Just a real short recap of today's entertaining, fun paragliding and hang gliding flights at Makapu'u. Got up early, with only a few hours' rest after last night's poker tournament debacle. Don't think Joey will ever play poker with me again (ha, ha, ha), but Thom will, since he took home the pot.
Had a great breakfast in Kailua at Moke's, and decided to head toward Makapu'u to see if conditions were workable for flying there. Went past to Koko Crater first, since winds seemed to be somewhat easterly. Wind hadn't gone far enough around for it to be working over there yet.
Met up with Frank (AWOL) up at Manics, to start scoping things out. Then we went on down to Crazy Man's to check the flag direction there. I had to break to visit the nearby facilities, and by the time I got done, Frank had meandered off as usual. Ran into Tommy (Superman/RD), as he was hiking past on his way up to Tomato Juice.
Frank reappeared up on Cactus, reporting winds at 14 up there on launch. I went for the short hike up to Juice to join Tommy. Helped Tommy get off as Frank flew overhead. Called a few other folks to let them know Makapu'u was flyable, then launched.
We all flew around, enjoying relatively good conditions. It was a bit easterly at times, and cloudbase was low (1600 feet or so), and thus we didn't have much chance of going too far. We flew around locally, goofing off by buzzing past several groups of hikers along the ridge, and working some thermals as they started to develop.
Several hikers waved at us and took pictures as we fooled around. I threw some wingovers and spirals to keep myself in practice -- hopefully I'll stumble onto some of those shots one day. Frank and I tried our best to push out to the lighthouse, but never did make it, and we gave up after a few tries. I only took this short video:
We saw Maui Doug try a tandem out of Juice as well, but he hit the beach. Later it seemed the same thing happened to him again after hiking up to Cactus and finding the wind too brisk up there. Never did get to see him, so can't relate any details of issues that prevented him from getting a good flight.
Tim came up on radio announcing the arrival of the hang gliders, Dave, Leo and Dale I think. Dave zoomed under me, headed out toward the lighthouse ridge, but he didn't find any lift out there. He ended up coming back pretty low, and had to work his way slowly back up in the bowl below Cactus. Mike showed up a bit later, and got airborne as well.
All in all, a nice couple of hours, better than you would have guessed based on wind sensor reports. It got really east again later in the day, after we had all landed. Allegra, Gary, Laurel, Lake and Big Mike all got some kiting in at the LZ too.
Next story is on SH/JJJ/Javelin, or I'm going to strike.