Friday, January 20, 2012

Makapuu Home Run

Six different launch sites at Makapuu were graced with wings today. The day started with the early bird non-jobbers and a few visiting pilots. Jon Goldberg led the charge up to Cactus and beyond. For those newbies and for the older pilots that don't think he exists anymore, Jon was one of the first paraglider pilots here on Oahu. He has only flown three times in the last three years and I have flown with him all three times … what are the chances of that? Okay, pretty darn good.

Jon hiked up to Cathedrals with Pete Reagan, a frequent visitor from Oregon. Pete was first in the air, with Jon close behind. Mad Dog and I were on Cactus, with Ike and Woody close behind. Once airborne, every time I looked down at Cactus, there was Ike, top landing, while a new wing launched soon after. Jon was the first to radio the news that 1,200' was cloud base, and it looked like we would all be staying local.

The skies were starting to fill, and even the Prez traveled down from Hauula to grace Makapuu skies. Cactus was getting its fill of launches, but soon it was too strong. After that, Manics was the call, and pilots launched until it also became too strong. Kaaawa Larry and Steve Philips were the only Juice launch pilots, I think, and then there was Crazy Mans.

One-Eye was the first off Crazy Launch, I believe. B-Ray took SkyMai on a tandem. Followed by Fireman Dave, Ike, Sidehill and Frank. I know there were possibly a few more.

I usually try to get a count of the pilots that were in the air. But this time I lost count. Please chirp on the comments to keep our log up to date. Pilots: Jon Goldberg, Pete Reagan, Sidehill, Mad Dog, Ike, Woody, Alex, Chili, Frank, Maui Doug, B-Ray and SkyMai, One-Eye, Fireman Dave, Sharky, Steve Philips, Kaaawa Larry, AllanC, Maui Abhay, Oregonians Bill, Peter, Dave and Doug. Not to mention hang gliders Leo, Mike and Dave! Launches used: Cathedrals, Cactus, Hang Launch, Manics, Juice, Crazies.

Here's a video Alex made. If anyone else has pictures or videos, let us know.


Alex said...

Thom, thanks for the story! I added a quick video I made on my phone.

What a fun day. I was determined to get out to Dillingham, but couldn't get anyone to share my enthusiasm. So I was suckered out to Makapuu with promises of epic XC conditions. Except they forgot to say that cloudbase was 900 feet. But actually that was kind of fun - I surfed the edge of those wispies til I was dizzy. Plus I got to launch from Cactus, the best launch on the island. Well, next to Tantalus, I guess. And I did a touch and go next to the lookout, and top landed Manics. Then I was stoked to help Sharky and visitors Bill, Peter and Doug launch from Manics. Hopefully Doug's lines aren't too compromised from their experience wrapping around the sign up there! It was great to see Jon and Pete Reagan out there. Man, those guys are the real thing. Thanks to Sharky for the cold beverages. On the way home I checked the numbers, and Dillingham looked like it was working all day. Although Bernie said cloudbase was low there too. But the flatlands there are a LOT bigger. Could have been interesting, who knows. Next time!

Hawkins biggins said...

I just happened to be in Waimanalo and reveled in the sight of you all flying! At one point I counted 8 paraglider pilots in the air! It was a beautiful sight indeed on a beautiful day, looked fun to kiss the clouds!

Unknown said...

Actually, Jon has flown more frequently than that. Or so he told me. --Jon

Anonymous said...

Nice post, Thom, but you spelled my last name wrong. I'll call you Tom until you fix it;) Also AllanC launched Juice with me. The wind picked up to where both of us had very little forward penetration so we both landed.

Steve Phillips