Saturday, February 14, 2015
Duck made it out there super early after some hellish early work meetings. He was in the air and flying and top landing under his full size wing before any of us got there! I got out there as soon as I could, but it was already getting brisker. Duck launched his smaller wing, and I launched my faithful old IP6 to join him. It was brisk but manageable under that wing. I stayed low and out front, exploring the lift band with Duck, before we spotted some rain lines approaching. I made a fun top landing, but Duck fell out of the lift and had to do a beach landing.
Meanwhile Thom and Drew were launching right into the mouth of the squall. Thom flew his big old beater, the Skywalk, and launched perfectly in front of that squall. Drew followed. They flew for about five minutes and then started to get wet. But that's not the watery destiny this story is about. Drew pulled off his first top landing at this site, with style, while Thom hit the beach, and ran back up as the squall passed by without much drama.
So far so good. But not so fast. It was Thom's birthday. But it was also Friday the 13th. Cue the ominously foreboding soundtrack. After the sky cleared, the wind was stronger, with whitecaps everywhere. It seemed good for smaller wings. Duck launched his smaller wing again, and Thom was excited for a second flight this week in his new Zero 19. After teaching it some manners on launch, he took to the air, and was kind of going up, before he encountered the mysterious monk seal vortex at the lighthouse. Or maybe it was the curse.
Whatever it was, he descended right into the drink next to the beach. Duck watched the whole thing from the air, and was shouting down to the rest of us gathered on launch: Man overboard! Thom's in the water! We finally got the message and dashed down to help him pull his soggy gear out of the cold and unremorseful surf. This was the third pilot in the drink this week! Man, those monk seals sure know how to put a damper on our fun.
After that, Drew tried a half-hearted flight on his black Firefly. A tiny demon of a wing. He didn't get up, but nor did he activate the curse. Then Jorge and Dave showed up, and declared it too west to work anymore. At least that saved us all from any further risk of the watery hex. It was great to see Bay Area visitor Mark out there, and Allegra, and Jeff, and whoever else I might be forgetting.
Maybe one day we'll lift the curse, exorcize the demon, cancel the hex. But in the meantime, bring your best rabbit's foot when you fly Diamond Head, and watch out for those monk seals!
Posted by Alex at 11:59 PM