Saturday, January 14, 2012

West Wind Wildness

We are having one of those pre-frontal, wacky wind weeks with wads of visting pilots in our midst. Chasing the wind is like throwing money on a roulette table - not sure if you'll win or bust. Woody and I were heading North to check out his new digs, right near Kahana launch. We packed our wings just in case something might happen along the way. Well, it did...

Alex gave us a call and stated that he was heading to the North Shore, KMX (Kahuku Motor Cross). "Call us when you get there" was our response, and he did. "What am I doing here?" exclaimed Alex. Woody replied "We are almost there". Alex retorted, "I am hiking up."

By the time we got to the trail head parking, Alex was on launch. Woody and I reported the wind on the beach as fairly cross, but Alex was feeling it straight in on launch (wild!). Finally, he got airborne in the slightly cross wind. Woody and I looked at each other and said, "Let's Get Our Gear and Go!". Bonnie and Sharky drove up and said "We're in.". Then someone said, "Berndt", I figured they meant Brent. Wow, Berndt is back! So, all five of us hiked up. We finally found launch, but Alex was on already his way in to catch up to Dorothy for family time. He had already made it to Waimea and back!

We were watching Alex have a perfect landing when a voice came from the next peak over. FlyStrong had bushwacked to the wrong launch. He wasted no time and continued his trek to join us.

We all stood on launch to trying to figure it out. Woody wasted no time, laid out and with the aid of the pit crew waltzed of the edge. I was next and if it were a dance, mosh pit launch would be the name. Ah, but I was up and I was flying the coveted KMX launch. Woody and I soared for a bit until Berndt and the Cobra got off launch with Harvey, Bonnie and Flystrong soon to follow. None of us made it as far as Alex, as the wind had gotten a little more west and was mellowing slightly.

I was tired of the up-and-downs, and Woody called it by saying "Glad we were able to fly this launch, but the fun is diminishing. I am going in." I followed Woody in. Woody landed at the access that lead to the vehicles but I went further up the beach. It was pretty empty except for a family of six or so that I dropped in on. The Albracht family elder met me at my glider, "Wow, that was great! Do you want a beer?" Now, maybe I didn't land near the car but I surely enjoyed a Rolling Rock after my first ever flight at KMX.

The Albracht's watched as Harvey, Bonnie, and Flystrong launched. Berndt was in the air trying to meet Alex's goal but found the Albrachts' beer too tempting and turned to come land next to me. But before he did, I got a call from Donna... "There are paragliders over Sunset Beach!, a yellow one." (she was taking the Oregonians on an Island tour). FlyStrong and Bonnie kept flying to keep the beach party entertained.

Woody and I had to get a move on, so we took Berndt to his car and headed out. Harvey had to land due to a stick in the wing. Flystrong and Bonnie were still in the air when we left. Sharky did not bring his wing but aided all of us in launching. Thanks Sharky - couldn't have done it without you.

We heard Maui Phil and Maui Tim were on launch and heard at least Phil scored a flight. We past Maui Doug picking up Harvey on our way out. I hope you guys & gals know that this place is rare notch to put on your belt.

Last year, Harvey got the only soaring flight out of here and was dubbed "Sir Harvey of the North". Before that, this launch stayed dormant for at least 6 years, I think.

Sorry we did not post... But seriously, it was a tricky little launch - very cross and weird air but the Albracht's made the landing quite refreshing; at least for me and Berndt. Mahalo for that!

This is for Scrappy.... Bonnie and I have been flying for three years and we got the KMX. Sorry, saw your chat post and did not want you to feel left out.

First, thanks to our Illustrious Leader, Mr. President, Alex Colby for the call. And to Woody, for hammering me back into shape to fly. But most important, to the Albracht family for topping off a memorable flight.

Bonnie had some great pics too, here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Skyhill...(I think you deserve an upgraded handle) Congrats on your first KMX launch and flight. Thanks for sharing your experiences of the day. You have become this websites second most prolific writer. Keep on flyin and keep on telling us all about it. Also want to thank Donna for giving me a ride to my car the other day.
Aloha Brent