Wednesday, April 22, 2009


  Got the WORD today.... the Ice is out. ( or going out... )

  I took a job this summer, my " first " job in aviation since completing the licence. Like I said before, mostly dockhand, sometime pilot, always student.

  I accepted the position in February ( pending completion of my licence ), and completed my licence just recently. The only thing left was waiting on hearing exactly when the ice would be out in the Northern Town I'll be moving to.

  Back in deepest, darkest February, my employer said to get in touch mid-April and they should be able to firm up a start date, as it does all depend on when they get ice-free conditions on the lakes. I emailed on April 15th and didn't get a reply..... three of four days later, I called, as I was starting to panic. I guess I keep waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me on this first job....not enough bookings for this year, don't need you, sorry. My nephew finished his CPL, sorry kid, he's family, I gotta give him a job. 

  I got a phone call the other day. Ice is going out, conditions are looking good, be here on May 6th.

  Yes. Things are falling into place....

  Booked my flight today to South Northtown. Well, that's what I'm going to call it on here, for the time being.

  So, the 2.5 hour flight to Nearest Big Cityville is around 200 bucks with taxes, and the 45 minute flight with Siddown'n'shaddap airlines is another 400 bucks. ( both of these are 1-way flights ). 

  This summer is going to be hard enough on my bank account, I can't really afford to travel in such " style ".  Therefore, it'll be the flight to Big Cityville with our favorite national airline, Air Freshmint, and then the ' Hound for the rest of the way.

  Only problem is..... the 'Hound will only take me as far as Small Cityville, which is still 300 miles from South Northtown. A regional feeder bus line will then take me the rest of the way, but there is a layover in Small Cityville to catch the connecting bus the next morning.

  However, even if I splurged and got a hotel for the night on the layover, I'm still ahead of the game by 200 bucks. I'll probably spend that on the resulting meds from the Deep Vein Thrombosis I am anticipating from this trip, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.

  Reminds me of a trip I made home once from a small town overseas;

1.0 Hours Bus trip to small city train station
3.5 Hours Train trip to nearest big city
0.75 Hours  Intercity Rail connection from Train station to Airport
4.5 Hours Waiting time at airport
1.5 Hours   Regional flight to major Intl Airport
0.5 Hours Waiting time at Intl Airport
10.5 Hours Flight to Big US City
6.0 Hours Waiting time for connecting flight ( first flight cancelled )
1.0 Hours Flight to hometown city
1.25 Hours Customs, baggage claim
0.75 Hours Car Ride home.
0.00001 Hrs Front door to collapsing in bed.

31.25 Hours straight travel time. No layover, no sleep, no fun.

  I digress.... So the trip will start day one, really early, like 0430 wakeup to make the 0730 flight. Big Cityville by mid-morning and the connecting bus station by early afternoon. Bus to Small Cityville, arriving that evening, 10pm, and hotel for the night. Next morning 10ish to the connecting bus station and by 2pm I'll be in South Northtown.

  Not bad.... and I shouldn't arrive too beat up considering the motel 6 in between.

  Spent the last couple days shopping for stuff I am going to need for this summer....or rather, stuff I think I'm going to need for this summer.

  As I've never done this before, nor know anyone who has.... I am kind of guessing on a few things.

  Here's the major items that I have picked up lately;

Sleeping bag 

   Wife promptly claimed the nice new one I bought and then informed me that we have one in storage. sigh...the old one is better anyway, its been broken in, I wont have to work so hard getting that old mildewy smell into it. 

Fishing Rod

  I have a nice rod, sans reel, and a rod holder tube, along with a fishing tackle box. Problem is, the tube is really cumbersome. It'll be hard taking it on the trip out there and lugging it around will be difficult out there. So I went and got one of those little collapsible ones. Its kind of cheesy, but it should do the job. Its only for the summer anyway. It'll be nice to be able to throw it in my daypack, leave it there and not worry about it.  

Small Cooler

  My employer recommended this, for packing lunches in. I got one that's big enough to sort of sit on as well, but small enough to throw around with one hand. I never bother with the ice packs for these things, I usually just throw a 1-litre bottle of water in the freezer the night before and keep that in the cooler. Drinking water for the day, Ice cold to boot, and keeps the cooler cool as well.

  I was contemplating taking the tackle box, but its kind of bulky. I went through it and found about four pounds of lead weights and all kinds of ocean-fishing gear that will probably be of little use to me in the lakes.  I pulled out all the lures, swivels, split-shot and small weights and will pack those in a little container, inside my daypack as well.

Rain Gear

  I bought a set of Canadian Army Surplus Rain Pants. Fantastic, and already broken in ( read: slightly dirty ). Nothing attracts more attention ( read: extra work ) than a clean rain suit. Got a rain jacket as well from the same place, new, but only 10 bucks. Its heavy rubber as well, not some over-blown windbreaker made of tent material. The thing that sold me on it was the small hood. I hate a big hood that hangs in your face and restricts your vision. I don't mind my face being wet, as long as I can move around freely, and keep the rain from running down my neck.

  I already have a good pair of full-size steel toe work boots, as well as a set of steel toe rubber boots. A pair of running shoes and a pair of sandals, that ought to do me for the summer I hope.

 I read somewhere that a good bush pilot should wear big honkin boots, the better to blame any ham-footed rudder work or poor landings on. " Damn boots! ". 

  I already have a leatherman, de rigeur apparently, I can understand why. 

   Bought a nice filleting knife for my fishing kit. Cleaning fish is 1000 times easier with a good fresh knife. An old rusty saw or your poor old leatherman just makes it harder. A nice filleting knife with some good give to the blade and sharper than a razor, makes it look easy. I've found it better to just chuck em the minute they get any type of hard use ( like cutting on a rock instead of over wood and scraping the blade, or cutting wiener sticks or some other silliness ). Better to buy three cheap-o's that hold a razor sharp blade for a few weeks, than one good one that you cant bear to throw out and keep on hacking away with all summer.

  I'm contemplating hitch-hiking the last leg of the trip. I'll have an entire day to wait for the connecting bus, if I get no luck, I could always trundle back to the bus station.

  I did a lot of hitchhiking in my teens and early twenties... its a great way to see the country and meet the people that live in its obscure corners....tempting...

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