Friday and Saturday combined to be two of the worst days weather wise we’ve seen here in a long time. Not only was this our busiest weekend of the year, Friday brought torrential rains, fog and high winds that grounded us after 1 and 1/2 trips north. The Otter could not make Metionga and turned back at Sowden… again. Saturday was a no fly day due to high winds. I was thinking it was deja vu all over again from last weekend.
Randy did make it back and stayed put for the rest of the day. The Beaver stayed at Metionga over night. Friday night the wind blew and blew. On Sat morning it continued to blow at a gale force – enough that we felt it was unsafe to fly. On Sat morning hoping for good weather Karen and I were in the office at 5 AM to meet guests. Our aircraft did not move until about 5 PM when the winds subsided. By then we had several Friday folks still waiting as well as all our Sat folks. By the time we flew on Sat we had over 70 people waiting to fly.
In the 4 weekends so far of this season we’ve fought severe weather elements each weekend.
In over 23 years operating this business I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve had two days of non-flying weather such as this weekend. Our guests on Irene Lake reported 4 to 5 foot waves rolling down the lake on Saturday. One of our docks was destroyed by the pounding wave action.
Randy, Marcel and Derek flew til dark to move people and gear. We hired our competitor Rusty Meyers to help out. They provided a twin Beech to assist us. It is nice to know that even tho’ we are competitors, our small industry is such that we can count on each other to help out when needed.
Karen and I locked up the office at 10:10PM on Saturday after a grueling 17 hour day. I wore a pedometer and without leaving my yard recorded 16,115 steps. That is over 10 miles, up and down the docks and back and forth across the yard with guests.
Our thanks to Rusty Meyers. And our hats are off to our guests who patiently waited both in Ignace and at the camps until flying conditions were safe.
The extra help allowed us to catch up by noon on Sunday and get on with Sunday flying.
We are grateful for experienced and skilled pilots who value safety as much as we do. When the decision is made to not fly, there is no grumbling or second guessing. Safety is first and the over 80 safe years of flying experience we have between us, in this area on these aircraft, speaks for itself.
On Friday evening, we were privileged to join a 50th birthday a party for Pete Elftmann, a member of the Rorabeck party, hosted our office.
Happy birthday Pete!