Yesterday was my birthday, and unfortunately I had to work. There were a few good things about this, however. Firstly, there was an Air New Guinea aircraft on the radio. Then, we saw the aircraft taking off in front of us, and I was delighted to observe that written along the side of the aircraft in bold black letters were the words “AIR NIUGINI” which hugely made my day. I am easily amused. Then, we flew down to Sydney (via Port Macquarie) and I was almost as delighted to note that one of the waypoints was named Sosij. (Coming back in to Brisbane today, I found an arrival with 3 waypoints over the bay named LEAKY, BOATS and SINNK, respectively, of which I took a photo, and proves to me that TAAMH. Or rather “These Australians Are My Heroes”)
From Sydney, we flew on to Canberra, where we overnighted. It was actually a massive 18 degrees on landing in Canberra, which was great. It was quite an interesting flight, given the large number of thunderstorm along the mountain ranges, and there was lots of red and magenta on the weather radar, along with a considerable amount of lightning. When we arrived into Canberra, the amazing taxi driver agreed to take us to the hotel the back way so that I could see some kangaroos. I’m not sure that my crew members shared my enthusiasm, but mine certainly made up for their lack of it. Kangaroos there were, and kangaroos in very large numbers indeed, there must have been at least twenty! At this point I declared my purpose in life fulfilled, and Maddie remarked that I hadn’t yet seen a large bunch of kangaroos all hopping around with joeys poking out of their pouches, and my bubble went POP.
I’m afraid it was hailing particularly heavily at the time, and so I didn’t even attempt to take any pictures of the hoards of kangaroos, but simply the fact that my First Kangaroo Sightings were on my birthday was good enough for me.
In the evening, I met up with GR and JGdelaCG (who has a quite ridiculously long surname, in true Spanish style) and we went for dinner and they bought me a little birthday dessert which was ...interesting? A very nice thought though :)
This is the only picture I have of the weather radar. It's not a very good one, and it's not of the real weather, but by the time we were involved with the really nasty stuff, I wasn't really in picture taking mode... it was more like "request 10 miles left of track due weather... request descent FL160 due weather...can we take 5 miles right of track now due weather... unable route direct HIPPO, request maintain this heading for the next 40 miles..."
These pictures are a little out of order but that's the way my iphone wanted to upload them, so sorry! This is actually a picture just on the approach into Canberra, some of the hail coming out of the storm clouds to the north.
Once landed on the ground in Canberra, I do have a photo but I am fighting with iPhoto to make the company logo unreadable, and it doesn't want to play ball.
part 2 with more pics coming shortly...