Friday, July 20, 2012

Bay Crossing Chronicals

Super northerly conditions allowed many pilots to cross the bay on Thursday, despite an occasionally very low cloud base. For most of the day the direction was 24 degrees, and it was more of a challenge to work the cross flow on launch than to get across the bay.

When Woody and I first launched, it was a bit strong, with lots of white out on the water, but hardly any in the sky. Mad Dog was showing up just as I was launching - he asked me to wait for him before going anywhere. My launch was terrible - I got plucked off the hill. As Woody said: handsome is as handsome does. I got high right away and zoomed across the bay - that's how I wait for Mad Dog: on the other side!

As I got high above Kaaawa, a beautiful long fat cloud bank approached, with a very low base, and I realized it would mostly pass beneath me. Cool! From that point on, cloud base stayed low all day, with clouds often forming below me while I was high above them. What an awesome feeling it is to fly above the clouds.

I flew back to Kahana and lassoed Mad Dog to bring him back across with me. He didn't think he was getting high enough to start, but really, it was so north you didn't really have to be that high. We zoomed over to Kualoa, with Canada Greg hot on our heels, and then back to Kahana to consider completing a chronic mission.

The chronic is a double out and back flight, to Kualoa and to Punaluu (or even better, Hauula). We didn't take long to decide, and headed to Punaluu to tank up for the return leg. Again, it was so north it wasn't really too tricky. Then we crossed the bay one more time and got high over Kaaawa again just for good measure, before returning to Kahana to consider one last Punaluu trip. But a big squall was closing in so we opted to quit while we were ahead.

Jorge, Lake, and Maui Doug crossed as well, and everyone but Maui Doug landed in front of the squall. Maui Doug opted to fly all the way to Pounders, thinking that was the chronic. I think of that flight as a slingshot, not quite the same as a chronic but still super fun. I picked him up and he bought some beer for me. Always a fair exchange!

Florida John, SB Bob, and Jim flew as well. Bonnie and Jason hiked up for the last session, to close out the day as the sun was setting behind the mountains. Just another installment in the chronicles of bay crossing chronics.

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