Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Legendary Launch

There is a strange and secret launch spot on the island that has only been successfully used a few times in our flying history. I am pleased to report that yesterday was one of those times! Yesterday's due north winds were splitting the island at Kahuku point, and we were getting northwest flow at Kahana. The wind strength was light and perfect for the very fickle spot on the other side of the bay that we refer to as Anti-Kahana.

I ran up and launched just as I felt the wind picking up, and by the time I fought my way through the inevitable rotor, and benched up over the Crouching Lion ridge, I could see a couple of nasty squalls bearing down on me. What terrible timing!

I tried to cross the bay and escape towards Kahana, but the wind was really picking up, raking streaks across the water as the squalls rolled closer. I gave up and made my way to the LZ, setting up my approach from the fish pond, and barely avoiding getting blown back over the trees in the increasing flow.

The thing about northwest flow at Kahana is that it's rarely a nice stable condition - and today was a good example of that. But hopefully we will get some more consistent days to try this launch again!


Thom said...

"Hopefully more consistent days to try this launch. It may be a launch but why would you hope for conditions for this 'launch' to work.

Maybe Anti-Kahana aka Desperation! Glad you got a flight and made something out of a normally dismal PG day, but I certainly would not HOPE for it.

I am guessing no roll call??!!!

Alex said...

I guess I just like variety. There's nothing more trippy than trying to figure out how to fly what would normally be the wrong side of a familiar site. I think if I had been there an hour earlier I would have scored the best conditions of the day, but who knows. It's true that most days this launch works you should probably be at Dillingham. I didn't have time for more than a couple hour mission, so this legendary launch fit the bill perfectly. A 20 minute hike, 10 minutes of scoping out conditions, a 20 minute flight, 10 minutes of folding up, and then a solid hour of sharing tall tales with Woody and crew at the LZ!