Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This Week of Flying

We had pretty much been grounded for a week or two due to strongish winds, so I took up a new found love of kiting and practiced as much and as often as I could, even with the high winds in the way. I either borrowed Woody’s 16m Bullet, Lake’s Zion, or made sure Woody was there to spot me. One day he flew me like a kite for what seemed like an hour. It was awesome!!! He was holding me above his head and I was just lying in the air, flying my wing.

As winds finally calmed down a bit, I decided to give up a flight on Friday to meet Flash to pick up my new toy – a Canon Rebel T2i!! I knew the weekend was going to be better and Friday was on the strong side. I remember talking with Sidehill and he was waiting on launch for it to calm down a bit. W**k got in the way for me over the weekend, but was able to catch the afternoon sessions.

Saturday, June 9
I got to mid launch and saw Hilo Ken and Jorge on high. He started at mid and hiked higher because it had been light, but then it was picking up, so he hiked down to mid. Jorge took off from high anyway and buzzed us as we were getting ready. Ken said he was going to wait a bit if I wanted to go ahead. It was strong, so I waited for a while, too, but got ready anyway.

All I could hear was “zzrrhhmmmm” – that was the sound of Jorge flying right next to my head. At one point, Ken calmly said, “Watch out” as I heard the noise again. By now 1i and Stalker had hiked up. 1i had Black Betty and stayed on low launch. Stalker assisted me as I was about to launch. We waited for what felt like a lull, but it was a very short window. I pulled the wing up and was bungeed off of launch and was not penetrating very well, so I jumped on speed bar. I went straight out front and hung out there for a while until it calmed down. 1i, Stalker, Gaza, Ken, and Sharky finally joined me.

Many flew earlier in the day; I’m not sure of the roll call, but FlyStrong got to fly his new wing and flew the Artik3 for over 3 hours. I watched Maui Doug and Lake on his new Aspen land as I started hiking. I flew for an hour and a half and had fun playing with my new camera.

Sunday, June 10
I was driving my boat on Moli’I Fishpond, and as always, I caught myself looking up at the mountains. I knew it was a good day and couldn’t wait to get out there. Sure enough, I looked up during my tour and saw FlyStrong enjoying his 2nd flight on his Artik3 above Kualoa. I pointed him out on my tour and everyone took pictures. I explained to them that’s what I was going to do as soon as I got off w**k. I checked the sensor and it was 8-11 at 45. Perfect.

He left and a while later I saw him again, with Reaper this time. He text me and told me he was going to land on the island. I said, “Awesome! I’ll give you a ride back.” I knew I would be able to leave soon and most of the 200 people were leaving. I asked someone to cover me and drive the boat, then I grabbed my camera and ran out to the beach to watch them land. One of the other guests had a sweet camera too, so I asked him if he could send me some photos, and he did! He got some cool shots, too. I packed up the island and Reaper and FlyStrong hopped on the boat and I drove them across Moli’I Fishpond and took them back to Kahana (after clocking out, of course).

Here is a quick video I put together of their landing:

When I arrived to Kahana, Woody said he was waiting on a tandem and Kevin said he was gonna hike, too. A few were still in the air. Gaza had flown to Kualoa and back. I was hoping it would be my turn, but had a feeling as it was getting later, it would turn more east, which it had. I got to launch and this time Ike was doing fly-bys. Sidehill had top-landed. Kevin, Sidehill and I assisted Woody with his tandem. Sidehill re-launched as Ike was still buzzing around yelling down “There’s no lift.” He was joking of course. I launched, then Kevin launched. Fireman Dave was tandem with his sister and Maui was high and asked if he wanted to go downrange, but Fireman couldn’t. So Maui played around and got lower and had some fun buzzing launch as well. I mostly used Kevin as my paramodel and tried to get some shots of him in what was left of the afternoon sun. I flew for over an hour and kited on the beach for a half hour after that.

Monday, June 11
After w**k, I caught the late shift again, checked in at the lz and saw Harvey and motivated him to hike up, although it was somewhat light. Duck and Kevin were in the air and I hiked up with Woody. They were super high in the clouds and explained that there were beautiful layers in the clouds. It’s hard to describe the beauty that they were seeing.

Kevin had been in the air for some time and said he was gonna head in soon, as Heather and Sarah were on the beach. We told him we were coming up, so he hung out a bit longer. When we got to launch we told him to top-land. He did an awesome touch-n-go and headed in shortly after that. Duck played with touch-n-go’s as well and top-landed as North Shore Brian had hiked up. I flew for an hour and a half and landed just as it was getting lighter. I was high and decided to do a nose-down spiral before landing. Harvey came in after me and Duck was just after him and out of nowhere, it started raining. North Shore Brian flew through it and waited for his wing to dry then landed just before dark.

Tuesday, June 12
I got to Kahana around 5 and saw three in the air as I came around the Lion. I got to the lz and I was ready to hike, I opened up my trunk and remembered I had shoved my wing in the back due to the rain in the lz from the day before. I decided to kite for a while and get the sand out.

Sidehill had just landed and said he had to go to w**k. Ike had stolen Sidehill’s Sigma and was just coming in to land as well. Maui had gone downrange to Punalu’u. I was left alone. I posted on the chatterbox that kna was perfect. After a half hour of kiting, Woody called and asked if I was still going to hike. I said, “Of Course!” and he said he’d be there in 5 minutes. It was light, but as we got to low launch, it had picked up and felt good. I set up at low and Woody got ready a bit higher above me. I launched and easily went up.

I flew around and got higher and played with wingovers and drops. I watched as Woody launched and he had already explained to me that he would never leave launch. He was having so much fun playing with touch-n-go’s, that I wanted to join him, too. I enjoyed watching him, I didn’t want to get in his way, but he said I could. I had a blast coming in trying to touch launch in strongish conditions. I was having so much fun I lost track of time, and daylight. I heard Maui say, “Have fun up there, and stay up for at least another 20 minutes!” I thought, ‘20 minutes? I don’t want to come down in 20 minutes.’ We stayed up much longer than that, though.

I flew for an hour and a half, landing just before dark, and just barely missed a squall. We did see cat’s paws as were coming in. I didn’t have my new camera with me this time, but did get some video with my Drift. I put together a short video of our flight here:

1 comment:

Thom said...

Thanks BonBon,

I hope others start chirping. Your account of the past few days was more detailed and was a pleasure to read and the pics were great. Alex should be happy with a good martini read.

Your kiting has definitely paid off your launches are awesome and the spiral the other day was deep and almost perfect exit.

Woody has become a great asset to this barrel of monkeys. I have been kiting a little more now too and have found it to be great fun and good exercise.

Again Thanks for the coffee read, it was a 2 cupper. Now I am tanked up and ready for the the day.

Sincerely Yours

JJ Jameson