On a quiet Sunday morning in June, I picked up coffee & patisserie in Fairfield and flew up to Great Barrington to just kick back on the grass and watch airplanes for an hour. It was a nice sunny day, but with a little breeze and not to hot—perfect weather for relaxing.
In late June, Michiko and I flew up to Wiscasset to meet up with Dan and Gloria and their friends Cara and Dan for a mini-adventure day. We started off with lobster rolls at Red’s Eats, plus the requisite fried mushrooms. Then we headed down the road to an adventure ropes/zipline course called Monkey C Monkey Do. Some of ziplining wasn’t too bad, but the ropes part had some moments of heart-pounding unease for me. We were obviously well harnessed (actually double attachments to the wire), but that didn’t mean I wasn’t afraid of plummetting to the ground far below. I wore the GoPro on a chest harness, so I don’t think it captures most of the excitement but check back later and I’ll link a few video clips, including showing me clinging like a baby to some of the obstacles. Eventually we made it to the highest/longest zipline which was almost a relief. For some reason the zip line didn’t bother me nearly as much as the ropes course climbing. At the end of the day, it was a nice flight home, Dan & his crew paralleling us for a while and then easing past us to head back to NJ.
On July 4th weekend, I took the Friday off and went out to spend 3 hours washing the airplane.
The next day, Michiko and I went out to Block Island for a quick lunch and walk about town. We were surprised at how utterly overrun the town was with people—generally we only go into town on the shoulder season—it was a zoo!
The next weekend, we met up with Dan for his birthday, doing an instrument flight out to Montauk. While it was nice VFR weather in Bridgeport, as soon as we hit the north shore of Long Island, we entered into cloud and were in the soup while heard Dan cleared for the GPS 6 approach into Montauk. A few minutes later, we were cleared for the same approach and we broke out of the clouds at about 1100’. It was my first time into Montauk—we came in over the cove and marina and touched down and then taxied back to parking. The folks working the airport were kind enough to give us (and all our beach stuff) a ride out to the departure end of the runway where we climbed a large dune to get to the beach on the other side.
As it was a solidly gloomy day, we came over the dune to find that there were only a handful of pickup trucks/RV campers spread along the beach, so we found a nice spot and set up chairs and blankets. Eventually the sun burned off most of the clouds and it started to get warmer, but the water was nice and chilly (cold enough only to wade in a little bit). I got to have fun walking the beach and playing with my godson Aidan and his sister Sofia.
Coming out of Montauk, I launched VFR but the way to the north was blocked with a fog bank, so I circled a bit before I could pick up my IFR clearance back to Bridgeport. As we got halfway over Long Island Sound towards Groton, the skies cleared up a lot and we had a smooth ride home.
Most of the rest of the summer was a little quiet for flying. I had new BAS inertial reel shoulder harnesses and seatbelts put in to the pilot and co-pilot seats. Now, instead of just a lap and single shoulder strap, I’ve got a 4-point harness system which adds a nice little safety factor, but lets me still lean forward to get to switches, etc.
Having put about 35 hours on the airplane in short order, I also had an oil change done. And now, since August, I’m still waiting for the avionics folks to install a small instrument installed on the panel that allows me to set a pre-selected altitude for the autopilot. (So when Bridgeport clears me to climb to 2,000 feet, I can select that altitude and, when the autopilot is on, the autopilot will climb to that altitude and automatically level off. It will also warn me as I approach my designated altitude. Not a must-have feature, but a nice-to-have.)