport, this club, and this island really make you think about how lucky we all are to be able to fly here.

I can't wait to read your next writeup! Keep em coming!

Thom said...

Congrats Kevin and Thanks for the read.

Alex did you post all the pictures you took that day anywhere yet?

Alex said...

Kevin, thanks for the writeup. It was an awesome day and super fun to have you following us over there. I look forward to more stories from you!

Brazilian Ray said...

Nice write up, thanks ;)
Congrats on your flight!

Brazilian Ray said...

Nice write up, thanks ;)
Congrats on your flight!

MauiDoug said...

Way to go Kevin! Great flights lately and great story! Hope to see you in the air real soon!