Archive for December, 2006

Baja, Mexico Vacation – Christmas 2006

Friday, December 29th, 2006

Fun and memorable vacation, 8 days in three very different locations in Baja Mexico, with good friends C&B. Warm-to-hot windy days, cool evenings made a very nice combination for the adventures expertly assembled for us by Black Sheep Adventures and our Chief Shepherd Fred, who accompanied and lead us on this great experience.

Kayaking, snorkeling amongst sea lions, hiking and horseback riding were interrupted only by magical authentic Mexican meals in such unique local restaurants as Nancy’s, Corral Reef and Tequila. We met wonderful people, both Mexican and gringo’s, and all were welcoming and helpful.
Our stays included Los Bariles, Cabo Pulmo and the town of San Jose.
Christmas day in the heat of Mexico, a 6-mile tough mountain hike and then retiring to our quaint Palapa’s in Cabo Pulma was very special.

Full set of photo’s here

Thanks to Fred Ackerman, owner of Black Sheep Adventures and our tour guide for the whole 8 days. Great job Fred! I’m not sure it could have been better.

Baja AAA-17 Baja CC-92 Baja B-9 Baja G-34 Baja C-23 Baja C-55 Baja F-52 Baja D-51

Discovery over Delaware

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

I’ve been watching NASA TV and following along with this mission since the day of the launch. I forgot to mention here, but a friend and I were lucky enough to catch sight of Discovery on the night it launched. (From Delaware!)
There in the Eastern sky, at exactly the time and position NASA said she would be, we saw the orange glow streaking across the sky. By the time I made the 10 minute drive home from our viewing point and checked on the shuttles location on NASA TV, she was over Africa. Incredible!

I vow to go see a launch before the current Shuttle is mothballed for good.

Having watched so much NASA TV, I’ve come to be able to recognize the various crew members voices, as well as whoever happens to be running the CAPCOM at the current time. It’s been such a pleasure to watch, and I learned more about the mission and the space program in the past 2 weeks than I have any time before it.

Here’s to happy landings and blue skies, Discovery!

More of Neil’s Aviation Blogs here including Flight Training, NASA, Aviation misc………

Broken Birds

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

My only flying of the weekend took place on Sunday morning. My Dad had suggested to a few friends that we get together and fly out for breakfast since the weather would be unusually good for the time of year. We easily fit 4 folks in the SR-22, and our friend flew another in his beautiful Cessna 170. Destination: KGED, Sussex County airport.
the only note to an uneventful flight down state was the occasional flocks of Snow Geese we could see from the air. They swirl around and move together as one above the fields in lower DE, and the whole thing looks alien when viewed from an airplane. Quite a sight.

KGED seemed a little quiet given the good weather, but the breakfast buffet was in full swing, and the few folks that had made the trip were enjoying pancakes, sausages and bacon. I’ll definetly be going back for breakfast. A nice, clean restaurant with pleasant staff, good food, and fair prices, and that ever impotant view of the runway.

As we made our way back north towards home, we passed over Dover Air Force Base. You may recall that this summer, DAFB made national headlines when one of it’s monster C-5’s came up short of a runway and broke into 3 seperate pieces. Well, that C-5 is still sitting there at the end of the runway, looking alot like it does in this picture. I assume it was left during the investigation, but even after, moving such a behemoth aircraft will be a chore.

An animation was released showing cockpit intrumentation and animation of the C-5 before it found the dirt.

**- As The IFR Pilot pointed out, the YouTube link was yanked. So, ignore that one and see the C-5 animation, here.

Where’s Alan? – Iceland

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

Alan’s photo’s from his December vacation in Iceland

Alan Hot Pool

New York at Christmas

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

New York, always a unique and fun place, is especially so at Christmas. Spirits are lightened (and flowing!), hearts are warm(er), the pace slows – just a little. There’s the sence that things are closing – ‘the books’, the year, the season. The feeling is one of relief plus the inevitable question – where did that year go?

The city celebrates through its buildings, with skyscraper tops painted in red and green lighting, snowflakes are projected across the Rockefeller Center and, at every opportunity, lights of all kinds bring the seasons shapes and symbols to life.

I was in the city the night ‘the tree’ was switched-on. Just three blocks from my hotel the Rockefeller Christmas Tree switch was thrown by the mayor, Lionel Ritchie and Alec Baldwin (don’t ask!), and the tree’s 30,00 lights were illuminated. I didn’t see the ceremony, the crowds were enormous and streaming by the hotel entrance, enough to make me keep my distance. Kids were in abundance, enjoying a night-in-the-city. NYPD were everywhere, but it was nice evening and the festive season prevailed.

Wall Street and the NY Stock Exchange joins the party with its own tree, though not as prestigious nor the quality of the Rock Center.

IMG_2750 IMG_2757 IMG_2752 Balls to Radio City Rockefeller Center IMG_2805

I like NY, it knows how to enjoy!