A couple more weeks have passed since I wrote this and despite a lot of dedicated effort I still can’t get out of the doldrums.
“Doldrums” you ask, “How come you ended up there?”
Well, after 6 weeks of excitement, of learning and adventuring in headwinds, crosswinds and tailwinds, the quiet after my last landing certainly felt like entering the famous zone of the calms, this region around the equator – which all sailors hate because
…. No Wind ….
Neither do I nor my beloved Cessna, and with about 5700 miles between her and myself I surely can’t go over quickly and visit her in the hangar, never mind taking her for a couple of patterns around the airport.
Well, if I can’t move, then perhaps thinking about moving might help?
So I started thinking about my next trip.
But after admiring the photos of those beautiful Canyon-airstrips in Utah, Arizona,… I want to get in the cockpit right now and practice short take-offs and shorter landings.
But I can’t!
Back to square one!
This I can’t recommend!
Four more months of waiting!
So let’s backtrack a bit: what did work well on my first trip and what could benefit from inprovement?
Instruments worked well and the iPad with its navigation software was a big help. It even made me quickly re-learn old-style terrestrial navigation when it stubbornly refused to recieve or acquire a GPS-signal for 15 minutes during the first leg of my trip.
Maybe I should check connections and antennae, and while there try out how much space the rear folding seat takes up in case I opted to mount it for my next journey?
Ah, shucks, Whisky Blue is 6000 miles away…
No, I really can’t recommend buying a plane from abroad, a beautiful plane to boot, fly it for 80 hours, live in/with it for 5 weeks and then leave it alone all by itself, a continent away!
Now, how did the sailors eventually get out of the doldrums?
Well, the most cumbersome proposition was physical action: rowing, rowing and more rowing.
More promising, if patience was a well exercised virtue, was to wait for one of the quite powerful thunderstorms in that zone to move either boat or the calms sufficiently so that the sails could catch some of the nearby tradewinds.
Rowing is obviously not a good strategy if the vessel in question is an airplane. Atmospheric forces, like strong gusts of a thunderstorm, appear to be a better bet. Which is to say: forget about acting myself, wait for “external forces” to get something going.
In my case the “external force” was Greg who proposed to do a thorough check-up of Whisky Blue along the lines of a 100 hr inspection. That would assure that the Cessna is in good health for my next adventure.
In the end it took quite some time for him to get around to do it – patience, see above!
Finally, my cell phone suddenly goes ’ping’ yesterday and a photo of my bird pops up, out of its nest in the beautiful light of a late fall day. Greg had gone to work.
It put a big smile on my face – and wind in my sails.
I still can’t recommend buying a plane from abroad, …..
On the other hand: I would do it again in a heartbeat as there is nothing like “… spending a summer crisscrossing the US in an old taildragger.”
Let’s get out of the doldrums.