Sunday, December 30, 2012

Four Lunches and Still Hungry

I woke this morning to the sound of the gutters pinging and a look to the Koolaus, Olomana was not even visible. "Damn It! I should never have written the Curse Lifted story." A 10:30 inspection in Pearl City kept my mind off this dismal awakening. A call from Alaska Jack on the way gave me a little hope, when he stated that the moisture may dissipate a little later. A meager drop of hope as I looked through my wipers going full blast.

An hour later, wow, Pearl City was clearing. McStalker posted that the west side was not blowing on shore yet but had possibilities. One-Eye was having breakfast with Jack and they were going to head to Makapuu. Oh, what the heck, we can hang out at the LZ at least. Emerging from the Pali tunnel, my hopes got a jolt, it was green and clearing. Must be cause Ike got in last night, coming home early, you know he just gets lucky every now and then.

I was the first at the LZ. The Bellows sensor had not updated, and was still reading 94 degrees when it was obviously not, with nice cycles blowing in straight from Rabbit. I kited the Aspen and it was perfect. Chris showed up and he too started kiting. My phone started to ring: Maui Doug and Ike were on their way, and One-Eye and Jack just arrived. Seattle Rick joined Chris to kite as we headed to launch.

Manics was strong so we opted for Crazy launch. It was picking up and the low clouds were moving quickly, so I grabbed the Free Style. One-eye launched and was not going up, he made it to the Manics bowl and got sucked down. Jack and I watched as One-Eye came back towards launch low, but now getting a little lift, then made a turn back towards the bowl to prove it was not working over there, as he got flushed again. One-Eye finally scored his lowest save and once up he finally radioed, "I am a little rattled, but it's nice and smooth up here, if you can make it."

Jack was next and even he was hesitant. The cycles were getting lighter and the clouds were slowing down. He launched, and lower and lower were his passes, until he succumbed to the crowded beach. We closed the launch and One-Eye later paid the fine. Jack was not giving up, so he stuff sacked and hiked up to Juice, where Maui Doug had just launched. I moved my truck down to the LZ and walked back up. I switched to the Aspen now, since I would need a bigger wing.

By the time I got to the trail head, Ike and Airborne were looking up at launch, and Jack's wing was limp. Sorry Jack: we are going to Cactus. AtomAnt and Phil were at Manics and followed us up to Cactus. It was light. I said we might not want to wait too long since it could turn off. Whoops - it was not to be so!

I laid out on the dirt run way, Phil was on the gravel and Ike went for the green bowl. It started to pick up fast and instantly. What the hell! Then Jack emerged, having given up on Juice. Phil tried an assisted cobra launch, and got dragged and had to drop it. AtomAnt balled up and ran back down to Manics. I told him it might be a little East down there so be careful, since we can't have any more beach landings.

Phil was balling up as Ike pulled up on a lull and danced off the edge. Good job or did he just get lucky … again. Phil ran over to the Green bowl and got up and out. Airborne was watching the antics and decided to bail out and go home. I looked over at Jack and he too was going for the green bowl. I was already set up on the dirt launch. A bit of a lull and I was up and off without a hitch, my strongest Cactus launch ever. Thanks for the remedial training, Woody.

Jack struggled a little but was soon joining the gang. AtomAnt got out of Manics, I think, and Jorge launched from Juice, which was working for a bit. Then Reaper laid out a tandem and it turned north and light, so he was stuck.

We all boated around in smooth conditions with a 990' cloud base at the peaks and higher over the water. One-Eye had been up for a long while now, with only Maui Doug joining him. He landed before most of us were airborne, and paid the beach fine - thanks, Jim! Goto had joined the flock and was buzzing us with his ear buds blasting. Reaper was sprawled out on Juice having a minor Tourette's attack. Suddenly I did a wing count … no way is AtomAnt going for more mileage … not in this stuff!

Jorge and Phil were also missing. I headed toward the pier to see if I could see anything around the corner. Nope. Then a grayed out glider emerged - it was Jorge coming back with Phil on his heels, but there was no sign of AtomAnt. Somehow he ended up sneaking back into the gaggle, but I'm not sure how or when. Reaper finally got up, almost sparking his passengers' butt crossing over the lines. I found out that it was a 'Past & Present Flight': Reaper had Chris, Annette's ex-hubby, in the front. They had a fun flight.
As we all started landing, Bonnie and 5-0 launched out of Crazy Mans. What a weird day! All 4 LaUNCHES were used, but in no particular order. I was really happy that Jack got a flight on his layover, and that AtomAnt and Phil got to take some needed photo ops for SOL. Who knows? Maybe we will get a New Years Eve flight, to bid farewell to the 2012 Season.

Roll Call: One-Eye, Maui Doug, Ike, Jorge, AtomAnt, Phil, AlaskaJack, Sidehill, Reaper w/Chris, Bonnie, 5-0 and Goto. Ginny Green, Annette and family gathered in the LZ. Chris and SeattleRick had kited enough and left. Nikki had stopped by with his wedding party. We had a good day in the air but it was just tricky getting there.

It's Time to Fly, which is running out for 2012, so Get Your Gear and Go!

JJ Jameson

Some pictures from today.


Thom said...

Thanks for the edits Alex, I know it must be rough for you to be reading and fixing these while banished to DC but I am sure you'll be sharpening your pen in 2013.

Anonymous said...

It was about the lowest base ive been in there but it sure felt good after the long layoff Ike

Anonymous said...

Thom, Thanks for the great pics and Reaper for letting me tag along yesterday!! Temp of 43 when Kea and I landed in DC this morning. Aloha and Happy New Year.