Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thar They Blow, and Blow Some More

We all had a long break from JJ Jameson's caffiene-induced ultimatums, but alas, with him finding out about my flights, and back on Yuban coffee, he's back to normal, figuratively of course. He started on Alex, which produced the first story, Kaena Calling. After he found out about my flight yesterday, he was giving me a headache, as if he were in my head or something. First, Blow defined: Blow-Hard. I may be fighting an inner battle for that comment, but it's something I'll just have to live with.

The 'Hexicans,' as we were dubbed while abroad, returned last Friday. Imagine 2 weeks in the outback of Mexico with no problems only to be kidnapped at Honolulu Airport. Ike had decided that we had enough sleep on the plane and took us directly to Makapuu. JK was a little reluctant cause he has not been married as long as this hombre, and feared the wrath of his esposa. Well, just to let you know, there was a text verbage from my esposa, but it's not PG-rated for these pages.

We got a good flight, felt great to be boating around and not hanging on for dear life. Saturday, I had to work and I am sure JK was detained, so no Hexicans flew. Sunday was a call to arms: Get Your Gear and Go! JK headed for Nanakuli, while a large contingent headed for the Knob, and I got 'SideTracked' and settled for a northerly excursion at Makapuu.

Not as many pilots at Makapuu on Sunday as there were on Saturday, although the roll call may still be an incomplete blur from that written log. Fireman dropped out of the sky in Waimanalo, but I grabbed him on the way. We tried a few times to get around the corner of Puu O Kona, but the low cloud base and northerly winds kept our trips to short XC flights. Finally I got to log my third XC flight of the year, though it was unfortunately also my highest, so far anyway!

Ok, now that we are all caught up, and you have got the first Blow from JJJ, and then a short Blow from me to make you current, without further ado: the log for Monday, Blow by Blow, so to speak.

I had to work on Monday. (Yes, One-Eye, not a full day, but I did put 37 minutes in.) Alex was calling a trip to the Knob, and by the looks of it, it was the right call. [Editor's note. OMG. I made the right call. Alert the papers!] I wanted it bad, cause I have only gotten one flight off the Knob and one too many hikes back down. Woody, Alex and Lars were already heading up as I was transferring bags. It's a grueling muddy hike.

Cresting the launch just in time to have Woody go floating over was a good sign. Next was Alex and then I helped Lars. The knob is not the widest of launches and those of us with larger wings can have some logistical issues. Lars with not much room to step back, did anyway and took a blow on the next ledge. He only damaged his pride, balled up and then took off with out a hitch.

Alone on launch. This one is not good for the last man standing. But I pulled it off with ease and benched up to join Woody, Alex and Lars. The wind was stronger than the previous day, and was blow-ing the thermals back behind the ridge. I slowly edged my way back and had a good spin in the roundabout with the Prez.

We couldn't push as far as Kaala or past Kaena Point, due to the stronger winds, but it was still the nicest air I have ever had at the Dill. I got to 3,000 feet too. The sailplanes were out in full force as well, blow-ing by us with ease. Soon we were joined by Allegra, Drew and Steve. Alex's time had blow-n short and he was heading in. I told him I would be right behind him as my Mexican blood couldn't take much more of the chilly north wind. (That was for you mainland snow monkeys.)

Alex did his usual tour out to sea; way out to sea. But this time he really did not need to go far. A pod of whales (not referring to myself in my harness) with two babies were so close to shore that all of us were soon hovering over them. What a sight. I had never been over so many that were just hanging out, flapping and blow-ing their spouts. Alex flew by underneath me. (These are the days you wish Flystrong was clicking away. I didn't get a shot.) Air Force One was so excited: "I could just land on them...or not." Object fixation was almost taking over as we all peeled off to set down.

Alex and I were blow-ing back some liquid thirst quenchers (thanks JK!) which enhanced the 'whale tale' debriefing. All launched, all flew and all safe. We looked up to catch one of the parachutists flying a new Ozone Zero towards Kaena Point. As we were leaving, Jorge and North Shore Brian arrived for the late session. I think Drew and Steve hiked back up to join them, for round two. Ah, to be young again.

As has been stated and hopefully it holds true: the hex is off. JK and I are no longer Hexicans. If you disagree...blow it out your ear!

Cause It's Time to Fly, Get Your Gear and Blow, oops, I mean Go!

1 comment:

Allegra said...

It was an incredible day! At least 9 whales right under us and more breaching farther out in the water. Pictures will never be able to recreate the feeling I had flying over them yesterday. We're some lucky people!