Thursday, January 08, 2015

A Great Year

If the way you start the year means something for the rest of it, 2015 will be a great year. If I haven't seen you in person: Happy New Year! Alright, long story short. After reading on Wednesday that da Prez' sperms got frozen solid, I was hesitating to fly on Thursday, mostly because I still need to keep those precious fluids in good shape. But, well, I took the risk, and drove kinda early to Makapuu, only to find an iffy flow. I knew if I wanted to get the best of the day, I had to get in the air and leave the Makapuu area ASAP. A kinda cross cycle showed up, and I took it. It was still cold, so I barely made it above the power lines, and finally got some love in the corner of the lookout.

The ground wasn't working that well, so I milked every minor drop of lift that I found at Makapuu. With the east flow and the midday sun hitting Waimanalo, I placed my bet on the lee side of that area. I flew low until I found a great lift band that took me above 3,000 feet with no turns needed. I went from Puu O Kona all the way to the Pali on a really open line that kept me safe from the Greenwall rotor.

Once at the Pali, things started to happen really fast, and with the tailwind I made it to the Pyramid in a blink. At this tepee formation, I rode a pretty radical and broken thermal that took me back above 3,000 feet. Knowing that the ground was cold and I had to stay high to survive, I decided to fly through Kaaawa Valley. This was another open line, above the north side of the valley, with almost no rotor effect.

Now the battle started. The Kahana area was cold, and it was hard to stay high. Even though I am used to flying low, today I didn't feel comfortable below 2,000 feet. I played at Kahana until I reached 2,000 feet and then jumped to Punaluu, where I decided to get as deep as possible, and it paid off big time. I found a solid thermal that took me above Sacred Falls, where I cruised for a least half an hour just for the pleasure of it. After cruising and taking some shots above the falls, I kept going, once again at the magic number of 3,000 feet. I kept a deep line, and I thought about going really deep, but no way, that cold ground effect was always in my head. I glided for a while just contemplating the idea of flying on top of the ridge instead of pushing to the ocean, but, well, today this idea didn't feel 100% right. Maybe tomorrow!

After 2 hours and 45 minutes, I flew above Kahuku, and turned around to land at the end of the golf course. We are so blessed to live in this magic place. Thanks for reading all this BS, and I hope to see you out there tomorrow, and remember: this will be a great year.


Alex said...

Thanks for the story Jorge! I appreciate your invitation to join you today. As we discussed, I was interested in connecting from Kahana, to save on some of the driving and retrieving. The morning flow was nice and northeast, luring me to doubt the easterly flow predicted by the blipmap. I thought I might have a window of northeast flow to head from Kahana toward Makapuu before riding the easterly flow back. I launched in super light northeast flow, fighting a really tough battle to scratch my way up above the Rhino Horn, and then looking for thermals to get high enough to start. I dove to Puu Piei super low and dug myself out of there in some gnarly stuff. Once above there were some good thermals getting organized, but I had a feeling something was already changing. Sure enough, the flow quickly turned super east just as I was heading across the bay, and I knew I was going to be in trouble. I got over there with decent height, but I got nothing but sink once I pulled into Hidden Valley. I was still high enough to escape so I pulled the ripcord and headed back to land at the LZ. Gotta learn to trust that blipmap! Congrats to you and everyone who took the easterly tailwind! One day soon we'll meet in the middle like we planned today.

Thom said...

Jorge, you are a great writter! I can't wait to see the article in Cross Country, especially the pics.

Great flight but for you it was just a walk in the park I am sure. Thanks for the call this morning on your way would have loved to watch your vapor trails.

And yes, 2015 is going to be a great year!!!


It's Time to Fly, Get Your Gear and Go!!

sandy said...

Thanks Jorge for taking us down range with you!

I saw the track log first, so I was really wondering about how the trip was through valley after the Pyramid and wondering about the rotor. But before I go planning *my* route that way, I'll remind myself that conditions there can be different as FireDave reported a much different experience there.

Thanks for sharing the great ride!
Best wishes for many more awesome flights!