Thursday, August 29, 2013

Connecting Dots

It looks like the winter XC season has started here in earnest. A bit earlier than usual but we're not complaining! Jorge and Thom rang it in last week with their huge out and back flight from Makapuu. And since then we've had XC conditions every single day. When the clouds are high enough and the wind is light enough, pilots start to try and connect the dots with flights across the island. Over the last couple of days we've made some good efforts at connecting some dots, but we're still hoping for a bit more cooperation from the clouds and the wind! Here's to plenty more chances!

Tuesday's conditions seemed tailor made for the trip from Kahana to Makapuu. Thom, Joey, Woody and I all worked our way up at Kahana in super light thermic flow, and then headed across the bay and benched up to cloudbase at Kaaawa. The wind was nice and northeast, not too strong, and the clouds were just above the peaks on the range. Thom blazed to the Pyramid first, and I followed. Joey and Woody opted to stay in the foothills.

A large cloud bank hoovered us up and we scattered to clear air. I flew diagonally towards the back of Waiahole while Thom shot straight back behind the Pyramid. I found the air in the back to be a lot stronger than I'd hoped. It turns out the northeast flow was building. Dave was egging us on from Makapuu but even he had to admit that it was pretty strong. Thom had an exciting moment as he got sucked up and whited out momentarily near the ridge line, trying to do the math on his compass, but he managed to squeak out from there, and landed a while later at Hygienics. I reached the jumping off point at the end of Temple Valley and decided not to press my luck with the windspeed. I tried to make my way back but came in short at the foot of the Pyramid, and landed at MDKS. Thanks to HG Kenny for the ride back. When we got back the wind was quite strong and even more north. Drew enjoyed a quick flight in the brisk north conditions and then joined us at the LZ for some celebrating and debriefing.

Wednesday's stellar conditions were brought to us from the Bay Area courtesy of our visiting comp buddy Josh, here for a last minute week of vacation with his wife Kaya. The day dawned almost completely cloudless and still, and we were falling all over ourselves trying to rearrange our schedules and get poised to start the most epic flights ever. Josh, Jorge tandem with Kaya, Doug, Thom and I launched from Crazies into a brisk north flow around noon. Unfortunately the remants of a system of showers showed up just as we were venturing back along the range, and we had to content ourselves with a cloud dodging tour of Green Walls. After we returned to Makapuu, we saw Brent, Gaza, Allegra, Dave, and Joe at the LZ. Thanks to Thom and Brent for the refreshments!

1 comment:

Thom said...

I am so sorry I thought this one would continue into to todays adventures. But those two days were awesome too.

I did not get any pictures of today but will get you ones to post to this one in the morning. I am beat and looking forward to some kind of total numbers on today's.