Sunday, September 21, 2014

Knobject Fixation

When our winds are light enough they give way to sea breezes that waft onshore from every corner of the island. Almost any site on the island can be flown in a sea breeze (and you all know by now which one absolutely cannot). But figuring out which one will work best is tricky. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut. I happen to be fixated on a particular corner of the island, so that's an easy decision for me.

Poor Drew, who lives out there, has just about given up on the rest of us ever joining him. He's been flying out there in great conditions on many days over the past few weeks. All by himself. But I hope to rectify that oversight on more of these light wind days. Drew, call me maybe!

We were joined by knob novitiates Scrappy and Jim, but they had to figure it out all by themselves, because by the time they showed up Drew and I were already busy getting our axes kicked as we tried to figure out the leeside thermals. The flow was almost straight west. I managed to bobble my way all the way to the point, where I was hoping the leeside flow would turn into onshore flow, and I'd sail smoothly down to Makua and back.

But that didn't happen. The flow was actually sucking right up the point and splitting down both sides. I struggled to figure that out and finally hooked into a huge fat thermal that really wanted to be my friend. I could almost hear it saying: I will love him and squeeze him and name him George! I soon found myself skyed out at a couple grand over the radar station. I watched Drew pull in underneath but he didn't have the same luck finding a thermal, and he limped back toward the knob, sinking out halfway along. I headed out to the tip of the point for a photo op.

When I got back I couldn't find that nice thermal anymore, so I limped back to the knob to see how things were going, thinking I might be joining Drew. But I managed to stay up, and I was able to get back to the knob and bobble around a while longer in hopes that Jim and Scrappy would join me, but they were taking their time. Finally I threw in the towel and landed. Scrappy ended up launching with a small line over and lost some critical altitude getting it cleared, and had to land right away. Jim ended up hiking down, deciding caution was the better part of valor on this day. Always a good decision!

I look forward to more sea breeze days out there. Like … today!

1 comment:

Thom said...

Well, remind me never to kick your 'axe' cause it might hurt me more than it hurts you. I had an interesting lesson with Jorge getting some flat land lines and some rotor scoldings. He got me going low everywhere, even lower than him on my return to iron woods.

It was fun day at school.

Thanks for the write up, now I can go to work and JJJ is finally quiet.