Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Whales Enjoy Pod Sightings

First Day of Spring and Whales Reported Four Pods and Three Bare Leggers over Punaluu, yesterday. One whale was quoted, "I wish our Pods had some color like that." Yes, the first day of Spring, 2012. Often this does not mean much to us, cause our weather usually is pretty much the same every day. But after a dearth of truly enjoyable flying conditions this winter, this day is giving us hope for a great Spring/Summer season.

Brent started the monkeys rolling when he stopped by to get his reserve re-inserted. He was off to check Makapuu and I was close behind.

But Makapuu had gone too east by the time Maui Doug arrived with a tandem, so off we went to Koko Crater. Maui and his prospective student went up first. Brent and I got to the trailhead and I realized I was shoeless: no boots and no slippahs. I had been in too much of a hurry to get out there: pilot error. I declined to go barefoot or with the toe shoes that Brent offered, remembering McStalker's fate, so I went home. Maui Doug and Brent flew for an hour at Koko until it got too strong.

Mad Dog had headed to Kahana to meet up with Alex and Woody. I had to pick up kids after school, but I asked them to keep me posted if it was good and I would come up there. Well, they waited and waited, and then waited some more. Finally, they hiked up and reported three in the air. Alex, Woody and Mad Dog chased huge white whales around the sky over the bay for an hour, getting up above three grand at some points, despite cloudbase being closer to two grand. Alex radioed: "I don't mind staying local, (of course we know that's a bunch of monkey dung), but I'm kind of hoping we are going somewhere." To which Mad Dog responded, "Are you kidding me? 'Restless souls' like us are definitely going somewhere."

They tried a bay crossing from their lofty perches above the clouds, but the flow was east and sinky at Kaaawa, so they retreated and opted for a downrange mission. I arrived just in time to see them disappear, but was soon re-energized to see Duck's car at the trailhead. He was just getting to launch with me close behind. Skydive Mike arrived as I launched from low, and he decided to go to high, where Duck had launched from. Weird strengths of wind, but once in the air it was like butter.

Duck and I scratched up and looked north. The restless souls were apparently gone. Oops, as the clouds cleared, we could see they were still right there waiting for us. Actually they had tried at least three times to make it back to Kahana from Punaluu, but to no avail.

So a pod of four, and one bare legger, floated around Punaluu until Jeannine got on the radio. "Christopher, when are you going to land, and where? I will come pick you up." That was our cue to go land at Hauula Beach Park. The first three had already been flying for 3 hours. Woody landed first and videoed me and Alex landing. Jeannine arrived with Kalei and para-pup Mochi, to find Mad Dog was still high in the back. She gave him the eye, and to our surprise, he could feel it, and dashed to the LZ.

Poor Duck has been suffering from severe ground sickness, and broke ranks to head further down to land at Hukilau. When we got there to pick him up he was cured, and we topped him off with a cold beverage.

The sea breeze was now running out of gas. We watched One-Eye and BonBon leave Kahana as Sharky trudged up to high launch to find nothing. I headed out to go retrieve One-Eye and Bonnie. By the time I got around the rhino horn, One-Eye had already landed on a spot of beach past the Pat's at Punaluu Condo. I watched Bonnie just barely make it to an even smaller beach in front of Pat's. Sharky and Mike stayed local and landed safely at Kahana.

We heard that Fireman Dave, AWOL Frank and Allan got some airtime at Makapuu after the wind did another 180, and they were able to fly the lighthouse.

Roll Call: Maui Doug and Brent (Koko Crater); Fireman Dave, Frank and Allan (Makapuu); Alex, Woody, Mad Dog, Duck, Sidehill, BonBon, One-Eye, Skydive Mike and Sharky (Kahana). If you are missing in this roll call, please chirp in on the comments so we can add you in.

It's Time to Fly, SPRING into Your Gear and Go!!!!!


Thom said...

As usual Alex, I enjoy my stories after your edits.


allanc said...

Conditions were quiet light when Frank and I launched around 6:00pm. Got out of Juice and then headed up towards three poles. Cloud base was low and a storm looked to be forming over Waimanalo so we stayed local. Got some great evening lift and flew out over the lighthouse ridge and soared for some time before returning and landing at the normal LZ with Frank. Two days in a row, what a treat.

Waianae Jim said...

Nice write up Thom - someday I'll be as motivated as Alex, Bonnie, Lake and other recent contributors. Recap of my short trip pasted from from cbox posts earlier today below. The whales were putting on quite a show, maybe they're trying to show us how cool they are, with those spectacular breaches and splashes.

JJ Jameson: I am waiting for the "PG Pod" story.

1_I: @SH - seeing as you were one of those
podsters, why aren't you writing it?

JJ Jameson: Not my turn & You had an interesting flight 1I hmmmm I gues your to busy at w**k as Ike would say

1_I: Not much of a story from me, arrived too late to go down range as far as the podsters. Had fun trying with Bonnie, but arrived at Punalu'u really low. Found really small lz on beach by funky A-frame just past Pat's. Didn't take any pics. My lz was out in front of the A-frame near 774 Kamehameha Highway, Hawaii, United States, Hauula, HI, my lz coordinates near here: 21°35'51.74"N 157°53'47.39"W, good thing tide was out.

Thom said...

Nice video additions to the log.

Bonnie I can't help but think your feet look like skeleton feet when they flash across the screen.

Good job on landing on the strip of sand.