John & Anne Wiley

2015/03/29

Eagle Luck

We flew some Young Eagles on three short flights from co-sponsor Above All Aviation through Lynn Houstons program named A Different Point of View, and during the flight I spotted a whale near the beach. I told the Eagles they were our lucky charms, because we rarely see whales and almost never near shore. After the last of our three flights we went back to look for the whale and happily found two. My fav pic of the encounter is this Pointillist impression with prismatic colors from the particular sun angle in the gently rippling water.

3014 Pointillist Prism

3014 Pointillist Prism

It glided slowly along just beneath the water like this, then finally came up for air.

3025 Whale Breath

3025 Whale Breath

Moments later it left a swirling circle of calm on the surface as it silently vanished into the depths. Mist from the breath of this blow hung briefly in the air, reminding me of the day I swam next to a Humpback as it sounded off Maui. The musky smell of that breath drifted down in a magical mist around me into the wordless memory of a lifetime.

2015/02/25

Beyond Time

Flying takes us beyond time, seems to me. For most people that means jet lag. But it means “prop advance” for the few who enjoy our great good luck in flying low and slow over the paradise that is Santa Barbara region. I’ve waxed poetic here in the past about prop advance, which is what I call the sensation of gaining a day every time we fly low and slow. I’ve also offered my theory as to the cause: flying this way is “dream time,” so our bodies imagine that we’ve just had a restful and transformative night’s sleep. I dearly wish it were possible to share some hint of all this in a photo, but this will have to do.

1230 IV, UCSB and Beyond

1230 IV, UCSB and Beyond

Variations of this general view greet us at the beginning of every flight out of SBA, and such magnificent beauty is almost a shock to the system. We always smile, and even the best of moods before liftoff is instantly transported into a realm of bliss beyond time.

Over coming days I hope to share some pix of recent flights, family fun, and maybe some of our other delightful distractions from our enjoyment of sharing here. :)

2015/02/01

Mission

Pilots sometimes talk about a mission, meaning the purpose of a flight. Another meaning of the word is a larger, even Life mission. Californians are also familiar with the word used in reference to our string of old church buildings such as the Santa Barbara Mission. This pic covers all three of these meanings.

0464 Mission

0464 Mission

Our mission in life includes enjoying beauty and sharing it with others (like posting this pic); the mission of this flight was very much about sharing beauty (and bliss); and toward the lower-right is the SB Mission. While we also appreciate aviation for getting us quickly and affordably from place to place, sharing the breathtaking beauty of it is what we most enjoy.

2015/01/14

New Views

We got some new views of San Diego last weekend, thanks to help from a local pilot there. We’ve ridden the Giant Dipper roller coaster and wandered the other attractions at Belmont Park on Mission Beach, but this is the first time we’ve seen it all from this perspective!

9969 Giant Dipper, Belmont Park

9969 Giant Dipper, Belmont Park

We also got this new view of the U.S.S. Midway aviation museum on the San Diego waterfront.

0004 USS Midway, San Diego

0004 USS Midway, San Diego

We also passed close enough to Seaport Village to smell the gourmet cooking, and look beyond at Balboa Park and back along the waterfront. We have pix of many more familiar places we’ve explored during visits to this sparkling city, but these are my favs from this flight.

0015 Seaport Village & Waterfront

0015 Seaport Village & Waterfront

We can barely wait to fly this new route again on a clear day! :)

I’m looking into adding this route into the options on the cool free open source Android Avare aviation app, for the benefit of other pilots.

2014/11/11

Steps To Happiness

“How far can you fly?” That’s a question we’re often asked. Around the world would be one correct answer. Tripp can fly from Portland to SB without stopping is another answer, but we don’t. Usually. It’s much more fun to fly low and slow, stopping every few hundred miles for a stretch, some exploration on the ground, and maybe a meal. When friends and family along our route can accommodate the semi-scheduled nature of nearly all our flying trips, we stop for a visit. So almost always we make long trips in “steps” of a few hundred miles each.

6868 River Life

6868 River Life

Our first step toward home from Marysville gave us this peek at the river, where people eke out a life in ramshackle camps among the trees. Soon we saw Sacramento slip by far in the hazy distance, where the upscale and wealthy set policy.

6888 Sacramento

6888 Sacramento

Tripp transforms the Seattle to SB trip from a grueling drive or cramped airliner into scenic pleasures punctuating a series of discoveries and precious memories formed in such steps.

It was a short step to San Jose, where we cherished some sweet times with a sister and family. When we took off on our final step home the next day, there she was waving warmly.

2696 Sweet Step

2696 Sweet Step

The last step triggered memories of visiting cousins in Morgan Hill. A peak that seemed impossibly high then, is now an easy glance.

6908 Morgan Memories

6908 Morgan Memories

Many refreshing and memorable views unfolded gracefully below in the hour after takeoff. Then we crossed the coastal mountains and descended toward the beach as we passed high over Hearst Castle.

7015 Hearst Descent

7015 Hearst Descent

Having taken some of the tours there, it’s always interesting to see from above at different angles on each passage. Over the beach at our comfortable quarter mile or so up, we turned more directly toward home. Tomorrow I’ll chose a few visions to share from that final hour of wonders on our PNW Adventure.

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