Saturday, February 03, 2007

We were airborne well before 6am. It was night, but the moon was really bright and it lit up the earth and sky for us as we flew south. The winds were from the west at more than 195 miles per hour, so we crabbed 30 degrees into the wind and lost 45 miles per hour of groundspeed as a result. Fortunately the air was smooth.

The moon was really bright.

After an hour in cruise, we started to see the faint light of daybreak. It was pretty striking with the moon in one side and the sunrise in the other side of the cockpit.

The night before we flew here, a series of thunderstorms and tornados passed through Florida, killing 19 people at last count. We flew over the same weather system a few hours later. The thunderstorms showed up as a relatively solid line on our radar. We wouldn't go through them, so we had to either divert around them or climb above them. We chose to climb, and at 38,000' we were just barely above the system.

For the pilot geeks, see how the radar image is all muddy just behind the line of storms? That's because the radar beams have been absorbed by the storms, which means it can't paint an accurate picture of what might be behind them. It could be clear, or it could be another squall line; it's impossible to tell and it's best to just avoid the whole thing altogether.

We painted this image from above the line, which explains why it's not painting red a whole lot - if we had been painting this at 17,000', I bet there would have been no shortage of red pixels dotting our radar.

And here's what they looked like from a few hundred feet above them.

We return to hot sand and the smell of the ocean.

It's +29 at the moment, with 90% humidity. Some local kids cool off by jumping off the docks.

I watch some cruise ships come in. Today is Saturday and that means a whole pile of tourists. Downtown will be swollen, so I'll head to the fish fry for lunch instead.

As I walk, I come upon a group of men standing together and praying.

There are seriously a lot of cruise ships today.

Another flight crew from Pearson is down in Nassau this weekend, so we are gonna go for supper with them and trade aviation stories over conch salad and steamed shrimp.

"There I was, downwind, missing a wing with my hair on fire. The fuel tanks had just exploded and it was looking pretty grim. But did I give up? NO! Like a true veteran I quickly decided that I was gonna..."

Ahh, flying stories :)

1 comment:

Flyin Dutchman said...

Hair on fire ? Must have been someone else's story then :)

Quick question though on crossing over cells...

What is it like near the tops of the cells ? What about the possibility of it growing up higher and being at the top of your ceiling could turbulence cause you some grief ?

I am restricted to the lower 28,000 so I have no idea.