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Mike's Pilot Log: South to South Adventure

Somehow the flying seemed so easy after the last few weeks...

We were able to get onto the Internet at Ian's house after a good English breakfast. Back to the airport where we removed the auxiliary tanks that Bryce had given us and disconnected all the extra fuel hose that we had fitted for the long flights over the sea. I put less clothing on and for the first time in a while I was able to turn around and see the engine.

After filling up with Avgas, signing a few customs forms and saying our goodbyes, we were on our way again. Somehow the flying seemed so easy after the last few weeks' stressful flying. Ahead of us lay 30 km of sea to the Isle of Skye we no longer worried too much about taking a swim. At the Isle of Skye, we kept along the east coast to avoid the mechanical turbulence that would be on the west coast. We were just descending down to the height of the cliffs when two Tornado fighter jets streaked past us probably about 1 km in front of us, but still, at the speed they were doing, I'm sure they wouldn't see us until we were actually in their cockpit! We dived to below the height of the cliffs and stayed there until we were well away from the restricted area.

It was a beautiful day, the sun shining brightly, a decent tailwind and the north Atlantic behind us! The Scottish coast and Islands were very beautiful, the new and different countryside was refreshing to see and enjoyable.

After flying for about three and a half hours, we landed on a small island called Gigha for a quick break and to check the map for an overnight spot. We decided to go on to Campbeltown, which was half an hours flying. Before we got away, we had to pay a landing fee of 10 Pounds. It was going to take some getting used to the prices in England I say old chap, isn't that a bit expensive! Olivier took off ahead of me and when I arrived at Campbeltown airfield, I was horrified to find myself flying over a huge military base. No one shot at me. I couldn't see Olivier anywhere, or raise him on the radio. On looking at the base more carefully, which I was trying to get away from as fast as possible, I realised that it was completely abandoned. After a while Olivier called me on the radio and we quite quickly found each other in the air. On looking around, we decided to try and find a field near to Campbeltown, where we would be able to get food and beers and some fuel.

We selected a field on the top of a hill overlooking Campbeltown and the harbour and within easy walking distance of the town and landed. The wind was very quiet, so we just tied up the wings and wandered into town where we had some curry and a few beers. In the Indian restaurant, we met an Italian couple, Bicci and Gloria, who were touring through Scotland and Ireland on their BMW R 1100 GS motorbike. After an enjoyable evening, Bicci gave us a lift back to our trikes on top of the hill. We arranged to meet in the morning for coffee and a flight. We didn't put the tent up, although it was cold, and slept in the open for the first time in more than a month.


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