Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Green Miles

Finally, I was going to end an almost three week dry spell of no airtime. Finishing a job in Ewa, I looked toward the Waianae Range: cloud bases were over 4,000 feet, and there were not many of them. Wow, it could be awesome! A quick look at the chat box revealed that the Green duo were looking for a site intro for Nanakuli. All right, I will have someone to fly with … or will I.

The long hike up did not even phase young Anthony Green or his dad Phil, as they scrambled past me and Maui Doug. When I got to mid dump side launch, Anthony was ready to go, so I gave him the short intro. 'Don't land at the base of the trail, bomb out LZ's are the base ball field and the long dirt road.' I then pointed at Mt. Ka'ala. 'If you can get on the top of that 4,000 foot mountain way back there, you can most likely go whereever you want.' That was all Anthony needed to hear: he was gone.

Anthony launched with Phil close on his heels, and then a long quiet cycle hit. I was stuck for a bit, and then I was off for a good scratch session that would get me to the top of Haleakala. I looked for the Greens. I could see one speck over Ka'ala, which ended up being Phil, since Anthony had already disappeared.

I continued my flight with Maui Doug, and then Frank got airborne. I guess even Frank was suffering from a lack of Sky-alis. The radio conversations were few and short, as the thermals were strong and the holes were many and deep. I was trying out the speed bar tactic on thermal surges, and found it challenging but effective.

There was an inversion layer around 3,500 feet. Frank declared that he was getting his fill of slamming his head on the ceiling. I was going to try and break through it: I wanted 4,000 feet, but settled for 3,800, my new personal highest Nanakuli elevation.

The three of us got rocked and rolled, looking at the back range occasionally, wondering, where did Anthony go? I decided to try a trip over to Aircrafts ridge, since I had never been over there before. I got there, and sniffed around a bit, but I was getting low, so I headed back to the rodeo.

Maui Doug headed out over the water. I benched up and headed to Maili Point, where again I found nada. We landed on the beach to find Phil, who had gotten a ride back from Makaha. Soon Ginny, Phil's wife, was back from her trip to the Disney resort, and the beer and wine debriefing started.

Ginny had been to the resort since we told her it was a better place to hang out. After the fourth beach solicitation she retreated to the resort and had a great time there.

Phil stated that he had been above Ka'ala watching Anthony disappear toward the north. He decided to let the young gun go it on his own, and stayed local. I told him that none of us present had ever even been above Ka'ala, or even close for that matter.

We heard that Frank landed at the ball field, and we didn't see him again: AWOL as usual. TommyRD suffered as the last man on launch, and we could still see him struggling up there. He fought with the snags and then the cycles turned off, so he hiked down. Tommy, we have all been there and done that, and it sucks.

Finally Phil's phone rang, "You're where?" The group went silent as Phil passed on Ant's position in a football field in Wahiawa. "Wow, he made it to Wahiawa, that's awesome!" Then Phil looked at me and said, "He was on his way back from the North Shore." So apparently flew to the end of Kaena Point and then came back from there to head over the back from Mount Ka'ala, making it to Wahiawa in the center of the island. I can't wait to see that track log: that should give our local SkyGod, Doug Hoffman, some incentive to come back.

Anthony, who had been posting as Ant to shorten it up, is now known as "Atom Ant". It sure is great to have these celebrity pilots come here and blaze new goals for us mere mortals. Anthony is really racking up the miles here. I cant wait to see what he will do next. His Oahu vacation article should be a good one.

That's all for now … "It's Time to Fly Get Your Gear and Go!"

Sorry for the lack of art, but the only picture I got was on the way up. If you zoom in you'll see the Greens. That was the last we saw of Anthony, until we seem him again today for our next adventure.

JJ Jameson


Kevin said...

Thanks for the write up. I was wondering how the flying was going. Wow Anthony! That's awesome.

Doug said...

I am here, leave on the 8th.
Doug H