Maui - Majuro 23.05.2010

Here we are in Hawai, where we have a great plan for our two days stay : swim in the sea, enjoy the sun and relax ! Unfortunately this will only remain a plan… The weather forecast for Tuesday (our departure date to Majuro) is not good. Thunderstorms are planned along the route and our weather specialist from Switzerland (M.Pierre Eckert from Meteo Suisse) recommends that we leave as soon as possible. The only problem is that we just landed from an 18 hours flight and only getting a few hours sleep before getting airborne again for another 17 hours flight is something we are reluctant to do. We check carefully the weather charts and the choice is very clear, we must leave and the sooner the better.

The flight time to Majuro is similar to the previous flight (approx. 18 hours) and it requires some good tail winds to achieve it safely. The winds are coming from the North-East and blowing at 20 kts. We make our calculations and file a flight plan from Mahui to Majuro. After a few hours sleep we takeoff at 02h30 local time. It’s very dark outside and the winds are blowing with gusts up to 30 kts. The aircraft is heavy and we struggle to climb. We initally maintain runway heading towards the see in order to gain some height before setting course to Majuro. The first hours of flight are difficult, the moon is gone and we need to refer fully on instruments to fly the aircraft. The atmosphere is very turbulent as the easterly winds get disrupted by the high mountains of the Hawaian Islands thus creating turbulences and wind shears. Afgter 3 hours of flight, we can finally relax and enjoy a well deserved breakfast : cold coffee and cookies ! We smile again and live is beautiful… For the remaining 14 hours of flight, we enjoy watching the Pacific Ocean . After a while, our eyes seem to close by themselves and without any kind of control from our part. Luckily, the small turbulences created by the surrounding cumulus are there to remind us that we must be vigilant and stay alert. Yanick calls me on the radio to tell me that we are passing the longitude : W172°40.0’, we are now exactley on the opposite side of Switzerland and as from now on, while we keep a westerly heading, we are getting closer to our home !

As the sunset gets closer, we see the Atoll of Majuro with its airport surounded by water on each side of the runway. We have the feeling that we are landing on a huge aircraft carrier ! At the airport, we get a warm welcome from Claus, a German who has been managing the airport for some years. He does not seem to be missing home with its cold winters. Well, I think it is time for us to get some rest. Tomorrow is maintenance day and we will also update our website. Swimming and sun bathing is temporarily postponed…. Aloha,


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