Adam Z and his lovely wife Tam invited us to join them on a day trip to either Cape May, NJ or Lewes, DE. It was decided to make a run to Lazy Susan's for crabs then walk off lunch with some shopping in Lewes. The wx was looking good, Mary and I were up early and ready to go. We made our way to the airport and like two teenagers on a first time date, we were anxious to spend the day together and have some fun.
We were soon climbing out of Wilmington for three thousand five hundred feet, looking for some cooler temps. I think it was 75ish at cruise altitude and the vents were wide open blowing air everywhere. As we crossed the C&D canal I requested flight following from Dover Approach. It was a smooth flight with multiple call outs for traffic. We had a Cirrus at our altitude on our six closing and they reported us in sight. Shortly after they had contact I had a visual on them swinging wide to our nine o'clock and passing us by. They descended for clouds and we followed suit soon after. We were both headed to Georgetown, Sussex County. The Cirrus was turning base to final as I crossed midfield to enter the same left down wind.
Georgetown Air Services marshaled us to parking and remembered from yesterdays flight that I would be there for the afternoon. Mary and I secured the courtesy car as Adam and Tam landed. Adam stood on the wing, arms extended and announced he had to unload Tam's baggage for the afternoon of fun....always the funny guy.
I had the car running with the AC cranked up so it was nice and cool when everyone piled in. We were headed for lunch at Lazy Susan's. I could not pass the stinky farm with great ice cream without asking my Bride if we should stop. Her volume control went on high and she threatened to slap me if I even gave it a second thought. We explained the story to Adam and Tam so Adam opened the window to confirm, it was to early and not hot enough to generate the pig/cow odors.
Adam Z enjoying the Crabs
Lazy Susan's opened at noon and we were ten minutes early, no crowd to deal with. Mary and I split a half dozen of crabs along with a bucket of clams for the four of us. Adam had a half dozen crabs and Tam had clam strips. The food was good although the jumbo no. 1's would have been better. We filled our tummy's and passed on dessert. After lunch we washed up as best we could and loaded back up for the short hop to the shopping, located on Second Street.
Adam and Tam were looking for the Hotel Rodney as a follow up on a brochure they had received. We all walked through the place checking out the various dated photos and furnishings. Mary and Tam walked into the adjoining shops while Adam and I walked across the street to check out Saint Peter's Episcopal Church founded in 1681. As you walk towards the church you pass through the historic Churchyard cemetery. A few of the notables buried there are Captain Henry F. McCracken, pilot of the Delaware Bay and River. He requested that his anchor be buried with him in 1868 and the fluke may be seen protruding from the ground. I should have taken a picture but I didn't. We did however see the part of the anchor sticking out of the ground. One of the other interesting graves is that of Captain James Drew of the H.M.S DeBraak. This was the English ship which foundered on the Capes at the Delaware Bay and from which coins are occasionally washed up after a storm. A leather covered trunk, used as a buoy by three Spanish prisoners, is on exhibit in the Zwaanendael Museum. The stone vase on top of the tomb is reputed to have been sent by Queen Ann.
The four of us wandered in and out of shops with a last stop at the north end of the street at one of my favorites, Kings Ice Cream. Mary had butter brickle, I had banana and Adam had pineapple frozen yogurt. Tam said she had a bit of sore throat and passed on the treat. The walk to the car was short, as we crossed the street and walked alongside the church. I was once again given grief on my park job which left minimum room to the curb and required Adam to wiggle in since his door was right next to a light pole. Careful planning? No, just dumb luck on my part.
We returned the courtesy car with a full tank even though we took it out on the 3/4 mark. It's always nice to give a little back so the car is around the next time you need it. Adam and I took a look at the wx to the north on the computer located in the pilots/wx briefing room. Conditions were looking VFR all the way home with some activity to our south, we were both ready to go. We said our goodbyes and headed out on the ramp. I was good to go for fuel but Adam wanted to take on a few gallons for the return home leg. Mary was really tired and I was starting to feel the heat. I completed my pre-flight then removed the Kenyon sun shields with little time between removal and start up. The Sundowner has a strong blower motor that really moves the air inside the cabin, any movement is a help until the big fan gets turning.
We taxied out and launched for home. The Sundowner climbed at a good rate and we saw Adam and Tam wave from the ramp. I gave the wings a good wig wag in response and flew the left traffic pattern. I was climbing out departing the area on the base leg looking north into all the haze. I picked up with Dover Approach for flight following and settled in for the thirty minute hop home. I heard an aircraft ask to say hello to 08Romeo which caught me off guard. I did not recognize the tail end of the call or the voice. Dover handed the aircraft off to Philly and then the light came on! Malibu xxxCharlie Mike, that's Andrew, formerly of Wings, KLOM, now based in New Jersey. I sent Andrew a PM on Pilots of America just to let him know I did eventually "get it".
When Dover dropped us I contacted Wilmington and reported a right down wind for runway one four as directed. A smooth landing and taxi to Red Eagle brought our fun day to a close. I really really needed a fun flight, no foggles, no approach plates, just soaking up the view and getting my brain back on track.
Thanks Adam and Tam!!!! We had a blast!! Looking forward to the next day trip!