I finally arrived at the boom this afternoon after my 10 day long cross country. I had one heck of a time and want to share my story with you all. For those who read my previous thread, this was my first flight to the coast and the first time i flew further than 200nm from the boom.
Well, it started of exactly as planned on the morning of the 2nd. Armed with my maps, nav logs, stopwatch, cx2 and a shitload of baggage including my little tent etc, i flew down on my first leg to Gariep. The flight was quite smooth up to Bloemfontein, from where it got a bit bumpy. Upon landing at Gariep Lood phoned me and i got a quick glimpse of his Robin! (Can't believe he is selling it...) He drove me to Waschbank Lodge that is situated right next to the orange river. Lood was very kind and bought me lunch. For anybody interested in flying to Gariep...., you can't go wrong with Waschbank Lodge.
After a good night sleep i had an early start the next day and routed for Mosselbay. I almost got lost on the leg between Beaufort West and Oudtshoorn and couldn't find any reference points on my map, nor on the ground! Luckily the ancient gps of the aerie kind of saved me.... The decent into George over the Outeniquas was awesome! Breathtaking scenery greeted me on the other side of the mountain, and i felt like one of the luckiest guys alive. ATC at George routed me along the coast for Mosselbay and i was amazed at how the Cherokee performed at SL. I cruised with a TAS of 125kts! (I'm used to 110kts up here). I slept at the airfield that night and went to Hartenbos the following day with the shuttle.
After five days of camping and packing up in heavy rain i was supposed to fly to East London on the 9th, but due to bad weather i was stuck for another 2 days in Mosselbay. Luckily i met an ex SAAF pilot at the airfield (Hein van Niekerk) on the day i was supposed to depart who told me i could stay with him and his family at their seaside house in Dana Bay. Very grateful for the offer, i took them for a flip over the house and out to the bay.
Yesterday on the 11th i the weather finally cleared in the PE, EL area and i was on my way again. Routing low level along the garden route was just spectacular! After 3.5 hours of flying and 2 days behind schedule i landed at East London. The airport itself is quite nice and i especially enjoyed the approach onto rwy 11! loansharkblv picked me up at the airport and showed me around Slummies. What a great city and a chilled atmosphere. We had a great dinner that night and i must thank loansharkblv and his wife for their hospitality!
I took of this morning at 10:00 from EL and flew over the office block of the shark for a pic. Apparently i was a bit high
, but at least i have a pic now of the aerie in flight. I've got no words to describe the scenery along the wild coast! Again i routed low level (approx 400')coastwise for FAVG. I took loads of pics on this leg and i enjoyed the remoteness and freedom of the area. After fighting a strong headwind (TAS 130kts, GS 85kts) for 3.5 hours i arrived at FAVG where i met another avcommer, Papa-G. I refueled, had some lunch, filled my flightplan and of i went, this time for the boom. A pretty uneventful 3 hours followed, but it was still enjoyable. Switching over to 120.6 for FAWB was like music to my ears. I was cleared to land rwy 11, and in some way it felt kind of good to be back at home.
So after 17.8hrs of flying, 1500nm and 10 days later i am back in Pta. It was an experience that i will stay with me for as long as i live. I met lots of new people, learned lots of new skills, and found out first hand how the aviation community cares for one another!