Here’s a recent image of a vista I see regularly. It’s the landing zone for the hang gliding pilots. I get to see it under many different conditions from early morning to late afternoon. I tend to prefer wide shots. I find they express my impression of a location better. Here, I wanted to capture the expanse of clouds moving over the land and the rain at Waimanalo Beach.
That doesn’t mean I don’t work the area looking for other possibilities.
Talk about take it and forget it. I grabbed a series of shots for a panorama of this rain squall over Kaneohe on a July day in 2011.
And Sometimes the Landing Sticks you.
That’s what’s about to happen to my friend as he brings his glider in for a landing. The upper right corner of the photo shows the ridge line which starts at this end of Oahu and runs up the spine of the island called the Koolau Mountains. Just around the corner is the spot on the ridge from which the pilots launch. It’s a great view at 1100 ft above Waimanalo Bay. Naturally, visitors find the thought of flying off the ridge intimidating. The launch is the easiest part. The pilot can choose the best moment to fly off the ridge. Landing is a different situation. Once you commit to land, you’ve got to adjust to the conditions as you find them. In this case, the glider had a little more forward momentum than my friend wanted. The glider is in a nose up stall position but it pulled him off his feet. Unfortunately, the stall is about to bring them both to an abrupt stop. Fortunately, neither was damaged.
An essential aspect of paragliding is handling your wing during your launch. A good pilot never misses the opportunity to spend a few minutes ground handling the wing.
If you look closely you’ll see a little dot in the upper right of the picture near the top edge. The hang glider is over 2000 feet high.
Hawaii is over half way thru Whale Watching season. A prime spot to see whales on Oahu is Makapuu Point. Here’s a panorama I took standing on the lookout directly above Makapuu Lighthouse and facing mauka. To the right is the Windward side of Oahu.