Normally at this stage we are so tired that we cannot wait to lay the wing at rest. However, this time around for some reason this is not the case. Both Dirk and I, in a moment of poorly disguised nostalgia, mentioned how aware we were about the privileged lives we were living. Of course considering we were flying a little orange plane over the waters of a tropical island, seeing and recording amazing things; counting sharks, manta rays, dolphins and the like, what was there not to appreciate or like? It was all super cool but even so, I could not help but have some extra spring in my step for what it was that I was doing. It was not just in the job. There was something else too. All I know is that I wanted the season to go on for ever.
After ten years this was a first.
And you are forgiven for thinking we are just less tired than other years – seeing as we have not flown as much due to the bad weather. The fact is that for the month of October we have flown everyday but for five, which is very much how it has been in previous seasons. Of course the real truth is we have flown fewer hours but that does not mean it was less exhausting – in fact quite the opposite. In a previous post I explained quite nicely the stress involved in the decision making process of whether to fly or not and given that we have had more of those kinds of times this season one could quite easily argue that we should be even more exhausted than other times. Take one flight which lasted just 15 minutes for example.
We had just taken off and found ourselves heading due south. To our surprise a very large squall line blocked the horizon from east to west with towering clouds and rain. Even worse, some of the clouds were already pushing fingers past the squall line and rain seemed to be forming in a horse shoe shape all around us. It was an easy call to the tower for re-joining procedures. Of course at that point there were 2 Boeings, 2 twin Otters, a Cessna beach craft and a US U.A.V spy plane all lined up for take-off and us being the smallest had to wait our turn. We were forced to orbit and hold while we danced around in little pockets of clearings to avoid getting wet. Those 15 minutes sure felt like 3 hours.
Dancing in pockets of no rain...
So the fact that we actually were probably more tired than previous years yet regretful to stop made for interesting reflection. The only change this season seemed to be a change of heart and attitude and mulling over this only pointed to the same thing – walking with God. Yes, you’d better believe that. The high’s from our best flights and shark experiences cannot even begin to compare with this walk which I have to add has been the greatest adventure in my life. It has added that cherished proverbial cherry on-top!
Thanks for keeping us safe Big Man!
Wish you were here!