Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day at the Beach

Husband and I decided after the recent trip to the Outer Banks that another trip to the beach was in order. We'd heard good things about Tangier Island- and at about 1 hour flying time it was perfect for a day trip. The island is tiny- maybe a mile long and 1/2 mile wide. It sits in the middle of the Chesapeake. You can get by boat or by plane only. Most residents (about 700 total) there use bikes or golf carts for transportation. We chose to eat at a family style place that had okay food. After lunch, we rented bikes and explored before chilling on the beach for an hour. The only downside were the mosquitoes! The whole island was soggy and marshlike so they were everywhere. Husband had some many biting his legs that his legs were blood streaked. I got off easier- which is unusual. Usually I'm the magnet. We think it's because Husband buried his legs in sand while we sat in the beach. After escaping the bugs, we flew on across to Accomack, VA. Two stamps in one day!

On the flight home (my first as PIC from the right seat!) Husband took a nap. He woke up as ATC gave us vectors and told to expect new routing. Expecting a diversion or delay, we were thrilled to learn that the change in plans was to send us to the EAST of Dulles! Pull out a Washington sectional. You can see how rare that is just from looking at all the airspace we deal with here. We were routed right over Reston and could clearly see Vienna, Tysons Corner, Wolf Trap, and our neighborhood. I think I actually squealed with delight before forcing voice to a calm and professional level to tell ATC that yes we did see the Southwest jet passing 1500 feet above us. Good times. We ended following that jet and then turning to go right across the final approach for Dulles so we were on a perfect 45 for JYO. I don't know who was working that Sunday afternoon, but I sure wish that controller could know how much he made our day!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Flying to the Beach

Husband and I made a quick trip down to the Outer Banks this weekend. Some friends of ours had a beach in Corolla for the weekend and invited us to join them. We had hoped to get out Friday-- but a combination of factors (me needing more sleep to recover from a cold, Husband having some additional meetings to get through, and then several lines of severe thunderstorms on our route) kept us from getting airborne until Sat morning. We took off (after a few last minute delays) at 6:40am, and touched down in Manteo right at 8:40am. Husband had the leg (I was still feeling the effects of the cold) and did a great job. The FBO there (great folks!) supplied us with a rental car and we were on our way up to Corolla. Expecting a 1.5 hour drive (GoogleMaps), we were pleasantly surprised to be at our friends' place by a little past 10-- even with the obligatory stop for doughnuts and coffee!

The beach was great. Flyer (yes, we took him with us) had a fantastic time. Our friends also have a dog and the two get along great. Plus, we took Flyer out to the beach with us and he lay on the sand with us-- and also chased balls through the waves. By the end of the weekend, he was jumping over the waves and paddling out to get the ball, then riding the waves back in like a true surfer dog. Maybe we should change his name to "Dude".

We had a hard time leaving paradise, but managed to pull ourselves away in time to have a leisurely drive back to the airport, stopping on the way for awesome seafood at Sugar Creek. Yummy. Then we did a little flight-seeing up and down the coast before pointing toward home and calling up ATC for our IFR clearance. Husband had fun poking through the wisps of clouds that floated along our route (I still couldn't kick that cold!).

All of this weekend fun leaves us wanting to do another flying beach trip this summer. Any suggestions out there for a good place to go from the DC area? We loved the atmosphere in Corolla, but could do without the 1-1.5 hour drive after a 2+ hour flight. Write in if you have suggestions of where to fly next.