Thursday,May 19, 2005: Ketchikan, AK to Arlington, WA...Yesterday as we approached Juneau and Ketchikan I couldn’t help but notice how nice the weather was. We went direct, direct, and direct as we proceeded from one location to the next and it was truly delightful.
This morning the Southeast Alaska I’ve heard of showed up. It was rainy and not so pretty, but as is typical of most places with bad weather, the locals were still flying. The same number of Beavers and Otters were still out making money. It was an impressive sight.
Lynn had a few sales calls to make and a few people to meet, so I ran off to get familiar with the Flight Service Station. The flight service station is a busy place in Ketchikan. With all flights making calls and mandatory reports to the FS, it almost seems like a tower except they only give advisories and not clearances. They are well known and even better trusted. I ended up spending a lot of time with them as they gave me one of the best briefings I’ve ever had. They showed me where the weather was good and where it was starting to change. They also mentioned what I should be looking for as we proceeded down the coast and what our options were along the route if things got bad. It was easy to see that they deal with a lot of people running up and down the coast everyday on VFR and they know what goes on. In other words, it’s not their first day at the rodeo!
We saw some rain and turbulence, but mostly we saw wind. A lot of the time we had 40 kts on the nose, but even with that we made it from Ketchikan to Arlington, Washington non-stop in 4.5hours. And it was 4.5 hours of lighthouses, fjords, and even a submarine. As wonderful as it was, it was even greater to have all of it behind us. No more worrying about the show, the trip, or the weather; I feel I will be able to get a real nights rest tonight. Tomorrow starts another day of cleaning the airplane and a few more demo flights before heading home. Yep, I said it, “Heading Home.” With a little left to do on the road, I think we will be home on Saturday night weather permitting. We then step into the mad dash that gets us to Oshkosh.
The trip is coming to an end, but I can’t say thanks enough to those who have helped, shown hospitality, or just wished us well along the way.
Keep checking in,
Read more about KODIAK Float Plane and other capabilities here