Monday, September 17, 2012

Makapuu Smoothie

Sunday rolled in and Makapuu was beckoning. Ike had the day off, if you can believe that, and started texting me early. While driving through Waimanalo, I could see the tandem duo at it early: Maui Doug and Jorge were soaring high in the sky. It was looking epic and I wanted to go long.

I jumped under the Aspen3, while Ike had to fly the Purple and Gold, for a Laker fan friend that recently passed. We were planning to go long and try to cross paths with Alex and Duck, who were planning an easterly quest from Kahana.

The thermals at MPU were buoyant. Ike took the ridge route to Pu'u O Kona, and I tried a straight line directly across the valley. I arrived low, but found some rocking thermals back up to cloud base. That ended up being the problem for a further run: cloud base was varying from 2,100 to 1,700 feet. It did look higher downrange, so I made a futile attempt at Green Walls, where I was unpleasantly spanked, and then turned back toward MPU. Ike had already set course back.

We ended up having a great two and a half hour flight, over a picturesque Makapuu Bay with vivid outlines of the outer islands, including trips from Rabbit Island to the lighthouse. Fireman made a trip downrange in his M4, but he too soon returned, giving me some vindication. He stated it was trashy at Pu'u O Kona, and he got low thinking he was on a one way trip, but he made it back. Rule of Thumb: If Fireman Dave won't do it, then nobody should.

Roll call was strong for Makapuu, but I thought it would be stronger: Maui Doug, Jorge, Franky, Sidehill, Ike, Brent on his new machine, Fireman Dave, TommyRD, 5-0 Mike and Ces, McStalker, 4 Japanese pilots, Reaper (solo then tandem with Annette). Divot Steve chirped in and finished the roll for me, with Divot Steve, Sharky and Nikki Johnson. Also hang glider pilots Goto, Leo, Tim and Mike.


Divot Steve said...

Sharky had a quick "flight". Fireman Dave and Nick put on a little acro show. I was there too

Thom said...

thanks Steve I will edit story my brain is still fried from 3 weeks of up and down fever. Nick Johnson showed up Really? wow must have been after I left.

Brent said...

Thanks for the pics and the write-up Thom. You guys were all over the place that day. I was learning a lot just watching you guys fly. I now have a wind noise cover for my speaker mic which allows me to transmit clearly but unfortunately I cant hear other pilots talking to me clearly. I would rather listen than talk so I need to solve this problem. Apologies if I did not respond to anybody. Wished I could have stuck around to talk story because I have been wondering if anybody else was getting rocked by the thermals that day or if it is just my new wing. Anyway...look forward to flying with you guys again soon.

Thom said...

@ Brent. Put a little piece of fuzzy velcro over the mike portion of the radio.

It was not really rocking thermals they were actually quite sweet. I think you finally are in a wing that may give you some feed back. Your old one was a tank but a great way to start. Keep it up.