Thursday, July 18, 2013

Charter flight

I really did have the most incredible weekend. Sailing was awesome so, high winds aside it, would highly recommend it. There is nothing quite like the sense of serenity and peace, even with the wind clanging every piece of equipment imaginable. Highlights of course other than being out on the water was sharing some time with the loggerhead turtle. We saw many, but I like to think it was the same one greeting us and welcoming us to her bay. She was so gentle that it was a privilege to see her on a semi regular basis. If I thought the adventures topped there I was wrong. Options for transfer to Mackay were to take the barge, then drive 1.5 hours. Thanks to Frank we decided this was not a viable option so he organised a charter flight from Hamilton Island to Mackay. The plane was a small single winger craft. Two seats. Mine, and the pilots. Trish welcomed me and proceeded to run through the safety drill - on the Tarmac, by tying a piece of string around my waist. Apparently, this was the life vest. Hopefully it wouldn't be required, but just in case it was there ready for use. Remove the packing, slip the vest over your head, wait until you are outside the aircraft, then pull the toggles to inflate. Perfect. The range of dials and other controls was impressive. Lots of gauges and numbers. The ones with fluorescent paint were the important ones. Why else would they be high viz orange? I was in very safe hands and as such was able to sit back and enjoy the flight. Actually I was so excited I sat perched on the edge of my seat the entire time - looking at anything and everything. The key advantage of the small plane definitely being its ability to remain below cloud level. Islands, buildings, cemeteries, all look incredible from such a a vantage point. I must admit though that the cemetery was on the close end of the Mackay airport. It would have been too creepy approaching the airstrip to see the cemetery awaiting you if you overshot the runway. The most amazing part of the flight was not only seeing the rainbow, but virtually flying though it. Somehow as we approached it became almost circular and we ended up flying through the edge of the ring made by the rainbow. Incredible experience. Right up there as far as special moments go. 15.7.13

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