Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Yesterday, seventeen pilots flocked to Koko Crater after conditions turned too east for windward flying. Frank helped Alaska Chris and Rudi get up to launch and they showed the locals that it was working. Woody and JJ had already flown for a while at Kahana, but they landed when things went too east. Duck, Harvey and I left Kahana for Koko Crater, and Woody followed with JJ, George, Bryce and Paul.
When we got there, after the obligatory fashion tour of the beach, we saw Akami walking to the bus stop, having decided it was too strong. Chris and Rudi had already landed because they said it was picking up. It felt kind of strong at the LZ but…it didn’t seem too bad! We ran up to try our luck. Thanks to Rudi for driving my car down from the trail head. Scrappy and Steve joined us and we all agreed to throw Duck off of low launch first to see how he flew.
Turns out it wasn’t that strong and he had to scratch in bumpy air down low. I followed him off and took a long stupid line to the blowhole before groveling back, below launch and kicking bushes. Somehow I scratched back up and out. Scrappy, Steve and Harvey weren’t so lucky. AK Chris, George, JJ, Sebastian, Reaper and Garrett all joined us for long soaring sessions.
Duck ruled the day, thermaling to cloud base, 2,500 feet up and behind the crater, then blazing halfway to Makapuu before deciding to play it safe and stay local. I tried to keep up with him but I think I was just getting in his way. At one point we did manage to turn some nice circles together before he left on his mission to a higher plane.
This was my favorite kind of thermal day at the Crater. Low saves, turning circles with friends, smelling the effluent of the affluent in the best thermals. Thanks to Frank for making the call, and to Garrett for keeping the chat box updated. Thanks to Reaper for the cold refreshments and the after-flight RC entertainment.
Today was a southerly sea breeze day. Generally I feel like those days are best for Nanakuli, but I only had a late afternoon window. I was hopeful that Koko Head would work in those conditions, based on what I’ve heard from Frank and Jetflap.
I checked with Frank and he confirmed my suspicions. I texted Alaska Chris and we followed him up there. Frank was in the air as we got to launch, soaring the sea cliffs on the south face. I’d never flown here in this much south flow, and I was excited to give it a try. It was pretty trippy soaring the sea cliffs all the way back to Hanauma Bay for the first time. The lift was light but smooth and constant.
After a while Frank left to land and give us more room, and after watching the sun drop lower for a while, Chris and I followed him down. What a sweet sunset session. Thanks to Frank for the intel. And for the refreshments! Cool to see the aerial dancers practicing as we folded up.
Posted by Alex at 2:10 AM