A Few Days in Palmerston North
First of all, I have recently become aware that some readers have been unsure of my position. The diary entries have been falling behind because I have been otherwise occupied or because of lack of internet facilities. However, I have always tried to keep my position updated, whenever possible, and you can check on this by clicking on the “Where is Jim” logo on the front page of the website.
After landing at Palmerston North on the 18 June, I spent almost a week with friends Ian and Barbara. This gave me time to relax and plan for the next stages of the journey. Unfortunately, aviation maps and charts, particularly those relating to airports, go out of date very quickly, and I now needed sets of charts for use in crossing the Pacific. I organised this through Jeppesen in the USA and they despatched these promptly to New Zealand. This required a few telephone calls and I was also busy arranging for other services along the way, so the time passed all too quickly. Barbara and Ian showed me quite a bit of the local area, but I was not able to take full advantage of this because of my organising activities. Nevertheless, we went out frequently and there were dinners and meetings with friends, both personal and aviation-related, all of whom were very helpful and interested in the journey.
It was also an opportunity to have the aircraft serviced once again. In terms of hours flown, it was only halfway towards another service, but the next opportunity would probably be Hawaii so now was the time to have it done. This involved repositioning Romeo Tango to a nearby airfield, Feilding, where the necessary work was done efficiently and thoroughly by a local company – thanks to Neil and his mechanics Ian and others.
I also met another pilot, Neil, who is planning a round-the-world flight in two years time in a home-built RV-10. The photos of the aircraft showed an immaculate build and Neil and wife Sarah are obviously very capable people. I look forward to seeing their plans come into being.
The time passed very quickly, and we had some pretty wet days, a reminder that this was winter in NZ. On the 23rd, a day before I planned to depart for Auckland, there was a heavy snowfall in the desert area between Palmerston North and Auckland, and I definitely felt the need to move on. There was a farewell dinner with Ian and Barbara, and daughter Fiona and her husband Steven.