Monday, September 24, 2012

Adventures Over Kahana

Yet another amazing trip to Kahana! Honestly, the whole experience feels like a dream to me now… one great conglomeration of water, land, sky, fun times, and incredible people. Just one thing is going through my head: we’ve gotta get back there!

At first, I admit I was re-introduced to the butterflies of my first day here…unfamiliar launch, unfamiliar air, unfamiliar landing, unfamiliar everything. What’s more, I’ve been forced to remain away from paragliding these last few days due to my heavy schoolwork load. So, big wakeup call!

My tandem flight with Woody on Sunday was incredibly helpful however, and I gained ample confidence in recalling much of what I learned during my last trip here a couple weeks ago. I finally was able to experience everything he’s been teaching my family and me first-hand, which made a huge difference in my understanding of what goes on during a flight at Kahana. For instance, my knowledge of how to gain lift efficiently was significantly increased, and I learned a lot about thermal climbing.

The kiting sessions also contributed greatly to my heightened level of comfort, as I think we all know that nothing can be more empowering for a paraglider pilot than simply getting the wing over your head to work on some things.

Furthermore, I would just like to make a note of how supportive, friendly, and helpful the Oahu crew yet again proved to be… realizing how committed so many of you are to helping each other was very inspiring. It was nice to get to know more of you! I would especially like to thank Alex for his hospitality and also Bonnie for the pictures.

Finally, as the result of all these preliminary details, my solo flight on Monday was one of the most amazing flights of my life (if not THE most amazing). The very last two hours I had left at Kahana were filled with a sunset dreamscape of flying together with my family; and my, did we have a good time.

Aside from the excitement of watching my sister experience her first solo flight there (it seemed she was dead set on going straight to Pu’u Piei), I had the enjoyment of putting into practice all the amazing things I learned from Woody on the tandem. For example, I performed my first true 360s to both the right and left, getting a handle on the rhythm of pitch when applied in a circular motion. I lost count of how many I did (singles) after about the eleventh one. I also worked quite a bit on thermal climbing, and furthered my understanding of how important it is to be ‘stingy’ with your elevation when trying to get high. However, in at least that regard I think my sister outflew me, since I had a strange feeling that I was looking UP at her way more than I think I should have…

Lastly, to polish off the fun, each one of us was blessed with a terrific landing (though I must say Bonnie won the gold medal of the day with her dazzlingly beautiful sand skid into the LZ). Again, I’d like to thank all the Kahana pilots for their kindness and encouragement, Woody for his everlasting dedication towards maintaining the safety of my family and me, and my parents for always being there for me.

My next trip over couldn’t come soon enough!

Haley Jernaill


Alex said...

Haley, thanks for the writeup! We are lucky to get your fresh perspective on a site that we sometimes take for granted. It is always great to have you guys over here. Come back anytime!

Thom said...

Thanks for the read Haley,

I will never forget going to Maui and watching you girls launch. At the time my skills were not indicative to my years of flying. I made sure that I always launched after you so you would not witness how poorly I took off.

Now I too, as more and more are, have been going to the Woody School of Flying Perfection. I am much happier with my abilities, which I hopefully will continue to improve upon.

You and your immediate family are a welcome addition to the Oahu Flying Monkey Family. I have a funny feeling you may be moving over here soon.


Always Great to have a Fresh Writer on the Staff.

JJ Jameson.

Bon Bon said...

Ahhh yes, the pictures. I've been quite behind on them. Another great write-up and it was fun flying with you.

Thanks for the gold medal. :) hehe

Here are a few pics from the flight:

Duck said...

You and your family are great additions to our flying community here on Oahu! Come back as often as you can and fly with us!

Thanks for the write-up. It is always good to hear a new perspective of our backyard flying site and it reminds us how lucky we actually are to live here--I'm glad you got to put your skill to use and broaden your experience. My guess is that you aren't far off the gold medal standard yourself!

I look forward to flying with you again soon!