Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Flight

Yikes!  Black Friday....

Well, there is no way I was going to shop at any mall today and thankfully Mary feels the same way. Instead, we decided to take advantage of the great wx and gave 08Romeo a little exercise. After compiling our list of places to go from suggestions I solicited on AOPA and POA forums, we decided to stick to our original plan.
We were off to Cape May, NJ. Mary invited our friend Jo Ann to go with us and she accepted. The plan was to meet around 10am at Red Eagle and launch from there. Our ride to the airport was not looking good as we motored along I-95 to the airport. I knew it was just a matter of time until we would see a spread in the dew point and temps.
 We finally got the fan turning and I picked up my clearance from the "clearance delivery" frequency at Wilmington. That was a switch, normally I call ground unless there is a frequency noted on the ATIS, there was none.  A slight change to my original plan but not much out of the way. Of course I mentioned the missing frequency on ATIS, this is me you're talking about.

I departed runway one niner and switched to the Philly Approach. Philly handed us off to Atlantic City and we road along, enjoying a tail wind and a smooth ride.  I was keeping an eye on the cloud layer and monitoring the Garmin 496 for updated wx at Cape May. Minimums for the RNAV 19 approach is 420', ceilings were still around two hundred but the report time was a bit long in the tooth. Atlantic City was reporting VFR conditions, Cape May had to be better.

 As the miles ticked off I could see a solid layer covering my flight path. As if I was thinking out loud AC Approach advises to expect the visual for one niner, what? I could not see land but I figured maybe the sun glare was playing tricks on me. As I got closer I requested the RNAV GPS 19 approach from AC Approach and felt better. I acknowledged direct KAGYS and chugged and plugged as directed.
 As we approached KAGYS and the waters edge along the Bay I could now see that the cloud layer covered the water but the land side was clear and visibility unlimited. I guess I should have felt like a dope but I always trust my gut and my view in the left seat is always better than the view from approach.I made a smooth landing and taxied to the FBO so we could arrange for ground transportation.
 There were NO rentals available so we had to take a cab. The one way ware fare was $17 but heck, we were in downtown cape may. The three of us wanted to try a new to us restaurant that we saw on Diners, Drive-Ins' and Dives. We made the lunch stop at Georges Place located on Beach Ave, overlooking the ocean. The place is small and you have to wait outside but the service and food make up for that. We each ordered and the food was out quickly. I ordered a Philly cheese steak, it was smokin' hot and really tasty, best roll I ever had. Mary had the Gyro and she said the lamb was very good and the cucumber sauce was perfect.
With full tummies we walked a few blocks to the Washington Street Gallery of Shops. The ladies hit the first store, who didn't see that coming, and I enjoyed some fresh air and sun.  We strolled along ducking in and out of shops and the ladies came out with a bag or two of treasured finds. We covered half the mall and decided on some cold beverages at one of the many watering holes. Our choice this afternoon was the Jackson Mountain Cafe'. The ladies enjoyed a cold one, I had a coke. We got right back to the mall shops and made our way in some sort of zig zag pattern hitting stores at random.
 We finally made it to the end of the mall and made our call for the cab to return. Mary and Jo Ann hit a few shops across from the mall and then we met back by the horse carriage rides to wait for our cab. It was a quick $17 back to the airport, but our driver did keep us entertained.
Once back at 08Romeo I did a pre-flight while the ladies boarded then I followed to complete my inside checks and flight plan. I decided on a VFR flight home, only monitoring the area as we passed by Millville and then switching to contact Wilmington and report 10 out from the south east. The setting sun was beautiful and the ride was smooth, perfect end to a fun flying day.
I entered the pattern for one niner as directed and made a really nice landing just on the numbers and taxied to the first right turn. We were home!
Mary and Jo are headed south for Jo Ann to get a few things then they are headed to our house. I am typing this while enjoying a double captain and Pepsi waiting on the ladies to return. We are going to have turkey sandwiches and a few adult beverages and maybe find a good movie to watch.


Diggerdavid said...

Very nice! Pictures are fantastic!

Steve said...

Certainly beats the crowds!

How'd the town fare after Sandy? I recall hearing/reading they got hit pretty hard last month.

Gary said...

Dave, thanks! it was a perfect day in cape may.

Steve, Everything looked good. I think Sandy hit harder just north at atlantic city. mI did see some wind damage along a few of the shops but the waterfront busines area looked intact.

I didn't get a chance to see the beach erosion, I bet that took a big hit.

Steve said...

Glad to hear it wasn't too bad in town. When I kept hearing Cape May on the news as Sandy approached, I honestly kept thinking "oh no, it's going to ruin Gary's favorite flying destination!"