Mike's Log

99-08-04

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Mike's Pilot Log: South to South Adventure

Looked like we had a break at last

Woke at 5 am. Called the North Bay weather. Still not too good. Bad to the north, clear outside, a bit windy. Went back to bed. Up again at 7:30 Checked weather. Seemed better.

Looked like we had a break at last and a window to get to Broughton. I wanted us to try and get ready quickly, not like we sometimes do and take 3 hours.

Took off at 10:30 am. Had a great tailwind all day. At first few clouds, we flew under them a bit turbulent. Climbed above the clouds and later as we crossed the bay approaching Pangnirtung, the cloud cover was almost complete. The bay, Cumberland Sound, was open, the wind on the water very strong, the waves were huge breaking swells. Passed Pangnirtung and was glad that we didn't need to land there the wind was strong and the airport was in a fjord so I am sure the turbulence would've been severe.

We couldn't see Penny Icecap because of the cloud cover. We eventually flew along at 9500 ft to stay above the clouds. Nearing Broughton the clouds opened up and the most amazing sight unfolded before us. The snow capped mountains, the huge glaciers in the valleys, the one valley with 5 glaciers entering it and forming one enormous glacier. Blue and green almost fluorescent lakes everywhere. Dark, fast-flowing rivers. Black mountain peaks sticking out of the clouds to the south. Lots of snow everywhere. One place at the top of a vertical cliff the ice and snow was at least 300 ft thick. Blue, blue sky. I am still amazed by my vision in this completely clear cold air. I could see Broughton from 100 km away and it looked like it was just 30 km away.

At Broughton Island the wind was 7 knots and little turbulence. Very cold. 2 degrees C. There was a small Inuiq settlement of about 400 people. We bought fuel and had a steak at the hotel. The not too hospitable airport manager wouldn't let us stay in the airport building. The cocky airport maintenance manager wouldn't let us put the tent up next to our aircraft - we had to move it to the other side of the fence, 3 metres away! This man was the first person to actually shout at us since we started our trip. We have had a few that would've liked to murder us, but they never shouted!

My rectifier regulator stopped charging today. The battery was nearly flat. That's the third rectifier to go on me. I fitted the old one again it at least kept charging, although too much. In the cold I also couldn't start my engine. I took the prop off. Both our props off waiting for the morning. Olivier fitted a camera to his wingtip.

There were lots of ice floes in the bay around the airport. Some really big icebergs in the bay.

I had to put some clothing on in my sleeping bag to stay warm. Was asleep by 10 pm. Still light outside.

 

 


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