Monday, August 03, 2015

It's been a while #flyingsoloatKahana

Between Liliana, a fixer upper house, and work, I haven't had much time to fly lately, especially at Kahana, since Makapuu is closer to me now. Most of my flights are tandems nowadays, because I absolutely love flying tandem, and I have a very large list of friends who want to go, but last Friday I went flying all by myself (literally) …

I was working on this big movie production for the last couple of months involving some crazy hours, making me visit "zombieland" (as a local) almost every recovering weekend. On the last one Noell reminded me "we are camping next weekend" and all I could say was "what? when? where?" but it finally came to me … Hey, it is a chance to get back in the air at Kahana! The forecast was all over the place, and a hurricane was swinging by, possibly bringing serious rain, so I figured I'd bring all my toys. Luckily I had Friday off after a half day work on Thursday (from 4pm to 1am), so we had most of the things ready to go Friday morning.

After the tents were set, I saw Drew hiking and flying his Firefly. But he was having hard time staying up for very long because the winds got lighter, and that was my cue! After talking to Noell about flying the family (visiting from California), she talked me out of it: why don't you go solo for a bit? Terrific idea, I thought! So up I went.

It was still windy for my regular wing, making low east launch the place to lay out the glider, but I guess because of the cross winds and my laziness, I did not have a good wall set, and I had to reset twice before being able to get ready to fly. Going up was no problem! Right after I took off, Drew landed (not on top again, but at the LZ) and I found myself alone in the skies of Kahana, something I haven't experienced in a while!

I was enjoying myself, doing small wingovers and taking in all the beauty Kahana has to offer! With low cloudbase, strong winds and a big family and some friends waiting for me at the beach, I decided to go down shortly after 40 minutes into my flight. But as I was getting closer to earth and I felt the lift from the trees, I decided to extend my flight a little longer and soar it! I was mostly trying to impress my 4 and a half year old daughter Liliana, but when I landed I heard from her: "Not cool, Daddy! Too close to the trees!" Hahaha, how cute! I am sure she heard some of that from mom.

The storm never came, and we were lucky to have a super sunny and beautiful weekend! The full moon even woke me up one night: who's got that flashlight shining on my tent!? I first thought. Thom, Ginny and Kevin with his family were also camping and we had a great time! On Saturday, early in the morning, Thom was up the hill and got to fly his big wing. later, I rushed up to join him and hiked with family for a tandem. I had my big wing, but the wind was picking up by the minute, and I wished I had my small one on me. Steve helped us get off the hill, for an exciting launch but with no problems. Because of the heavy load, we managed to get to around 2,200 feet and slowly move over the water to do wingovers, spirals and to observe rays swimming in circles. Pretty cool!

Later that day, as I was returning from a SUP trip up the river I saw an ambulance, firefighters and cops at the boat ramp, and I didn't think much of it because it was far from most of us (LZ and camping areas). But soon I heard a visiting pilot got severely hurt while flying his 13 m wing. 13m?? Really??? He is recovering from his injuries but will have a long road ahead. Good luck to him.

Sunday's forecast was predicted at 20 to 25 gusting to 30, and I thought: I am covered, I got my kite gear with me ;) but it never happened. I don't even think the gusts got to 15mph. It was another light wind, beautiful sunny day! it was also a chance for me to spend quality time with the family, barbecue, and pack to go home. Many other guys flew this day, to our sweet surprise, considering the low expectations the forecast had given us. The project I am working on will finish tomorrow, and I hope to make more hashtags soon, but more likely they will be #flyingatkahanaagain, and #flyingwithfriends.


Thom said...

Nice. Ya I am pretty shocked and disgusted with our group of pilots right now. Only a hand full showed up this weekend and only a few flew.

Saturday was pretty strong, Ray had the right idea, water play. I went up with my zero early and sat on launch for eternity waiting for it to die down a bit. Thankfully Drew came up and kicked me off. But it was a pinned short flight and to strong for my liking so backed it in to LZ. Drew flew his Firefly but landed shortly after calling it spicy. Thats when the visitor and Lynch hiked up.

Sunday I had a 2 1/2 hour flight from 7ish a.m. to 10ish a.m. The air was sweet but I did not excpect to see anyone else this early, heck can't even get people flying at any hour these days! Crossed the bay but felt a little strong to go to Kualoa so stayed at Kaaawa and enjoyed the morning skies. Light is pretty in the morning.
Then Ray on a tandem and Steve(Jeckle) showed up. Steve was testing Christina's new Rush4 beautiful colors (lots of Purple).
Sunday late was the best showing, I tried to lead it all off with my Zero but it was lightish and I kinda suck at the small wing stuff so I landed as a pile of pilots were hiking up.
Woody, Marc, Steve, Kevin, Reaper were in the air. I heard later Sandy & John were up on launch, but that had to be after 4 pm when I left.
Conditions were ok on Friday and Best on Sunday, Yah Sunday! Where were YOU!!!!

Its Time to Fly, if you remember how, Find Your Gear and Go!

Thanks to the Mexicanos for a Great Camping Weekend. I so enjoy the relaxation even with all the rescue excitement.

Alex said...

Great story, Ray, thanks for posting! I hope to see you out there soon!

sandy said...

Sorry we missed you and the family this weekend Ray! We had to rush up the hill to make it up before the sun went down. And then the wind was so strong, I was definitely considering the low launch, too, but I don't like low so much when it's that cross, and the weeds have gotten pretty tall (better than the erosion that was getting out of hand). I'm not surprised it challenged you. My landing challenged me. We need to fly more!

Thanks for the chats about the conditions at KNA Thom! It was nukin windy on the town side on Sunday, so it just didn't seem possible that it could be good or would stay good even if the sensor said it was. John had put away his gear and was out of the house swimming laps. Finally after enough of your posts, John finally got home and we loaded up to go.

Unfortunately, you must have rolled up the fine weather carpet when you left because it was pretty windy on launch, gusting 12-14 and even 16 for long periods. Luckily I was able to grab a lull just before it was getting too dark.

The air was kinda funky with lift over the water, seemingly almost more so than the spines and occasionally bumpy out there. I think it shook up the cob webs to clog up all my flying cells leading to the funkiest landing I've ever had.

Keep those site reports coming! Need to clear the trees and send all the roosting monkeys flying!

ps. Thanks to all for your wing advice inputs. Hope no one minded the chatter box intrusion, it seemed to be a bit of a flying chatter dry spell anyway and you KNOW I really need to get a new wing.