Gone Coastal

Sunday, July 30, 2006

On the horizon

It's been a long time since I've sat in the right seat, next to the Bear, of a little bugsmasher like the Cessna 172. In fact, it's been quite awhile since the Bear did any piloting at all. But recently, it was looking like a flight into the interior would be the only way to make certain things happen by the deadlines without losing another whole weekend and possibly taking more time off work. So he took some time over the last couple of weeks to get back up to speed with his flight skills and get checked out at one of the local flight centres.
The original need took care of itself, so the Bear had planned to take one of his young coworkers up for a flight yesterday. When his passenger went AWOL, I stepped up and ever-graciously volunteered to take his seat :) As I said, it had been a long time, and it's always been an enjoyable way to spend time together. So the Bear suggested hopping over to the mainland to say hi to my mom, and then the plan evolved to include a shopping trip over to IKEA to check out nursery furnishings and kitchen cabinets. So we found a few options, and we'll have mom pick them up for us next week when the Bear's expecting to come through with the truck.
So the trip out was a bit hairy. The airspace down here is a bit more active than the Okanagan, and if you're doing anything but circuits around your home airport, you'll find yourself shifting every five or ten minutes between different airport control zones, each of which requires you to be checking in on different frequencies to get clearance for flying on different routes at different altitudes. A lot of the various airports and control towers are short-staffed, which leads some of the people you're depending on for help through the maze to be a little short on patience. The trip back home was much smoother. While mom and I were comparing cribs, the Bear was picking through the flight supplement and pouring over the maps, to make sure he had all the possible permutations of the trip home worked out, with frequencies all noted on his clipboard and waypoints plugged into the GPS for navigational backup. And between flipping the map and dialing in the next frequencies for him, I managed to click a few shots out the window.
Here's a shot of Bedwell Harbour, between North and South Pender islands, taken on the way over.And the late evening sun over the Georgia Strait on the way home.

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