Sunday, April 07, 2013

One-Eye Rallies a Lucky Few

I arose to a wounded knee, not even sure how it happened but there it was, swollen and sore. The skies were thick with haze and the winds were not at their best, so a day off from flying for me … apparently not.

With my knee on ice and a few ibuprofen, I settled down for some needed rest. Tim and Phil were itching to fly but found no help from me, but One-Eye was on a mission. He called me from Lanikai stating that it felt ok and was hiking up. I told him that I was out no matter what.

I ventured to the sidewalk after a short nap and was pleased to see One-Eye and Roland soaring over Lanikai. Well, the pleasure was short lived, as it was replaced with anxiety, and my knee was starting to feel strangely okay. Now I know how Alex feels, when he is sitting at home watching gliders pop up over Kahana. Thank goodness Lanikai does not get the same attention. I radioed up to the flying duo that I was bracing my knee and hiking shortly. Nova over heard the conversation then looked to the hill, "How much of a hike is it?" I said, maybe 1 1/2 Kahanas, but it's worth it. Nova may never listen to me again.

Tim and Phil had been on the beach and were now hiking, since One-Eye was making it look so good. When Nova and I arrived, Tim had gotten plucked off launch, stalling Phil from even thinking about it. There was a squall approaching with a rainbow on either side. It was really strong. One-Eye tried to do a close fly by so I could snap a quick shot but he kept getting vacuumed up.

The first three went in to land and we ducked into the pill box. (Old WWII concrete bunkers, later used for parties in the 60s, hence the name). The squall passed with only a spitting of rain but as it passed it took the wind. I launched quickly fearing that it may fill in strong, but it never did. Phil launched and flew with me for a bit. The air was light and lumpy with scratchy ups and bullet downs. This was not the Lanikai that I enjoyed so many times before, knowing there were some frosty pain killers on the beach I headed in.

Phil followed a little while after and poor Scrappy chased it hard this day to end up with a sled ride. Nova was the last on the hill, he had a failed attempt which stuck his wing in our well manicured launch. There was now no wind on the beach except Reaper had showed up so there was some but not enough.

Finally, Nova was up with one left turn then a right he was on the beach. I told him that it is not always like this, really it can be alot of fun. He was not buying it but was slowly relaxed with a frosty pill.

It was a flight, but the monkey comradery as always makes the day complete. Thanks to One-Eye for the phone reports and to Tim and Reaper for the frosty pain pills. Also big thanks to Jinju and her band of hoopers who swirled some extra color into the already gorgeous location of Lanikai beach.

Roll Call: The instigators: One-Eye and Roland, Mauians Tim and Phil, Sidehill, Nova and Scrappy. Reaper and Tyler on Air Traffic control. Jinju, Annette and Jessica hooping it up.

It's Time to Fly, Get Your Gear and Go!!!! Remember a site report will always coax a monkey to the hill.


Alex said...

Great writeup Thom! Almost made me wish I'd got out to join you guys! :-) But I guess I'm not quite due for my annual dose of pillbox soaring. By the way, pillbox is a commonly used military term for bunkers like that.

Waianae Jim said...

Thanks for the nice story Thom, I just wish I'd hiked up a bit sooner since I ended up spending 2 hours up on the hill and believe I could have flown before the storm. First got rained on by a squall, then the wind cranked up to non launchable speeds, finally Roland got off east launch first and I got plucked and dragged off the 'normal' launch between the bunkers. Even picked up a stick on my left side stabilo that wasn't going to come out. I did get it to partially detach, enough that I was fine with staying up. It was such a treat to get to fly Lanikai, its been quite a while for me. Mahalo to the other adventurous few who took a chance, albeit with mixed results.

Puka Wai said...

You learn something new every day! From this story i have gleaned that a "Lanikai" is a highly effective cure for knee pain, and that a "Kahana" is measure of distance used by the hike-and-fly crowd...

JK said...

We have a pilot exchange program in works. Tim & Phil from Maui are replaced by Carolyn & Howie. With the weather's cooperation and some local company, C&H may fly the "L" today. BTW, I'm here too, but no gear this time.