The Rain Arrives

Trip Start Mar 06, 2013
Trip End Apr 04, 2013

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What I did
Wellington, NZ
The Vintage Aviator Museum, Masterton, NZ

Flag of New Zealand  , Wellington,
Monday, March 18, 2013

We had a very different day today. We started off by driving south towards Wellington to pick up Jon. The rain finally arrived so even the area around Masterton was wet. The farther south we went, the more wet it became. We even had a chance to do some IFR driving over the ridge between Greytown and Upper Hutt (actual names).

Rush hour traffic heading into Wellington would do any city proud. All roads turn into parking lots and we were being passed by bicycles--kudos to the hearty Kiwi cyclists biking in the rain. We planned 2 hours for the 95 km drive. It took 2.5. But in the end we collected our 3rd Safari Team member and headed back to Masterton.

We were finally able to do our registration and check in with the 'Scrutineers' for verification of the aircraft and pilot's gear & paperwork. We can't decide if 'Scrutineers' is an actual Kiwi English word or if they just made it up for the Safari. Whichever, we are enjoying it.

These tasks were completed just about noon so we decided to have a look at part of Peter Jackson's WW I collection which is housed in a museum, The Vintage Aviator Museum, at the Masterton airport. These are the flying airplanes and they can take good advantage of the 3 grass runways here. Some are allegedly originals, the rest are faithful replicas, with original engines. Nothing was flying today and the sound of the rain, now heavy, drumming on the hangar roof just about drowned out conversation at times.

We returned to the club in good time for our 2:00 briefing only to find that a briefing was already underway. Long story short: the start of the Safari would be delayed 24 hours due to weather. There are all kinds of logistical issues with doing this but the planning of a rest day as day 2 of the Safari was coming in handy. Now day 2 would be the start and day 1 was a scratch.  We were all released until Tuesday at 3 pm when the actual briefing would occur.

What to do with an extra 24 hours in Masterton? Caffeine for Jon who was feeling the effects of jet lag. A look through the swag bags we had collected at registration. Then a wander through town, where they are kind enough to cover the sidewalks for rainy day pedestrians.

To kill time we drove back down to Greytown for dinner at the White Swan; a shared venison carpaccio starter followed by double baked pork belly for all. Then a tour of the New World grocery to collect food for a quick brekkie (Kiwi for breakfast) tomorrow.

Rain continues beating on the roof tonight. The rivers are rising and the farmers are happy after a reported 32 days of no rain. We will be content to start a day late if it means we can fly the west coast of the South Island on Wednesday.
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Gretchen on

Nope, they didn't make up the term "scrutineering" - they stole it from car racing.

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