Tuesday, November 08, 2016


Sitting at the Makapuu landing zone under the fading evening light, sipping a beer, watching Alex and Marc glide in from downrange, with a crowd of flyers stoked from the day's adventures, I started thinking about old times. Why? Because these days Makapuu is usually just windy with low clouds and I fly with no one else around. I know others are out there, I see the signs, or at least the RC pilots tell me of sightings.

So waking up Sunday morning to sparse low clouds on the Koolaus, and light winds gently blowing in my door, I already had a rush of excitement about a possible rare treat of cross country flying on the Koolaus.

Alex texted that he was out for flying that day, but I have known him long enough not to believe him. I headed out to see Maui Doug overhead, Slacker launching Cactus and Joey launching Juice. I hiked to Juice and as I neared the top I felt that my glider bag was really heavy. I had that sinking feeling that I just accidentally carried my tandem up. I looked around for a passenger and then scooted back to Hawaii Kai to get my solo glider.

Now close to an hour behind, I climbed up and started heading towards Waimanalo. The three amigos, Doug, Don and Slacker, were already on Greenwalls. There were a bunch of people assembling behind me for a similar goal, and even Alex had shirked his responsibilities and had raced home to drop off Logan and pick up the Peak 4.

The lift was smooth and light, but steady. Puu O Kona had some strange southeast thing going on, but conditions improved a lot by Greenwalls. It was a beautiful day, with very light wind, and a few cloud streets here and there, just a great day to be up high. I caught up with most of the guys at Haiku Stairs and we continued on our way. Doug turned back at Temple Valley for the sure thing. Don, Joey and I headed down to Waikane.

Joey stated that this was as far as he had ever been, which I took as a bit of a challenge to try to go farther. We looked at BoogaBoogaland, but being under 3,000 feet in pretty light lift and north wind didn't make it seem too guaranteed. Plus, by this time, Don had gotten a little lower and showed us that it was hard to get back up. Don took the long glide to Hygienics Store, where Sidehill Thom ran a retrieve.

Joey spotted a cloud forming over the Pyramid, so I quickly headed that way. But by the time we got there the forming cloud had become a dull grey sheet. There was barely a beep of lift to be found, but I loitered for a while, hoping for a late day release, and finally glided off on a long glide through Kaaawa Valley with Joey behind. It was absolutely still when we landed near the front. Duck scooped us up for the ride to Hygienics, where Thom was waiting for Don to finish eating. Great retrieves, great friends.

Some sixteen pilots flew, with a few more stopping by. Just a great day, after so many windy cloudy days on the east side, and totally unexpected. Let's do it again!


Joey said...

Ya Dave, thanks for taking the lead on that line into ka'a'awa valley, because I wouldn't have done it alone. That was my personal best from MPU and I was so glad I had someone to show me the ropes.
Thanks again to Duck and Sidehill for the retrieves!


Thom said...

Well, Well, Well somewhere in the deep blue heavens or perhaps in the warmer climate below, JJ Jameson is smiling through the gag order that provoked his demise.

I wish I was within sight when you turned to look for a passenger, Dave. That would have been a great trip, but then it would have been Da Bus for retrieve.

I was back to where I started this whole addiction, on the chase. One of my first retrieves was picking up Ike (Slacker) and Motorhead Paul Kunzl at Hygenics. Speaking of which Motorhead is sneaking into town on Wednesday.

Watching you guys getting high and scratching low was a bag of mixed emotions for me. Listening to Reaper getting so low that riding the top of a bus up the Pali ranked as an option.

Congrats Joey on a new goal set, but remember following Dave anywhere can be trip in itself, Although you lead the charge most of the way down there.

Marc Collins is hitting the XC hard and another one following a crazy pilot, as I watched him disappear in the Pali Fingers following Reaper.

Drew is showing us that even in a wing thats a little large can get the job done. When he landed at the LZ unloading a boulder he used as ballast, little crazy.....ok it was Drew alot crazy.

Ike was top of the stack for a few transitions, it had to be lifty to get that old bucket of bolts up high, of course it would have nothing to do with close to 20 years of flying under his belt.

Maui Doug, I was his wing man many years ago on a flight that got us along this route and then some with neither of us ever getting past the Pali.

Then there's Alex, typical lying ass politician that's why he's a good president, so appropriate that I am writing this tonight during the farce of an election that I am listening to. I got an urgent text from Alex earlier that morning. "If your planning to come to Kahana today, I won't be around, I have family obligations". Of course that might have been a typo, which should have read "FAMILIAR OBLIGATIONS" or FLYABLE OBLIGATIONS. Siri just doesn't get him sometime.

Scrappy did a tandem, heard One-eye was on Green walls. Goto flew the early shift. Shawn showed up a tiny bit late but was at the LZ for the debriefing (Gloating).

Again thanks for the write Dave, all I have to look forward to these days....but the count down is on, I started picking out some new colors.

So the count was 10PGs flew, 1 Goto, 1 too late & 2 Retrievers.

Thom said...

Sorry on the count.

SDTom, Mr. Keefer was in the LZ with a big grin after a tickling trip to Olomana and back.

So 11 PGs and possibly more

firedave2 said...

Thom, Glad to see you on retrieve and posting up to boot. I would have loved to take you for a downrange tandem, we would have laughed the whole way, white noise!

I know days like Sunday are classics and really make you itch to fly. It will be great to see you up there, even if you just cherry pick the best days. Remember our wheelchair flyer in Pemberton, Samson Daniels, charging everyday, front wheels flapping while he thermalled up past us.