img_8343A day of surprises. I knew the plane would not perform too well at max all up weight but it really is not the same vehicle.

We qualified for a late departure from the airdrome of our choice so did not go to Ardmore. I picked up my fellow aviator from Patamahoe and ran straight into a rain shower, not serious but the climb performance of the aircraft is pretty poor. There'll be no water landings and takeoffs with everything on board.

By the time we got to Thames for coffee the wind was getting up to 15-20 kts, not really good enough for Robbie to do any solo time. From there up the coast to Coromandel and cross to Whitianga. A right pigs breakfast of the crosswind landing a “go around” into an area of steep downdrafts.... Oh dear.

img_8347Next time we planted it pretty well.

Dinner in the Mercury Bay Aero Club hanger can only be described as noisy. My hearing which is not the best fails completely with the babble of 160+ people, a two piece band and dinner preparations. By 9pm I was more than ready to cut and run.

The Albert No 6 motel in Whitianga is serviceable mostly but pretty rumpy. The bog door handle fell off and is clearly only of decorative qualities. If you are looking to impress the girlfriend or indeed anyone else move on. Of particular note is the fire station siren apparently next door