Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Two Days at Kaena Point

A dozen lucky pilots enjoyed two spectacularly beautiful days flying both sides of Kaena Point this week. Unpredictable frontal weather has sent pilots scurrying all over the island in search of airtime, but we needn't have looked further than this scenic peninsula, which seems to work equally well in both prefrontal and postfrontal flow.


A cold and mellow afternoon of flying began with a wet hike at Dillingham after the morning passage of a showery but dissipating cold front. Perfect post frontal light north flow made for easy launches from the east edge of the knob. There was almost no thermal activity, just smooth light lift everywhere. Seven pilots soared for four hours, with everyone top landing the meadow over and over, and soaring from the drop zone to the point: Woody, me, Drew, George, Sebastian, Steve, and Jonathan. The whales put on a nonstop show, while albatrosses and Iwas danced around us in the air. The crashing waves were huge and loud, breaking up into sea mist that floated up the ravines in the waning sunlight. Brian and Frosty joined us for quick flights at the end of our session. We landed in time to celebrate what many called their best flights ever. It was certainly one of the most beautiful flights I can remember.

The Other West Side

This seemed like a tough day to call. In the morning I had suggested the west side, but no one seemed interested, and I’m not sure how motivated I was either. On the other hand, Dillingham seemed like an interesting option for the second day in a row. I hijacked Duck and headed out to meet Drew, Don and Jayson. When we got there, Drew was on launch, but the flow was decidedly offshore. He waited for a lull and launched his Firefly into the rotor, for a surprisingly uneventful sled ride. Then he drove us out to the point to check out the other side where the flow was onshore. We hiked up to the little shelf on the point and launched into perfect smooth southwest sea breeze flow, boating out to Yokohama Bay and beyond. Duck and I flew to the middle of Makua Valley and back. We dreamed of going further, but it was getting late and we didn’t want to risk missing the bumpy ride back to the parking lot in Drew’s truck, so we turned back and landed just as the sun was setting in the ocean. So I guess we ended up flying the west side after all, but we started from the north end for a change. What a great perspective that was! I look forward to more sea breeze days out there.

1 comment:

Thom said...

Thanks for your research. I wish that I was in the chase for the top landing session and even the West session, which I have yet to fly. I am up for any West side action that includes Makua.

JJ Jameson seemed to enjoy his coffee this morning, but he is still a little horse from all the screaming he had to do just to get this one written up.

Thanks he's been a little unbearable lately and with my lack of flights my attitude has not been chipper, so life here at head quarters has been chaotic.

Please, oh Please wind gods and mother nature. Even with these West Side and Northerly scant windows, Let me be able to say soon....
It's Time to Fly Get Your Gear and Go!!