Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Speaking of crashes…wow, what a day. Poor Andi, one of the Swiss visitors, ended up low in the ravine behind the east launch ridge. He fought to get out of there but to no avail, and he landed down in the ravine, on a steep cliff above the stream, his wing draped over umbrella trees, very near where Johnimo augured in a while back. We told him to hang on, and two of us top landed and then ran down the hill and then back up the ravine to offer help. It was tricky to extricate the wing, but not as bad as it had been for Johnimo. We had to send our craziest monkey up the tree, but we didn’t need saws, just some strategic hand pruning. After an hour or so we were all back on launch, ready to fly again.
Some pilots braved the tiny beach landing options, but a small contingent were inclined to get up and go. It was super strong and east, but after three tries I managed to cross the bay, fighting my way up out of the grovel pit at Crouching Lion and eking slowly around to Hidden Valley. Thom tried to follow but wisely turned back. After a quick tour of Kaaawa, I returned to join him and Matthias for a trip the other way. Meanwhile Chandler launched and ended up following close behind us. I heard Frank and Five-0 Mike on the radio from Makapuu. Frank said his fun meter was pegged. I hope I never know what that feels like!
We flew to Punaluu, just the front side, and then to Hauula, a bit deeper there, in pretty strong lift, under pretty low clouds, with late afternoon sunbeams bursting through all around. It was a gorgeous time of day to be in the air. We all landed at Hauula where Duck picked us up and provided cold beverages, after having spent the day doing real work. Thanks, Duck! Then we had to debrief late into the evening, first at Hauula and then at Kahana, finally disbanding after dark.
What a long hard day of work that was. But like they say: someone's gotta do it! And I'm sure not complaining.
Posted by Alex at 1:50 AM