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Mike's Pilot Log: South to South Adventure

We are now into the Eastern Time Zone

We were up with the sun. We are now into the Eastern Time Zone and so the now the sun comes up at 7am. Yesterday it rose at 6 am!

After coffee we were on our way. After an hour I noticed that the volts had increased to 16. What was going on? I checked the voltage on the GPS and sure enough it was up at 15.9 volts. I worried about the battery heating up and getting damaged. The weather was not too marvellous, so we landed at Live Oak airport. Luckily Olivier had a spare rectifier regulator, which I quickly fitted. After checking the weather and having some coffee, we flew further eastwards, heading to the north of Jacksonville and the Atlantic coast.

Our next stop was for food. In the US, I am as happy as Olivier to stop for a quick cup of coffee and a rest. Here there is no real worry about being mobbed or getting something stolen. We landed at Jekyll Island. On the map it looked small and would probably suit our needs … but this airport was quite far from town and there was no courtesy car. We were just about to put our flight suits on again so that we could fly to the next airport about 10 km away, when I heard a man say " here is the new civil aviation inspector!" I turned around and there stood a well-rounded man with his dog on a leash. He asked us where we thought we were going and I told him. After consulting with his dog he persuaded us to say by offering to clean out his car and take us to a restaurant. I have never in my life seen so much rubbish in a car. The only large item that he couldn't fit into the boot was a large melon and a rake. Olivier sat in the front with the dog half on his lap and half on Robert Wiener's lap. He was a most entertaining and charming man… a real character. He was originally from New York. He recited a poem to us that he had written about his dog and then proceeded to tell us about how he sued his neighbour, what he did for a living, how he fell in a hole a few days before, and that he had left all his money to a judge friend who promised to take care of his dog. He told us all about New York and made us promise to stay away from the diseased and murderous women who live there. It was a great stop, although quite short. When we were about to leave, he asked the few onlookers to stand back so that the pilot could come through – not me, the dog! My helmet wouldn't fit the dog, so I got the job back.

More to follow…… as soon as I have time.

When we returned to the airport there was a huge storm just to the south-west, and it was moving rapidly in our direction. We took off just ahead of the storm, hitting some severe turbulence for the first few minutes. After ten minutes we could relax as we slowly watched the black clouds move behind us.

We settled down to the next few hundred Km down the beach. It was quite cloudy, but there was no real threat of rain or a storm. Our next stop was at Hilton Head. As soon as we taxied to the parking area we realised our mistake. This was an airfield for the rich and famous. Apparently Bill Clinton plays golf here. There were lots of medium sized aircraft parked in the tie down areas, including about five private jets. The fuelling lady confirmed that we would not be able to sleep on the airfield and there was no reasonably priced accommodation nearby. Only expensive accommodation!

I went to look at the weather radar and reported that the big black clouds nearby had lots of rain in them. We removed the wings and put covers over everything. Olivier pitched the tent in the trees nearby and moved his kit under cover. We wanted to get to a smaller airfield about 20 km away, but another storm hit us and we ran for shelter in the airport services building where we remained for the rest of the afternoon. We borrowed one of the office ladies' car and bought fuel and food. Olivier slept the night in the tent and I took the couch in the fuelling line crew room.



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