Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Next Week's Micro Adventure

The Plan

Saturday - Fly ourselves fro Aberdeen to Calais via Wickenby (in Lincolnshire) park up and then tour the Passchendaele and Somme Battlefields before flying to Verdun on Tuesday . Returning to Aberdeen on Wednesday

Watch this space for trip report

ZV back from annual maintenance

I am typing this at Dyce station whilst waiting for the 1210 train back to Insch. Fot those who don't know Dyce serves Aberdeen Airport and I am here as I went down to Dundee this morning to collect ZV and bring her back home after her Annual Maintenence.

Having bought my ticket for Scotrail from Insch to Dundee this morning I was confused to find that a single ticket was only £1 cheaper than a return. I thought this very odd as I would have thought a ticket taking one away from Dundee would be infinately more valuable than on taking you there! (Only joking!)

It was a beautiful morning with hardly a cloud in the sky and the very friendly people at Tayside aviation were extremely helpful even giving me a hand to push ZV off the grass parking area where she had dug herself in a bit. No problems with the pre-flight check other than I managed to split my trousers when climbing down from checking the fuel :-(

After a little bother starting the engine (cold I suspect) we got on our way and took off form runway 27 at 1020 hrs climbing straight ahead until 1500 ft was reached and then turning towards montrose and the coast. The trip itself was pretty uneventful - I faffed with the GPS unit for a bit (its less modern than the 430 in TT) but navigation was visual and easy. Free - calling Aberdeen at Montrose i obtained clearnace to enter the Aberdeen Zone but took my time bringin the speed back to 9 Knots as the controller was busy trying to feed in a lot of commercial and helicopter arrivals and departures. The tactic worked - only 1 orbit of the Radar Head and cleard to land behind an Eastern Jetstream 41. Landed softly at 1105 (wind v light today) and fast taxied along the runway to clear as another commercial aircraft was coming right behind.

Putting the aircraft to bed I was disgusted to find, when opening the plastic box containing her covers, that 2 mice were looking up at me and had chewed massive chunks out of the covers as well used them as a toilet ! Needless to say the coversdidn't go on.

Summary a great little trip ; a little rusty as its been a month since my last flight (mainly due to weather and other commitments (Matthew's Rugby)) but enjoyed myself - now looking forward to Alan and Alex's Jolly Boys trip to France next Saturday again in ZV


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

TGO 2014 Kit List and Musings

Unfortunately Stuart has had to drop out of the Challenge leaving me to complete it on my own. This is a shame but I must say it doesn't cause undue worry as my previous solo crossing was hugely enjoyable and you do get to meet a whole range of like minded people along the way so you are never truly alone. Training for the challenge is as usual in my case pretty much non-existent - I am one of those who reckons that fitness shall come along the way and happy to cut short a day if knackered or to keep going if still fresh even if I have reached the planned end of the day.

Below is my planned kit list. I am not an ultralight fanatic but try to keep my pack under 40 litres if I can. Once my initial food supply is used up I try to buy en-route and this is my strategy once again this year. A lot of highland village shops struggle to make a profit so I like to think that I am helping by emptying their shelves when I travel through - though there is a risk that other challengers get there before me and I don't get a great choice of meal options. We shall see what heppens - Its part of the fun.

Kit List is:
Boots or Shoes - Probably Innov8 Roclite 315s but I might stick with my Alt-Berg Tetheras
socks x2
Base Layer;- Top only
Mid (fleece)
Down Jacket
Waterproof jacket
waterproof trousers - Berghaus with long side ZipGaiters

Maps- These are Print outs of route from Routebuddy; I don't carry full maps - others think this daft but it works for me
Charger - battery powered
Spare AA batteries - Lithium

Dehydrated main meals for 1st 4 days thereafter whatever I can pick up
Stoats Bars for Breakfast
Chocolate for snacks
Powdered Coffee Sachets / Teabags - liberated from Hotels usually

Credit card

Tent - Vango Helium 100
Sleeping bag
Flash boil stove
Titanium Spoon
Water bottle
Head torch
Head over scarf
Toothbrush /paste
Travel Towel
Walking Poles
Bog roll and lighter plus bio degradeable wet wipes
Toilet Trowel