This past week has been one of the worst lately
for the rain and thunderstorms in Southwest Florida: not that that mere fact would in and of itself inhibit flying; but
it certainly made a pleasure trip more work than I was willing to do this past week. When the forecast called for "10%
chance of afternoon thunderstorms", I knew that Saturday was the day to head out. Then by chance, a fellow pilot, Karl,
called wanting to go somewhere because his plane just came back from an extended annual. So we out our heads together, decided
on Cedar Key for the day and e-mailed fellow hungry pilots with the plan. We were joined by 4 plane loads of pilots
and friends for a picture perfect fly-out to Cedar Key.
The morning was clear and the air was smooth. Yes,
we had the customary headwind but we really did not care too much as the point of the mission was the journey as much as the
destination. We climbed out to 6,500' to catch as little of the headwind as possible. Lakeland Airport and Zephyrhills Airport were clear as could be.
As we broke the coastline, we became quite amused by the sea lines of wakes from the myriad boats speeding
out to the Gulf for what turned out to be a stellar boating day as well.
Cedar Key was beautiful: a picturesque little fishing town dotted with houses
and splattered with waterways and canals. The runway there is quite short and dead-ends into the water on both ends.
There were quite a lot of black streaks where many a pilot had
locked up brakes in an effort not to run off into the drink. Without a good short field technique, you, too, will be a black
streak statistic. Thankfully, all of our group managed good landings with the occasional "screeeeeech" in lieu of
the customary "chirp, chirp".
Judy, the local cabbie, was right on schedule to haul our group, plus about 6
other plane loads in to town for some really good eats. We selected Seabreeze today. It was beautiful: right on the water;
great service and really good food. We all jabbered for a couple of hours before walking out to the town for a little retail
therapy and to meander off out lunches.
With the hot sun beating down, the Wild Mama crew was ready
to head off, circling the town for our parting shots as we left. It was a great day of flying and visiting with good friends over
a wonderful meal.