I thought I would never see my wing before jetting off to the rocking thermals of the Rat Race. I guess I just got lucky. Inspecting a few real fixer-uppers in Makaha was difficult today, since the wind felt like it was dying down. I had already read a post from CaliRob that he had gotten 2 flights in at Makapuu with the tandem duo. Although it was strong, it was finally some flying for our wayward visitor whose exit ticket was the next day. But he wasn't done yet.
I finally finished work at 11:30. Another long day. During that long drive from Makaha to Kahana, I thought, you would have to be crazy or super addicted to flying to do that journey all the time. But arriving at Kahana makes that trip worth it, especially today.
Woody had 2 students launching, perfectly I might add, and then he took flight as well. It was perfect. Maui Doug and CaliRob arrived just in time to hike up with me. Maui opted for his favorite North Launch while Rob and I headed for the sensor correct regular launch. Correct it was, I checked the sensor while hiking up and had to radio up the stats to Woody, "It just went to 83". He informed his gaggle that they would go to Punaluu to avoid any possible LZ rotor. They were psyched, first mini XC.
On arrival at launch it was perfect, the 83 reading was temporary. Maui and Rob launched first from their respective perches while I fumbled through all the buckles on my harness. It's been a while. The air was summer sweet, finally, and of course I am leaving tomorrow so the prediction is for it to start getting better this week. Maui Doug was in the right spot to watch Woody and his fledglings touch down flawlessly at Punaluu.
Getting to 2,300 was easy breezy, and dodging the wispy clouds was no chore. I made an attempt to cross the bay, but when I got to the third finger, which usually works, I was not feeling it and getting lower. Turning back was the option I took in lieu of a landing at Swanzy's which would have ended my day. A little rotor helped to scrape me over the Crouching Lion and was all I needed to make it back to the hill. I guess it was still a little too east.
CaliRob had tried to follow me over and was pulling in low, and Maui Doug was also low. Weird, it had gotten lighter. We benched our way up again and decided to take CaliRob on a left hand tour past Sacred Falls to where ever we ended up. He loved it. We could hear Frank and Tim at Makapuu, where it had gone to 53 degrees.
CaliRob landed out at Hauula Beach Park, while Maui Doug and I landed on the grassy strips just after Pounders. Maui Doug taught me another valuable tip. While you're landing out, keep an eye on the highway. If you see the bus go by you got an hour before the next one. If you don't see the bus go by, pack your gear fast and get to the stop. $2.50 is cheaper than having someone come way out and pick you up.
Again the bus driver almost did not let us on with the big bags. But by the end of the trip we had her pointing out gliders to all the other bus patrons. Thanks to Stalker and Harvey for the aerial tourist attraction.
Ok, this may be my last flight till I leave Thursday, buuuuuut my flight is at night so ya never know. Bonnie showed up for the late session. With her gear all packed, Duck set her up with Acro3 harness, the F-Gravity, helmet and radio. She liked the wing but loved the harness.
JJ will be accompanying me to the Rat Race where I am sure he'll be nagging Alex for some RR Blog ink and prodding Flystrong for endless color. I am sure he will be reading Windlines and will be eagerly waiting to hear the exploits of our Island bound compatriots. Remember we get up earlier over there so you better hustle to make his coffee time.
Maybe, just maybe summer time is here and.......
It's Time to Fly, Get Your Gear and Go!!!!