Monday, February 03, 2014
After an hour and a half up there, I finally just got too antsy to wait any longer, and I tried my luck with the light east cycles that seemed to be trying to fill in. I got off lightly loaded but well enough, and immediately headed west, milking zeros until I got to the spine just before the abominable ravine hike to the pasture, and there I found the lift was collecting perfectly. In hindsight we should probably have hiked that ravine to launch the pasture, although I am pretty sure that "trail" is also a runoff stream bed, not to mention a much longer and tougher climb.
Despite the challenging launch conditions at the knob, flying conditions along the ridge were perfect: very light ridge lift with plenty of sweet thermals to play with. But as conditions got better and better in the air, they got worse and worse on launch. Later on I heard there were some very exciting launches, both successful and attempted, before the game was finally called. Those left on launch ended up hiking down, whereas those in the air were finding it hard to get down for landings!
JK and I made the most of the light conditions to log two thermal-powered loops each, stretching from the point to the fingers deep behind the drop zone, to notch the year’s highest scoring flights so far on the league scoreboard with distances of 18 and 17 miles. Visitors Bill and Sean from New Mexico were overjoyed to get into the air during a rare sunny break on what might be an otherwise rainy trip. And Jeff and Kevin were both super stoked to be on the luckier half of the team this time around.
Meanwhile, after many months of planning and multiple previous attempts, two of Kauai's most intrepid pilots were scoring possibly the most dreamed of (and never before achieved) flights in island flying lore: the Na Pali coast, from Kalalau to Hanalei. Congrats to Bob and Adam on their achievement.
The Dillingham team: Woody, me, Diamond Head Paul, Thom, JK, Sebastian, Jeff, Berndt, Rich, NM Bill and Sean, Kevin, Dave Nickels, NY Rudi.
Posted by Alex at 5:04 PM