Monday, December 14, 2009
Work and Play...--December 14, 2009
Woke up at 7:30. Grabbed some breakfast, headed for the airport.
Clouds were already everywhere. A storm was moving in from the coast. But we decided to go scout anyway. I took off from Runway 8, and off to my left a few miles away was a fairly structured storm. It had the nice round shape of the wall cloud (rather weak), and a shaft of rain was attached to the ground. It was pouring just a few miles from me! ha! So neat to watch.
I headed out west for my flight plan. I was able to do a couple of lines, but a few low clouds were north of me. Grr. And I was having to turn RIGHT at the storm which had continued to move west. I actually flew OVER it! It was pretty neat...the storm was rather weak obviously. At 4500 feet, I was over the top of the clouds (in my area anyway)! But it was still neat to see the dark grey below me...and the taller clouds south of me all along the line. But what was crazy was that on the other side of that very thin line, it was CLEAR!!! I could see the city buildings 30 miles away...and it was clear!!!
I continued my flight plan, but on line 3 clouds were in my way. Grr. I had to quit that plan. I moved to the northeast where Kenton was. I had nothing but clouds and smoke on the way. Hundreds of clouds had now formed. I radioed to Kenton that I felt like I was coming into a warzone. The black smoke was all around...it looked like someone had just had a bombing run before I got there. (In a neat weather visual, the smoke had make clouds right above it! The heat had pushed up the moisture to the saturation point...so neat!).
Since I couldn't do anything there, I started heading back. I had to drop down to 1000 feet, though, to get below the clouds and the still-existing wall of clouds from the storm. I passed by the large wall of cloud...and VOILA!!! It was mostly clear on the other side!!! I could see Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, all the other buildings around. Crazy!
I popped back up to 4500 feet and started mapping. No problem!
I was able to fly a couple of hours...over half of Ft. Lauderdale...then over Pompano Beach. These cities are so compacted! No wonder there is so much traffic down there! I was talking with Approach, and good thing, too...there was sooooooo much traffic out there. I had not been talking to them for the first half hour, and I saw way too many airplanes for comfort.
I finished a plan, then moved to one which put me out over the ocean for 1.5 miles before I turned. What a sight. I was just ecstatic...in awe. The blues of the ocean...wow! I am getting paid to do this?! Unbelievable.
Clouds started popping up, though, so I had to call it a day. I headed back into Ft. Lauderdale Executive, landing at 11:35. Two of the guys had landed a couple of hours earlier...and had been sitting since. Crap. This is not good for paperwork. I'm not sure why we couldn't find them on the radios or why they landed so early, but this is going to make us all look bad. Four planes in the same city, and yet two of them have three times as much time. Sounds fishy.
Sure enough, the boss called me tonight, and I had to explain the crazy day (storm, different parts of the project, and the fact that the frequency the guys chose yesterday was NOT the frequency they were on today). I don't always get it, but it was just awkward not having them up here. I KNEW this phone call was going to come tonight. I hate that.
The rest of the day was good. Went swimming a couple of times, enjoyed the hot tub, just sat out in the sun. It's more like a vacation than a work gig. I'm enjoyin' it. I also talked to my friend tonight...and she is coming!!! She's letting her dad know on Wednesday. This ought to be interesting!!! I am so going to not be on his good side. Not that I am anywhere close to that anyway. ha!
Spent an hour or two working on finances, too. Big credit card bill, lots of money owed me, and I am just eager to start investing in some more stuff!!! Whether stocks or a house...I'm not sure yet! Did some house-shopping, too. So expensive, these suckers!
All in all, a pretty nice day. I flew 2.5 hours, and I had nothing but time to enjoy my vacation. This is crazy!
Went to bed at midnight.
Tomorrow's forecast? Few at 2500 at 9:00. Surprise, surprise.
Oh, and I found my camera today! It had been MIA for a few days.