Sunday, November 04, 2012

Holy Shuttlecocks, "That was Fun?!"

Missing a day of flying for me is painful. Then to have Alex and Woody stop by on their way home just to make sure I heard how good it was first hand. See Alex's story 'Nanakuli No Ka Oi'. Well, that was Saturday, and Sunday was projected to be better with less ridge lift and all buoyant thermals. I got the text from Alex, 'Gaggling up with Duck & Flystrong', they were headed West for another go at Mount Kaala. I was not missing this chance, I packed up and hit the road.

Maui Doug, One-Eye and Gaza were already on route to launch when we arrived. Alex and Flystrong lead the way with Duck and I trudging up the slopes of Hell not far behind. The penances we pay for this loathsome trek should be rewared with epic flights, Alex got one yesterday and I had an itch for one today.

Maui Doug did the right thing and went to high launch, but by the time the rest of us caught One-Eye and Gaza, mid-launch was firing up. So we prepped ourselves for the oncoming beating.

One-Eye launched first and was benching up quickly even though he had a good compression knot on the trailing edge. He managed to report to us that it was smooth and lifty, that's not what it looked like but I always prefer favorable reports. Gaza was next and flawlessy got high as he seems to always do. Duck and Flystrong followed leaving me and Alex. Alex looked at me and said, 'You go first, I had a great flight yesterday and got to pay it back'. Wow, I was not going to be last off launch, thank-you Mr. President.

Soon we were all doing the Funky Chicken in a Bingo Ball Roller Cage. Jim had had enough of it and his number was pulled from the barrel so he headed in. Gaza was taking a big hit, so I slithered under him. After coughing and choking, I said no more he can have that one. The thermals were numerous and plenty roudy, but that did not stop Duck.

He was the first to make a move to the back with Alex, Flystrong and Maui Doug right after him. This is it I thought, a little roudy but their going, so am I. I was the last to leave Haleakala and was only half way there when 3 gliders were coming back. Duck stayed there for a while more but was pitching to and fro then even he gave in.

I figured I had better turn back, shoots, I was now looking at the back side of Haleakala. I was in the lee going down with an occasional rotor bump. Duck was behind me and kept encouraging by saying you got it. Ya, I got it, I mean gonna get it as I looked down scanning for any landing options. Skimming low over the West finger of Haleakala from the back I finally got a few beeps.

Gaza had rolled out towards Maili Point and got caught, so he headed for the beach. I scratched back up to my personal highest of 3700' at Nanakuli but there was nothing best about it. Rock-n-Roll was the story of the day no matter what elevation you were at. Thinking I had more than Gaza, I too snuck to Maili Point, I have never been there. Gaza was right, it smelled good but it was an empty bag, I headed to the beach happy that I at least soared over it.
Duck's return from the back left him beat up and he hit the beach right before me, literally he had a speed bar wrap and pulled off a down winder, with not much wind at all. I floated in over Duck, followed by Air Force One who made a run at the antennas then to the beach. A dual landing of Maui Doug & Flystrong was fun to watch.

I was not going to, I was going to try to skip a day but after that ass beaten, I had to have a beer. During the debriefing we all scolded poor Duck for leading us into the back, we all asked, "Why didn't you warn us?!" He looked up wrinkled his face,"Are you kidding, I was like one of those birdie things getting popped nice and high, only to be wacked straight toward the ground!"

Mike 5-0 and Frosty launched while we were commiserating. Mike got high but soon he had enough and came in for a landing. Frosty with his balls of ice hit 4K and did the ridge run over to Airplane ridge all the way in the back and then out to Haleakala. He won highest arrival over the beach.

It appeared that a speed glider also launched high but had a 30 second ride to the dump side fields.

Nanakuli can really improve your bump tolerance but most of all help you loose weight. Between the hike and the rodeo flight, gliders were getting flown lighter by the minute. Thank God for beer!

Roll Call: One-Eye, Maui Doug, Gaza, Mr. Pres., Flystrong, Duck, Sidehill, 5-0 and Frosty. Thanks to Cess for her awesome salsa and all my flying buddies for making this Sunday a Fun Flight.

It's Time To Fly, Get Your Gear and Go!!! But watch out for those badminton rackets!

JJ Jameson


Alex said...

Wow, Thom, that was quick! A nice long story with pictures - that is some serious same day service! It was fun flying with you guys today. Next time we're definitely flying over Mt. Kaala!

Thom said...

Well, I may bitch about getting your stories out by 7 so I can have a coffee read. But when the President lets you go first off launch that is something to write about. Then when he gives you the order with a shaking finger that its your turn to write, I figure JJ just better do it.

Thanks for the text to start the rally and most of all not leaving me last on that wing mangling launch.

Jayson said...

Nice write-up Thom. Where'd you learn to be all artsy and stuff?

And, didn't Pemby give you some good bump tolerance?

Thom said...

Pemby gave me some good tolerance too, just saying locally Nanakuli especially this day had some huge up and abrupt downs.

Duck said...

As always!! Great flying with you guys!

I owe a round to Thom, Alex and two to Flystrong for following me to the back...

JK said...

I just want to mention that the epic day Thom gave up was due to me. That's right! He was digging a concrete trench for my gas line and totally sacrificed the day to help out a temporarily self-grounded monkey. I thought it would be good that day, and I urged him to fly, but he just wouldn't have it. What a prince!