blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Day 10: Thunder Bay, again

(Thursday, July 31st)

View from our hotel room in Thunder Bay
We were intending to be in Kapuskasing or Geraldton this evening, but it wasn't possible. Needing to fly IFR because of the weather ahead, Chris was legally obliged to file a flight plan including an alternate airport at the destination, and there were none accessible. We looked at places ahead of Geraldton and north of Geraldton; they were all too far to reach with the remaining fuel on board. The obvious alternate was Marathon, south of Geraldton, but that was socked in with fog, below minima, in fact reporting 0ft vertical visibility and 0ft horizontal. Even if we had been able to approach Marathon and land there, we wouldn't have been able to watch the sun set over the islands in  tonight's rain. So it's just as well we have returned to Thunder Bay where the weather has been fine all day.

On our way to Kenora airport after breakfast we saw three deer. The taxi driver told us they have moved closer to the edges of town because of their predators in the forest, the timber wolves. The driver asked where we came from and told us proudly of his granddaughter who has just graduated from Cambridge university-- he'd been to England to see her.

We took off from runway 08, i.e. in the right direction, cleared to the VOR at Sioux Narrows on the eastern side of  Lake of the Woods, and thence direct along V300 to Thunder Bay. At first, especially, in thick haze at 7000ft, our GPS navigational aids were most necessary. The only landmark apart from the occasional view of the trans-Canada highway or railway was the town of Atikokan, at about half way, which had an airport and a non-directional beacon (NDB). The approach controller at Thunder Bay gave us vectors for a visual approach to runway 25 at the destination, where it was fine and clear, as reported ... and windy. When he handed us over to Tower, we were told to expect a landing on runway 30 instead (with 20 knot gusts) because the wind direction had changed.

The Thunder Bay marina, our hotel in the bottom right corner
Maintair, the Shell FBO, gave us good service on arrival, even booking our hotel for us at a considerable reduction on the price we paid last time. It's a better room too, with two double beds, an armchair, desk, plenty of space and the glorious view out of both windows. Downstairs there's a swimming pool at our disposal. Hotel slogan: "The only thing we overlook is the waterfront." All this for $89! This afternoon, Chris and I sat by it again, walked around the Spirit Park, etc., found a good supper at a Thai restaurant, and did another circuit of the higher part of town. All the time, our eyes are drawn to the lake and the sky.


CWC said...

"Swimming pool at our disposal" Chris swim?

Alison Hobbs said...

Only when the water is warm enough. In this case, it wasn't.