Mike's Log

99-07-24

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Mike's Pilot Log: South to South Adventure

In my left top pocket is the IPERB (emergency location beacon).

I still felt tired after an 8 hour sleep. It's interesting that over the last two weeks both Olivier and I have been really tired after each flight that we have undertaken. It is probably the cold. I looked out of the window and was surprised to see a completely open blue sky and it seemed like there was absolutely no wind.

I wandered into the lounge to find Adamee up and watching television. I phoned Cam who had invited us for breakfast . which turned out to be a brunch. He collected us - and later two other pilots ... Sam, a famous Inuit sculptor, and Pat joined us. At the breakfast Cam gave us the Rotax oil pressure relief springs which Niren and Mike Walker had organised for us and the survival radar-reflecting kites which Chris Haarhoff, an old friend, had sent to us before the big crossing. Thanks guys.

Later Sam drove us around town looking for more warm flying gear for Olivier. Iqaluit was just like a frontier town as I would picture it dusty roads, lots of trucks, lots of busy people and an air of expectation and adventure.

On the last flight we had gone up to 10,500 ft at one stage and the temperature there was minus 8 degrees C without taking the wind chill factor into account. I had not really suffered from the cold too much because of the protection that the fairing offers me. At the Arctic Survival store we bought Olivier some inner boot soles and, for both of us a whole lot of the little warmer chemical packets that stay warm for seven hours after they have been broken and mulched around a bit.

There are so many things that we have to deal with in our flights already without freezing half to death, so keeping warm and comfortable is a priority. This is what my very warm gear consists of:

1 Long thermal underwear

2 Normal clothes over that shirt, jeans etc

3 Thin cotton socks with thick thermal socks over them

4 North Face fleece jacket, then North Face Alpine pants and jacket

5 Mustang Survival and floatation suit with my passports and the last of the money in one pocket and flares and chocolate bars in the other.

6 Rubber boots with thick thermal linings inside

7 Cotton gloves with North Face wind resisting gloves over and thick BMW motorbike gloves over both.

8 fleece neck sock, then a woollen scarf and a balaclava on my head.

9 For water crossings, the life raft attached to one leg and a water bottle to the other.

10 In my left top pocket is the IPERB (emergency location beacon)

11 In my right top pocket (in a plastic bag) is the Icom A4 radio.

12 Finally I try to put my full-face BMW helmet on my head.

The next trick is getting into my trike and putting my 4-point seat belt on. I am usually sweating profusely by the time we are ready to take off. I know what the Michelin Man must feel like.

In the afternoon I checked my e-mail hoping to see good news about the insurance and permissions for crossing Greenland and the Faeroe Islands. Bad news, the broker in London was trying to sell us more insurance than we needed. I will do some phoning on Monday. Luckily, we are now in a place where there are phones. BaseOps, the UK based organisation who are doing such a great job for us getting our permissions, are also trying to get us insurance. I will have to live on the phone a bit on Monday morning.


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