Friday, April 06, 2012

Do You Wanna Funk?

On Thursday, the sky was voggy and overcast. The forecast had led us to believe that this might be our best chance to fly for a few days, but it wasn't looking that great to us, with easterly flow that was quite strong and gusty. Strangely, none of the sensors were showing much east. Well, the day turned out to be kinda Funky all around.

 I happened to be working in Kaaawa. B-Ray was kiting with Chris and Jeremy at Maui Doug's Kite Spot, and Alex, well, he was just waiting for flyable weather. We all met at Bobo's for an impromptu lunch. I was the first there, first to order, and started eating, when I noticed the trees were beginning to mellow. I texted Alex, "Should I get some cold refreshments?" But he replied right away: "No, fly first." I restrained myself and had a Coke.

We were met at the LZ by one of our frequent visitors, Hendrik. He was anxious to fly after some long drawn out mishaps at his home in Japan. Alex gave the report: "It's a little Funky, but I think we can sneak a flight in." B-Ray planned to fly tandem with Chris, Alex was of course eager, Hendrik wanted a flight, and I needed a shot of Sky-alis, so we all hiked up.

When we got to low launch, there was no argument about who would go first: Alex. B-Ray said he would like a wind dummy, oops, a wind tech. Alex had an apparently flawless launch, but he soon radioed down, that he thought it had been a little messy. Hendrik had some new gear that he had to adjust and gave his turn to B-Ray. B-Ray launched his tandem and I followed. The launches were a little weird but not too funky.

Now, I've stated the conditions, and let me just emphasize that it was not a very pretty day. However, predictions of strong wind returning this weekend, as well as my upcoming workload, contributed heavily to my decision to fly. It was not bad at first, and the three of us were just flying around and staying local. Chris got his turn at the helm of the tandem; Alex headed out to sea; and I was just a-swinging. One-eye was heard on the radio, and Larry Mac was kiting in the LZ, but not for very long.

Then it got a little more funky. One-Eye reported calm to gusty conditions on the LZ. He had decided not even to hike up: smart move. B-Ray was going in for a landing, with One-Eye ready for any assist needed. Alex was following him down, and I was looking at the options for a Punaluu landing. B-Ray flew through the rotor at the LZ, landed fine, but dropped his wing into a tree. One-Eye saw to the rescue. Hendrik had been ready to launch, and was laid out, but with all the funky reports, he opted to fold up and hike down: another smart move. Alex made a dash back to the hill just in time to get back up, and then he re-routed his approach to head to Punaluu.

Alex and I had good landings over at Punaluu, but the consensus was that it was a funky day to fly. Sensors were not east by any margin, but many other signs indicated easterly flow. We got back to the LZ with a retrieve from One-Eye, and found McStalker at the table. Another smart pilot did not venture up the hill. It was one of those days when you really needed a score and 'you flap your arms and your feet start kicking', oops, that's the funky chicken.

It's Time to Fly ??? Get Your Gear and Go ??? Think about it first: 'Do Ya Wanna Funk with Me?'


Ka'a'awa Larry said...

Tanks for the short story and pics/vids. Since you really didn't say in the story, I'm going to guess it was a little funky judging by the landing video. Thom doesn't usually do that well. HA_HA!

Stalker said...

Nice set up and landing Thom!

Brazilian Ray said...

Sorry for the tree hugging (and cutting')

Thom said...

Thanks again Alex,

1st for leading the charge.

2nd for the lead to Punaluu

3rd for the Edits

4th for that awesome video.

Unknown said...

nice blog ....beautiful pics..lovely video.....