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World Wide KAP Week 2011 – Day 1

Posted by Tom Benedict on 30/04/2011

The opening day of World Wide KAP Week 2011 didn’t start as smoothly as I’d hoped.  That northerly that was supposed to come in around 11am never did, and when wind did finally develop, it was coming out of the south.  I’d gripe, but I have to cut the meteorology models some slack.  Any time vog or clouds cover the inland lava fields, it wreaks havoc with the wind.  Most of the wind on the west side of the island is generated by thermals, so if they never get a chance to set up, the wind never gets going.  Kona was covered with clouds, so that northerly never happened.

Emily Hates Kites

On the way south to Kona for my non-existent date with the non-existent wind, I stopped at the far end of the Blue Hawaiian airfield near Anaehoomalu Bay.  Their wind sock said it all: nada.  The graffiti in the foreground makes me think Emily doesn’t like kites.  But that’s probably just circumstantial.

Manini Owali toward Four Seasons

After running errands in Kailua-Kona, I saw the wind finally had picked up.  But it was blowing out of the south.  Go figure!  I stopped at Manini Owali Beach at Kua Bay to finally get some KAP in.  It was a good session.

I had mixed luck with the Push N8 gear.  The zero wind conditions earlier in the day led me to do some videos from a pole.  I’ve got a 22′ pole I keep strapped to the top of my Jeep for opportunities like this, so it was a simple matter to pop the pan servo off the N8 rig and bolt it onto the pole.  I like the sequences I did, but I really wanted to back them up with KAP flights later in the day.  Unfortunately that never happened.

After flying my A650 at Kua Bay, I pulled out the N8 gear to give it some time in the air.  Unfortunately all the pole work earlier had depleted the rig batteries to the point where the Bluetooth modem on the rig didn’t have the juice to connect to the phone.  After fiddling with it for about twenty minutes I gave up on it and put it back in my bag.  RATS.

When I got home the first thing I did was start running all my batteries through my battery conditioner.  Most AA and AAA chargers charge the batteries in pairs.  Some time ago I got a La Crosse BC-9009 charger.  It charges each battery separately, which helps keep batteries balanced and happy.  When they start to go downhill you can also use the BC-9009 to do discharge/recharge cycles on them until their current capacity is closer to peak.  This process takes roughly a week, though, so I try not to do it unless I really need to.  The nice thing is since it charges the batteries independently, you can see when one starts to lag.  At that point it’s best to go ahead and recondition the whole set and check their capacities to make sure they’re still matched.  It’s handy.

Unfortunately I have no idea what the weather is supposed to be like tomorrow.  The wind models I use haven’t run in the last 24 hours, so there are no new models to work with.  ARGH!  In any case the plan is to hike into Pololu Valley on Saturday, and go to a beach Sunday.  I hope to pad that with a Saturday evening flight and a Sunday morning one as well, but I haven’t planned those out just yet.

I hope everyone is having a good time with World Wide KAP Week.  Keep flying!

– Tom

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