Sunday, February 22, 2015


Hypothermals: the oxymoron of our winter condition. It’s strange how we can find ourselves freezing at the top of a rising column of warm air. Thom’s thermometer told him it was 58º F at cloud base yesterday, just above three grand. At a 20 mph trim speed, the wind chill made it feel quite a bit colder than that! We hit three grand repeatedly above Kahana, Kaaawa and Kualoa, as we topped out some super grumpy and chilly thermals on a perfect postfrontal day. A record ten pilots crossed the bay, most to Kualoa and back, on an unusually thermic day with very little ridge lift.

Kevin wins the prize for the highest altitude. He was thermaling his head off, and he must have reached close to four grand above Kaaawa, way above cloud base, over and over again. In shorts without a pod harness! The poor guy was shivering long after he landed. It was fun thermaling with you, Kevin! Painfully fun! Thom and I thermaled multiple rounds between Kahana and Kualoa, as we slowly started to ice up, logging flights of four and five hours. We finally landed just to thaw out.

Pilot list as far as I remember: Woody, me, Jekyll Steve, London Harry, Scrappy, Divot Steve, Sandy, Johnimo, Gaza, Duck, Heckle Drew, Kevin, Berndt, Jim, Maui Mark.

We heard that quite a few pilots flew Makapuu: Jorge, Doug, UT Loren, Jim, JeffMc, Andrew, and others. Doug flew to Haiku and back, and Jorge and Loren flew to Likelike and back. Also we heard that Kauai pilots Bob and Joe heard Thom complaining about the cold over the radio while they were flying high and far from Anahola to Hanalei!

Many of the day’s pilots gathered to celebrate our chilly good fortune with a barbecue and bonfire at the Punaluu Ranch. Thanks to everyone for their contributions to the feast!


Thom said...

It was not what I had expected or planned. Waking up, Alex and I hemmed and hawed as he napped at Iolani at 830 am with possible MPU start. We both want the Kahana to Makapuu and back flight and the forecast made that look promising, so off to Kahana it was.

I got jammed at the house and missed the rowdier session that Alex and Woody had. By the time I crossed leaving Kahana at 3K loosing a full 1K on route to hidden valley. Fast crossing but holes galore.

It was a thermal research day and was something to be had. Ridgelift???I think not! none of that to be had as many bombing out pilots figured out.

The thermals definitely gave a booster shot to bump tolerance. It was chilly by Hawaii standards.

Did a double cross to from Kahana to Kuualoa. Made attempts down Kaaawa alley to the Pyramid but came limping back each time. If the thermals were this snappy out front I am guessing they were down right rude back there.

No trips to Punaluu either just wasn't feeling it. Good thermal-ling day, One the best and few I have ever had at Kahana.

I & JJJ thank you for the write. JJJ says I type too slow there's another story above that he wants to read.

On a second coffee run for the patient one.

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

Thom said...

PS Kevin is a NUT JOB he had to be freezing up there. I was shivering and my hands were cold. I had gloves, my stylish high socks and a pod. Kevin was bare legged, no real jacket, no pod he might have had gloves on but for what!!!

Time to wear some pants!! I got chills just looking at him.....actually up at him...he was high.