Monday, October 31, 2011

Rainbows, Weddings, Feasts, and XC Flying

Another awesome weekend for the Oahu Flying Monkeys. It was Doug and Shelly's wedding party weekend. The weather was not looking promising, with chances of thunder predicted on Saturday by the TV weatherman. I am so glad their predictions have about a 20% success rate. You want the real weather, look out the window. The weekend's weather was perfect, except for Saturday night, when we got a liiittttle rain.

On Friday, I woke up at Duck's after too many scotches during Thursday's food prep for Saturday. It was beautiful outside. I left all my gear at his house so I would not be tempted and went home to pack. While packing, Alex sent a text: where are you? It's looking good!

I scrambled out to try to meet Alex and Duck, but they were already up and getting ready to go before I launched and they were not waiting. But we all ended up having great XC's on Friday. I bumped into a rainbow while waiting for Mad Dog and FlyStrong. Alex's log of these XC missions is on the 'Smoking Downrange' story. That night we set up camp and did enjoyed just a few refreshments. Okay, a bottle of Scottish barley soda did get emptied, but who's counting?

On Saturday, we awoke to a beautiful sunrise. It's hard to believe those weathermen actually have jobs. If I was wrong that many times I would not have a job … ooops, never mind, I guess I am a non-jobber. But it started to get windier after a while, and we called off the flying day. Doug and Shelly had to resort to a grounded exchange of vows.

However, during the vows and the Hawaiian chant by the minister, the wind started to settle. Ike, the instigator, and Frank, the ghost, started to hike up. I know Ike, he gets lucky every now and then, but if he is hiking you better be hot on his trail. He does not hike unless he's sure to score a flight.

I have to admit he was a little worried when he turned around and saw a dozen pilots following him up the hill. After a while I lost count, but hopefully we can get a recap of the body count on the comment section. Tim's pics from launch are here and here. It was easier for me to say who stayed on the ground: Duck, busy with food and most likely exhausted, Gary, Laurel and Ginny.

Most of us stayed local, but Alex and Frank had to make a trek over to Kualoa to check it out. So Saturday's flying ended up working great after all. Not sure of the total, but we had the Austrian visitor, Torrey Bob and Donna and so many of our regulars it was mind boggling. Please post in the comments so we can keep our roll calls in order.

Ike was breathing a sigh of relief. Though he did not get a high flight for himself, he was happy to have instigated such a flock to the sky. Thanks to Ike and Frank for leading the way. Maui Doug flew in his tuxedo to be the last one to land, to Shelly's open arms and a big kiss. He was super glad he bought the insurance on the tux, since it definitely got dirty from our launches.

Well, you can guess what a Saturday night is like with the Oahu Flying Monkeys: coolers full of refreshing beverages and no one has to drive!!!! If you weren't there for this, you missed a good one. Duck shared some of Scotland's finest refreshments. Grape juice was sipped, and cold beverages were gulped. It had been a great day and it was worth the celebration. But mother nature, being as good as she had been today, wanted in on the party.

It poured - not the refreshments, the rain, driven horizontally by the gusting winds. We all gathered at the Reaper Compound to stay dry under his pop up tent, protected by a big blue plastic tarp. The Instructor of the Year saved a bunch of us from wetness, but some of our tents did not make it. The rain stopped, and the stories were starting to slow down. Reaper and I were the last guys on the beach, enjoying a frosty soda and the aftermath of Mother Nature. We leaned on each other to get up, then we spun to look back at the carnage of wet tents, and Reaper slurred, "We are getting old - we are going to sleep with refreshments left in the coolers!" We clinked our cups and dumped them out and staggered to find dry spots to sleep.

Sunday: a day of rest. Heck, no! Had to break down camp. Wet camp; yuck. Everyone pitched in, and it was done. We had successfully cleaned up, and the grounds looked great. Mother Nature saw this and said, "Good little Monkeys, now you may fly."

Alex, One-Eye and Travis were the first up, but Mother Nature had a little more action for us. A big squall got the first three to the ground, and the Monkeys on launch were hiding in the trees. It cleared, and Mother Nature smiled. "Sorry about that, but I was at that party too, and I had to let it go." She opened the skies, and monkeys flew off launch like butterflies. Joey, Maui Doug and Torrey Bob with tandems, as well as Flash, Reaper, Gaza, Swan, FlyStrong, and Sawzall. If you were there on Sunday, please chirp on the comments.

Well, we all flew, and I was able to sneak across the bay for my highest ever crossing with nice cloud suck all the way. I got to talk to Ike, Sammy and Roger who were at Makapuu scoring some flights there. Alex ran up again with Travis, and both tried to join me, but in vain, and I ended up with a solo to Kualoa and then came in to land for hamburgers and hot dogs.

It was a great weekend. I am sure thanks went out to Maui Doug and Shelly for making an excuse for us to gather. But Duck and his dueling Big Green Eggs surely were the winners of the weekend, and he deserves big Mahalos. Don't slap him on the back, because I am sure it is getting sore from all his good deeds. We thought we were going to have leftovers, but one thing that Oahu Flying Monkeys like is good meat. This was not good meat; it was 'fricking awesome', and it got devoured quickly. I am so surprised that any of us got off the ground. Thanks to Mother Nature for the stronger winds on Sunday, since our bellies were over-ballasted.

My non-jobber re-application was approved.

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


Thom said...

Thanks for the edits, Frank would have been dissed may not having his first Bay Cross mentioned.

Saturday as best I can remember: Ike, Frank, Sidehill, Alex, Austrian Visitor, Maui Doug, Harvey, 5-0, Travis, Flash, Torey Bob & Donna, Sawzall, the Flying Philips Bros.Scrappy & Steve, Fireman Dave on tandem, JK, B-Ray tandem with Laura(JK's wife and new P2 pilot), Bonkers, Chilli,
TommyRD, Sharky, Tim was on launch to get some picture so hopefully he got some.

Sunday: Alex, Travis, One-eye, Gaza, Laurel, Maui Doug, Joey, Reaper, Sidehill, Flash, ToreyBob, FlyStrong and Sawzall. I think. Mad Dog stayed on beach he had gotten Torpedoed.

I hope any I missed will chirp in.

Alex said...

Thanks for the recap, Thom! Over the whole weekend I am counting about 40 pilots, plus assorted spouses, kids and dogs:

Doug and Shelly, Hilo Ken, Sharky, Travis, Goto and Sam and Tim, Frank, Fireman Dave, Five-0 Mike and Cec, Mad Dog and Jeannine, Jorge, Andrew, Alex, Thom and Donna and the kids, Don and Yolie, Joey, Duck, Bill, Kaaawa Larry, Brad and Tamara and Savannah, Gaza and Laurel, Torrey Bob and Donna, Austrian visitor Garrot, Ray and Noell and Lilliana, Sandy June, Tommy RD, Scrappy and Steve, Ginny, Bonnie, Jim, Rich, Marc, JK and Laura, Kevin and Heather and Sarah, Harvey, Pete and Dave and their mom. And I'm sure I've missed a few! We had very large numbers of pilots in the air simultaneously on both Saturday and Sunday. A true flying celebration.

Brazilian Ray said...

It was fun, besides Blanca being attacked by a big dog and nd needing medical attention...
We also had Chelsea an her friend Jordan on SAturday with us

May god bless your union!