Dan Dyer organized another fly out group trip, this time ot the San Juan Islands. It was a nice trip.
Palo Alto to Boeing Field
Jennifer wasn't able to join due to work commitments, but I found a copilot to go with and share the flying. I did the first leg to KBFI (Boeing Field International) which was an easy 5H leg with nice weather.
good old thunderhill, I'll be back soon :)
argh, all this for junkmail I never asked for :(
viewing platform for Mt St Helens
Mt St Helens
Museum of Aviation visible on the left of the runway
Boeing Museum of Flight
Since we were there already, we went to visit the Boeing Museum of Flight at KBFI. It's actually one of the best flight museums I've seen so far: a full visit takes over 4H and even a quick one takes over 2H :)
I had no idea the concorde had an anti tailstrike tailwheel
Their warbird collection was quite good and well layed out
old vs new is fun to see :)
old french plane
a rare A12/M21 with D21 drone
the drone was supposed to launch with nukes in unfriendly territory
I spent the rest of the afternoon visiting Seattle
the smith tower is a nice view open later than the BOA tower and better view than the space needle
underground bus system
monorail to space needle
lots of work to 'drive' it :)
Smith tower on the right
a seaplane was doing patterns with passengers on the nearby lake
Mt Rainier in the back
Dinner with FOG folks
The next morning, weather was bad, so we just drove to KPAE to visit the Boeing Museum. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any pictures of the factory floor. This is too bad since it was pretty cool to see 787s and 747s being built from scratch on huge floors.
We were able to take pictures of the static displays and planes seen from the outside though:
Flying Heritage Museum
On the way out, I had a look at Paul Allen's private Flying Heritate Museum. It's actually a pretty nice little collection with knowledgeable guides.
Flight to Friday Harbour
Weather still wasn't great, but it was VFR in Boeing field and Friday Harbour, so we figured we'd be able to link the two somehow. It wasn't a very straight line, but we ended up doing a safe, albeit a bit silly considering, VFR on top flight where we climbed over 10,000ft to clear the clouds and leave the cloud area around Seattle. An other flight was able to get there between layers but I didn't find such a path and just didn't wan tot be scud runnings with no so flat land around.
cool shadow of our plane in the clouds with a rainbow around it. Neat!
little island just next to Lopez Island, pretty cool.
Visit of San Juan Island
I used the rest of the day to start visiting San Juan.
recent whale sightings
another FOG dinner
Kayaking off San Juan
The second day, I went kayaking in case we could be lucky and see orca whales.
Looking for Orca Whales
Since kayaking didn't work, I went on a boat ride, which makes things easier since there are boats keeping track of orca whale sightings. We indeed found some Orcas just by the Canadian border.
they have a catalog of local orcas
we saw a few orcas after a long boat trip
Before leaving friday harbour, we biked around the island a bit:
Quick Flight to Orcas Island
After biking around the Island, we flew to Orcas Island for lunch:
Flight Back to Palo Alto
And after a late lunch at Orcas Island, we flew back to Palo Alto.
looks like a fun track
As predicted by my skypad with XM weather, weather got a worse as we were about to enter California and got closer to Mt Shasta. We had to make a sharp westbound turn and fly around it to stay VFR on top (I had no interest in getting under the cloud layer and being sandwiched between it, and the rising terrain, or ending up in a box canyon).
making sure my blood O2 saturation was still good at altitude
while in our way, the cloud made a nice wave, like surfing inside a crashing wave (this was just as we turned west)
we then got some nice VFR on top all the way back
and by Oakland, we got under the forming overcast that was starting to cover the bay (incidently, not Palo Alto yet)