|Thu 07/15||NCRG - Rarotonga, Cook Islands / UTC -10:00||NSFA - Apia, Samoa / UTC -11:00|
|Departure||Enroute||Arrival||Distance||Avg. Spd.||Max. Spd.||Max. Alt.||Fuel|
|Estimated||09:00 (19:00Z)||05:30||13:30 (+1 00:30Z)||826||88|
|Actual||09:40 (19:40Z)||06:14||14:54 (+1 01:54Z)||847||136||187||8,532|
The weather conditions on this leg are subject to conditions over the Pacific Islands, closer to the equator than Fiji, during the month of July this is a period of a cooler, drier season.
And most of the time, conditions are weather free. From May to November it is the cool, dry season - less humidity.
|Temperature in Faleolo||Low: 62°F, High: 82°F|
|July Precipitation||3.3 Inches|
|Winds Aloft at 7,000 to 10,000 Feet||From the southeast at 7 MPH|
Airborne at 19:40Z, landed at Faleola airport at 01:54Z for 6:14 en route. Weather good, but winds not favorable. Ed complains "Where are these great tail winds we are supposed to get?".
Our route takes us over Pago Pago airport where Ed had been previously, then on to Samoa our destination airport.
We fueled the airplane on arrival to save a special trip on Friday, a forty minute drive from Apia. Also the I.F.O.P.A. banner made its debut on a corner of the ramp to be viewed by passengers in taxiing airliners.
We were hoping to stay at Aggie Grey's Hotel, famous for "South Pacific" filming, but it was booked solid so we settled for the number 2, the Kitano Tusitala. Quite nice. We arrived in time for the evening buffet dinner and native show. Very interesting.
Friday morning, we walked the beach road to Aggie Grey's, to see what we had missed. Its yesteryear tropical architecture was most impressive. A great breakfast, but hotel still booked. Did some souvenir shopping and back to the Kitano for this narrative.
Operationally, we are having difficulty with the auto pilot and the HF radio. The radio problem could be operator error or a problem with one of the components. Fortunately we have the Iridium satellite phone and are permitted to continue using it. We are ahead of schedule and are changing our departure dates to give us an extra day in Cairns for repairs. We leave here tomorrow Saturday the 17th and Vanuatu on Tuesday the 20th. Our flight tomorrow takes us across the International Date Line.
That evening in Apia, Samoa we enjoyed fine dining at Aggie Grey's Hotel in their best dining room. Wonderful.