Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Poetic License

Turning and turning in the widening gyre, we circle and climb, hunting invisible rough beasts, as they slouch skyward. Twenty minutes of stony warmth are vexed to release by an errant breath of wind. Gripping ethereal reins, we are committed to the climb, full of passionate intensity. We watch our reeling shadows limned on towering green walls that fall away below us. We cross valleys, climb peaks, and dance with clouds, riding across the range under the blank and pitiless gaze of the sun, until darkness drops.

Sincerest apologies to anyone familiar with the original poem. It happens to be my favorite, and I am always reminded of the first few lines after a good day thermaling. I'm sure Yeats is turning and turning in his grave at my presumption!

Clouds were not high yesterday, maybe 2,400 feet or so, but the breeze was light and the thermals were simply magnificent. Not super strong, but fat and sweet and cohesive.

Eleven pilots came out to Kahana, most flew, and four rode thermals and flew up and down the foothills from Kahana to Kualoa to Malaekahana, with some of us covering close to twenty miles of distance between those points. A perfect day for spinning up to cloud base over our back yards.

The best thermal of the day was the one Mad Dog and I caught about a thousand feet over the middle of Kahana bay, on our way back from Kualoa. That unlikely updraft carried me to 2,800 feet above Puu Piei, to reach the pinnacle of the day's flight, high above the surrounding cloud banks.

Here's to more great days flying laps like that! Thanks to Duck for landing early and mounting a retrieve mission, not to mention buying cold bitter refreshments for everyone.

I shot some video and hope to put something together soon - it was a gorgeous day and the video almost does it justice.


Thom said...

I am sure Yeats is smiling and perhaps a little jealous, as he did not truly experience his words as we do.

Great lead to the story, and I see a leads margin has widened by the loaded trek. Mine was lost and pointless.

Congrats, although I found the lift to be pleasant but challenging to find, but I always do.

Anonymous said...

Very cool video:) Just wondering what is in the frames from 4:02 to 4:04 center right.?

Alex said...

My old eyes struggled to see anything but maybe there's a tiny tour helicopter in the frame? Please put a name on your comments!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Alex...My name is Mike. I actually took my very first paraglider ride with Fireman Dave:) I have since earned my P2...My wife is from Honolulu and we're going to be moving there in the near future. Can't wait to meet you all, join your club and fly..fly fly.:) I don't think it's a helio in the video, just look towards the center and just to the right at 4:02- 4:04 small white object.

Thanks Mike

Alex said...

Right on, Mike, looking forward to meeting you and flying with you!

Mike Maness said...

Thanks Alex...Me too. You guys are the best:)