Monday, May 06, 2013

More Like Bob

We have all lost many friends throughout our lives, and as we continue our journeys without them, we do our best to honor their memories. In Bob's case we are lucky to have an annual event to bring him to the forefront of our thoughts, and to bring us all together with a single purpose. This weekend we celebrated his life with our fourth annual Bob Johnson celebration: over fifty pilots, family members and friends braved the damp weather to fly and camp and celebrate. Thanks to everyone who made it happen once again this year!

This was perhaps our wettest weather ever for this event, but it didn't dampen our spirits! A weak cold front was forecast to pass over the island right during the three days of this event. On Friday as we set up our tents, the wind was strong and southeast, and it rained during the night. On Saturday, the wind was light and southerly, but a sea breeze filled in that gave us hope for a chance to fly. Sure enough, we managed to get a pretty good gaggle of pilots into the air, in two sessions divided by some rain showers coming out of the valley. Several pilots reported thermaling with a lone 'Iwa above the rhino horn - a traditional sign that Bob is still flying with us. Many pilots opted to land at Punaluu and a few thermaled downrange a bit farther in the very unusual offshore flow. It rained hard later in the afternoon but we felt pretty luck to have snuck in a flight. At the end of the day we remembered Bob with a flower drop from the little pier at the boat ramp. It rained pretty hard at night again. Then on Sunday, the wind was decidedly offshore all day, with occasional drizzles. We enjoyed a mellow day breaking down the camp and just hanging out. At the end of the day Frank and Roland took advantage of the prefrontal flow to fly Diamond Head.

Thanks to everyone who made this event such a success. Ginny, Ray and Thom were instrumental in getting us organized. This is the first time we ever managed to reserve every campsite for the weekend. Probably next time we don't need to reserve them all the way to the boat ramp, but it was good to be prepared. Five-0 Mike and Ces were responsible for the major infrastructure: we got that mess tent and kitchen set up and broken down in record time, now that we have so much practice. Thanks to everyone who was able to pitch in.

The food and drinks were amazing as always. Thanks to Duck for the spaghetti bolognese and the fresh baked bread on Friday night, and to Mike and Ces for the beef stew, to Ginny for the chili on Saturday, to Mike and Ces for the hot dogs, to Jeff for the ceviche and chili verde, to John and Sandy for the breakfast feasts, and to everyone else who contributed various side dishes and salads, too numerous to mention. Thanks to Thom for the fourteen hands, to Steve for the Bulleit, to Nikki for the Corralejo, and to everyone who brought cold refreshments. I'm not sure how much that helped in preserving our memories but it sure was fun.

I took some video but no pictures, so I'm stealing one of Sharky's pictures from his facebook page for this story. If anyone else has photos or video to share, please post up so I can include them here.


Thom said...

thanks for the write up Alex. We did have a fairly good showing of pilots but I think the weather kept the masses away this year.

Bob pulled through letting us have the very short Saturday morning flights.

Thanks Bob.

upsmanckp said...

I would love to come #5 next year. See you there!!!Chris