Yihaaa, so here we are, in the Marina del Rey Hotel and Marina, just off Venice Beach. We’ve slept 9 hours, we’re with Mike and Matt and life could hardly be better! It’s time for a late breakfast and some people watching on the beach, so this will be very short, but Jean will give a blow by blow account of the flight some time later today or tomorrow. (Our hotel actually lists as tourist activities not only various museums and locations, but “People watching” at or near Muscle Beach, presumably a cheap form of entertainment!)
We got out of Honolulu at about 11am local time. Thanks Gene Wilkie and Jim Murphy for all your help, and Read and Jean for your hangar – we’re sorry we didn’t get to meet up again for a proper chat, but we’ll be in touch to discuss your around the world plans. Also Sias Dreyer who, from SA, knew more about the local Maui weather than anyone standing right there on the tarmac!
A short hop to Maui provided good coastal sightseeing and there we “gassed-up” and prepared for the big hop. Thanks Air Services Hawaii. No thanks to the Department of Agriculture for requiring a USD225 inspection for no apparent purpose at all.
The persistent headwind between 10 and 30 knots the entire 3 800 km Maui to California hardly bothered us, but 2 hours out we had near heart failure when we just couldn’t hear anything on the HF loudspeaker or the cheap plastic “headset” we were using and which was actually for checking sound on our movie camera. We took my (Andrea’s) iPod earphones and put them inside our ears, inside our ordinary headsets, then Jean put the iPod earphone up tight against his headset microphone for a temporary fix. Finally, when San Fransisco radio told us, “If you do not have an operational HF and report half-hourly within the next hour you are required to return to Honolulu. Repeat, you are not to continue towards the mainland!” Jean decided that dramatic measures were called for. (Quite how they thought we’d hear that message if we didn’t have an operational HF radio of course wasn’t addressed.)
Anyhow, within minutes Jean had cut the mini-jack plug off our iPod connector wire and gizmo’ed it onto the plug on our spare main headset. Thank god, after some other small changes, that worked perfectly and we were home and dry.
Matt and Mike in Matt’s Christen Eagle and Jim and Ryan (who works for The Airplane Factory USA!) met us in the air over the Santa Maria airport. We flew in in grand style, in formation, over LAX and into Torrance. What an awesome and emotional moment.
So here we are, all set to give LA the full treatment. We’ll let you know how it compares to Joeys as soon as we’re tested it to the full. So far there’re a bunch of people we seem to eat too much and they drive on the wrong side of the road. No doubt there’s a whole lot more though! Photos to follow.
J and J