Tuesday, February 05, 2013


I wrote this story in my head: as I was hiking, as I was ready to launch, as I was flying, and well, as it was happening. Today was my dreadful first day back to … that blasphemous word we're not supposed to use here. (For those of you wondering why I've gotten to fly so much lately - I was on "staycation".) All day, I never checked windlines, I never checked the wind, but from what I could tell throughout the day, and where I was, it was brisk. I guess I sort of assumed it was too brisk to fly, so I forced myself to stop thinking about it. (However, I did catch myself looking up at Kualoa for Alex in his rocketship.)

I even went for a 1.2 mile jog after work and right as I was finishing, I got a call from Woody, he said it was perfect for kiting...I was on my way. When I met him he said, "You could probably fly right now." My eyes lit up, "Really?!! (as he handed me the 17m Zion)... I'll fly; then kite!!"

I went to Kahana and went to the beach to check it out. I saw a rainbow mixed in with clouds. It looked like it was passing by. I checked the radar, yep, minor; clear for a while. I grabbed my gear and started hiking. I got to low north and it felt brisk, but 'easily manageable'. As I was getting dressed, I heard a really low helicopter, in the bay! I looked over and it came in front of launch, then towards the lz, just a few feet above the trees. Then it circled and went to the fishpond, it got so low and hovered there for a minute, I thought for sure it was gonna land there (on a small patch of grass)! It had to be 10-20ft off the ground... then it went low around Swanzys and left.

I finished getting ready. I could see gusts on the water. I pulled the wing up, kited for a minute, then stepped off the hill. Easy up. I went out, and up. I did some wingovers, then did it again. And again. Besides the gusts on the water, I could also see rain all around, mostly to the north, but a big fatty comin my way, at some point. I wasn't sure when, so after flying for .42 of an hour, I went in to land. Besides the union workers hangin out, drinkin beer at the boat ramp, waving and cheering for me as I flew above them...there was NO ONE around. Once I realized the rain was further out than originally anticipated, I wasn't mad I landed. I had other plans. I was ready for a different game. I still had my music playing in my helmet via bluetooth from my phone; with the wing still above my head, I hit a button on the helmet which dialed Woody - I let him know I landed safely and hung up. ...No one in the parking lot. No one on the beach. It was so serene and it was all mine. Game on.

...I turned to the side and skied down the beach one way, I leaned away from the wing and popped up as I drifted down the other direction. A smile came to my face. And at that moment, I was happy. I turned back right, and swung forward, and danced. Smile. I ran forward and boosted in the air a little. With every boost, another smile. 'Yes!' (I thought). I skied up and down over and over again, I turned and boosted and danced and smiled. Ski. Turn. Dance. Boost. Smile. Repeat. I laughed as I skied and sang at the top of my lungs (thankful I was the only one on the beach). I did this for .5 of an hour and all of a sudden, it was dark; and gusty, then dead. I finally put the wing down and realized it was now rotor and I should pack up before the rain comes. I was having way too much fun and didn't want it to end. As I was kiting, I thought, 'I wonder if anyone else flew today?' Thanks, Woody... and Lake! :-P



Alex said...

Thanks for posting a story Bonnie! I'm always fascinated to get a glimpse into the crazy private thoughts of another pilot, and your stories never disappoint. Keep it up! For some reason my stories rarely plumb those introspective depths - I guess I'm just shy that way. :-)

Woody and I watched Brian and his buddy Brandon fly smaller wings earlier in the day. Brian on his 18m Awak and Brandon on his 16m Firefly. There were times when the wind seemed to calm down enough to fly full sized wings, but even at those times it was still pretty gusty.

Sorry to hear your staycation is over, but glad you snuck in a flight, and glad to hear you didn't get wet. At least while you were in the air!

Thom said...

OK Alex is going to adjust my phone so I know when new stories are up and in print. I forget to hit refresh on my computer but these smart phones can do all kinds of good things.

Hell, I didn't even bitch for this one and it was one of the best reads I have scanned in awhile.

Maybe I should stop bitching.........not going to happen.

Thanks Bonnie,

Keep up the awesome flying, sensational pictures and the literary logs. Your the Best.

JJ Jameson