Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The End is Here--December 28, 2009

Woke up at 7:45.  I was pretty nervous because I was expecting to be tired again.  I don't like that!!!  But surprisingly enough, I was good that first hour after waking.  Hmm.  I wasn't completely convinced, but at least I didn't have to lube up on coffee.

Headed for the skies.  I flew up to Palm Beach where I was met with broken clouds at 2300 feet.  Broken on the ATIS anyway.  It looked like overcast.  Oh boy.  I flew over to the western flight plans.  I found myself between a layer above me (about 500 feet higher) and a layer below me.  I headed back for the airport even as Matt was flying out to the plans.  As I was coming upon my downwind, Matt said he could probably stay out there and do some of a flight plan.  Ok, I said.  That was fine.  I had just been out there and was pretty sure he wouldn't last long.

I landed and grabbed some coffee with Jeremy's breakfast...he was waiting on his flat tire to be fixed.

After 30 minutes of not seeing Matt, I figured I had better go back up.  The skies were clearing here, too.

So I headed back out there.  And sure enough, the flight plans were doable.  Mostly.  The fields were burning again, so we had to dodge the smoke, but after going back and forth to the two flight plans, I was able to finish both.  But not before one of the worst fights I have had against my bladder.  I was losing miserably.  And I was in a Catch-22.  I had a little bit of V-8 left.  And I needed the bottle.  So I had to DRINK the V-8 in order to get an empty bottle to pee in.  How unfair is that?!  And so I had my first pee at altitude this season.  And it was a LONG one.  The pee, silly.  Well, that, too...but...anyway!  I flew with my feet as I let the liquids flow.  Oh sweet mother, how good that felt.

Moving on!  Matt finished his project, too.  Palm Beach was getting better, too.  I headed up there to check it out...and landed at North Palm Beach County to grab some fuel.  We were going to finish this project!!!!!!  C'mon, c'mon!

I headed back up.  Matt was on his way over from Pahokee where he landed for fuel.  I only had 8 lines to do, Matt had 7.  We should be done in an hour or so.  Perfect.  I started doing my lines...talking with Approach.  ha!  And yes, I was getting into their approach end again!  Oh well.  Deal with it!

I had let Approach know exactly when I was getting out of there.  Just six more lines, I said!  Perfect.

Almost.  Never, ever plan on anything with this company.  Ever.  <sigh>

Just one line into this flight plan, Matt had computer problems.  He could not continue.  Crap.  We were going to finish this project!!!  I needed him!  GRRRRRR!!!

Well, I finished my project, then told Approach I would have to finish his, too.  It was going to be close.

I started on line 6 of 12.  Easy enough. I finished my last line, then told Approach thanks, and headed for Ft. Lauderdale.  But as is habit, I checked my lines.  Hmm.  Why was there still a line 12 left?  I cycled through the lines.  No, no, NO!!!  I had completely missed a line!  GRR!!!  For whatever reason, I had thought I only needed to do six lines.  Since I started on line 6 of 12, my mind told me I only had to do 6.  But I didn't include Line 6!  I needed to do 7 lines!!!  I quickly called Approach, and embarrassingly requested to come back.  I was only a couple of miles away, but we were all looking forward to getting me out of there!!!  I was right in the departure end now!!!  Jets were taking off, being given 4000 feet to level off...because of me!  I had a handful of departures to watch for.  But I HAD to finish this.  Man oh man!  How could I have missed that?!

Well, the request was granted.  Thankfully.  I finished the last line.  The very last line.  Matt and I were finally done with the project.  It took  us 2 1/2 weeks.  Yikes!!!  But we were done.  Finally.

Landed back at Ft. Lauderdale.  I was fighting ANOTHER vicious pee attack.  I simply couldn't make it.  There, on the busy ramp, I hit behind the door and let the deluge flow into the bottle again.  These pees were monstrous, too.  Not sure what was going on there.  I had literally filled up my 2-quart bottle to half-full.  A whopping quart in just six hours.  It was nothing short of painful.  But seriously, each pee was sooooooooooooo long!  haha.  I had to quickly hurry up as the fuel guy came to fill my plane up!  oops!

I then headed back to the hotel.  I had flown 6.1 hours...the most since I had been in Ft. Lauderdale.

Matt and I learned that we were heading up to the Cape Canaveral area the next day for our next project.  We were both kind of eager to get out of Florida...the flying is just...different.  But, oh well, we'll take what we can get.  We went through the ridicuous process of finding a rental car (expensive!!!), an airport, and a hotel.  I really, really hate this part of the job.  We settled on Titusville, FL.  The car was expensive ($350/week), as we were now paying $142/week to put that into comparison, but we had to have it.

I called up Sandy, told her I would be heading out.  But I let her know I wanted to see her before I left.  I ended up driving to her house to say good-bye.  It was so good to see her.  And she had a little bit of a surprise for me, too.  She let me ride her motorcycle!!!  With her on it, of course!  I would have it no other way!!!  We went about 25 miles...not goin' to lie, it was pretty chilly, but definitely worth it.  We stopped at a park, walked around for a bit, then came back.  Thank you, Sandy!!!  I had a blast.

We came back to her house and just hung out for a bit.  She had mentioned watching a movie, but I told her I was not at all interested.  I wanted to enjoy time with HER instead!!!  I stayed with her for a couple more hours.  We snuggled...I'm goin' to miss that!!!  We may have kissed, too.  hehe.

I ended up leaving there at 2:00 A.M.  I think?  Later than I had wanted, but it was definitely good to see her before I left.  I definitely wanted that.

Went to bed at 2:30 A.M.

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