The wx forecast was looking great, not a cloud in the sky and temps in the high seventies. It was decided that we would head to Ocean City, MD. for a day on the beach. Mary and I both were lazy this week and saved cleaning until Friday night. We went out to dinner with my brother and his wife to a place called Lemons & Capers. Great dinner (Chicken Picatta for me)and we all passed on dessert. Mary and I came home with full tummies and knocked out most of the cleaning, the price we pay to have the weekends free for fun and travel.
I updated my flight plans and did file for each leg of the trip. We were out of the house and on the way to the plane by 9:30ish. I had already called for fuel when I got up. I like the fuel to have time to settle out prior to my sump test. It's sort of like no going in the water after you eat when we were kids. I don't know, for some reason that popped into my head so I typed it out, it's late. The plan was to head southwest to KCGE-Cambridge-Dorchester Airport in Cambridge, Maryland for breakfast at Kays.
We launched out of Wilmington as per our clearance and contacted Philly. Philly bumped us up to six thousand and handed us off to Dover. The visibility was perfect and the ride was smooth. I am still working out what "works' for me in the cockpit when flying IFR. I can't get used to the knee board with all the pockets, it drives me nuts. Instead, I have been working with a spiral bound book I purchased that organizes the trip with all the approach plates. The charts are located securely between the back seats and in easy reach, as I would soon get to test. My plan was KILG ENO GARED KCGE, Dover gave me "direct CHOPS" as I was crossing the Smyrna VOR (ENO). I should have added the new intersection in my flight plan but I wanted to get turned on course and hit 'direct to' instead. No problems, dial it in hit enter and go. Once on course I went to the flight plan screen and made the entry along with activating the leg. What I wanted to do was find where in the heck CHOPS was located. By the looks of my flight path it too was on V16 just a bit north of GARED. I did not have my low enroute chart open and I grabbed the wrong chart the first time. I had to refold, reach for the correct chart and open it up. Ahhh...CHOPS is on V16 and where I thought. Lesson learned, keep the active chart open/folded to your flight plan and keep it handy.
Traffic around Cambridge was very busy. I crossed the field on the crosswind a thousand above pattern and extend out far enough to turn back in for a forty five entry and work into the spacing/landing sequence with the other traffic. A smooth landing even if it was a tad flat and a long roll out to the turn off for the taxiway. Mary and I secured the plane and headed inside. The place was packed but we did manage a seat by the windows. I had creamed chipped beef and my Bride had sausage gravy over biscuits. I had a mason jar size sweet tea and Mary had a large cup of coffee. We settled up the bill and headed back to 08Romeo. Mary had her bathing suit on with a dress over top, a sun dress I guess, can you tell I'm not the fashion king. Anywho, she situated herself on the wing and I got to take a few pictures, she was ready for the beach!
I got us started and taxied out to complete my run up. This was a short hop and I decided not to file for the thirty minute hop. We launched and flew the pattern departing to the east ducking under the restricted area R4006 that had a floor of 3,500. It was bumpy, but we raced along route 50 passing Salisbury (KSBY). I used the 496 to bring up SBY's communication info and called up the tower to request a transition through their airspace, now at about 3000 feet. I was cleared and given the Altimeter reading. We could see Ocean City in the distance as I switched frequencies to monitor traffic. Runway three two seemed to be the runway of choice today and I once again worked my way into the pattern working the radio and spotting traffic. Another nice landing and roll out to clear the runway, we were looking for parking. I found a spot right in front of the terminal, just the second tie down from the main doors.
We checked in and I ordered fuel for our flight home. Mary and I walked out the doors with beach chairs in hand and loaded into the taxi that was waiting. It was a short hop to the boardwalk but traffic was pretty busy. It was Delmarva bike week, motorcycles everywhere! It sounded like thunder as we rode along route 50 to the boards. Once at the boards it was just a short stroll to the beach. The sand was actually cool between the toes and the breeze was really pretty cool too, almost a chill. We staked out our spot and set up camp. I set up the umbrella, chairs and stored or small soft sided cooler pack along with the bag for towels, books, iPods and munchies. Mary checked out the water, I took a pass. She greased up for the tan and I stuck out my white sticks far enough for sun to help color my blinding legs.
It was very relaxing with our toes in the sand, Mary and I really enjoyed the quiet time together. The tide started pushing the waves close and we had to relocate one time. I didn't set up the umbrella this go round since the breeze had really picked up and I was trying to warm up in the sun. We decided it was time to head back to the airport now that it was passing by 3:45. Delmarva taxi was there to meet us at the boardwalk arch as agreed to when I called. We loaded up and climbed aboard for the ride back to 08Romeo. Once again we tried to check out all the bikes along our route, we were moving to quickly and there were way to many to focus on just one.
We walked out to 08Romeo and packed up then headed back inside to freshen up for the ride home. I settled up the fuel bill and thanked everyone for their service, we really like this airport. I sumped the fuel and completed my pre-flight for the trip home. I filed out of here the last time and learned a lesson or two. This time I was going to taxi to the runway but stay clear for VFR traffic to depart while I did my run up. I heard jumpers away over the airport so while we waited for them to get on the ground I reviewed the plan and plugged it into the garmin 496. I contacted Clearance Delivery to pick up the clearance and advised number one to go runway one four. I was given a void time of eight minutes 2048z and told have a great flight. While I was picking up my clearance I heard two aircraft landing. I waited for them both and at 2044z announced our departure. We climbed out to the shore line followed by a crosswind and down wind leg with a last call on unicom to advise traffic I was departing to the north. I contacted patuxent approach and we were on our way.
I was cleared to 5,000 and kept the climb going as we enjoyed the view looking out towards Lewes DE, Cape Henlopen and all the way to Cape May, NJ. Pax handed us off to Dover for the ride north and traffic was busy around us. There was a Cessna that was off to our left lower altitude making good speed and I was plugging along into a 15 knot headwind at 5,000. I should have asked for lower. Dover handed us off to Philly and Philly to Wilmington. I was directed to report a midfield right down wind for runway one four and acknowledged. I was number two or three to land and I had traffic parallel on the opposite down wind, I never saw them. The tower called my base and I announced on final as instructed. I now had the traffic call out on the runway rolling for a touch and go. I made a nice landing and despite directed to turn off right next taxiway then changed to continue straight ahead and looking like a drunk driver I manged to get to our tie down just fine. A great day of flying and beach time with my Bride. 3 hours in the book and three landings.