ice report March 23, 2015

Ice thickness on Fire Lake is 23 inches today. Without any snow cover remaining, I believe the sun will rot the ice quicker than past years.

We moved the cub offa the lake to Merrill Field last year on April 15, 2014 (that’d be Tax Day to some), and 2013’s move was on April 26. We’ll record this year’s move date for the database when it occurs.

Drill baby drill

Drill baby drill

No Pike swam to the light

No Pike swam to the light

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10K

I reached the 10,000 foot altitude in our Super Cub. It was such a calm beautiful flight on the way to Mankomen Lake last week, I climbed to 10,000′ over Tahneta Pass alongside Gunsight Mountain.

Even tho this photo shows only 9,352 feet on the GPS and 10,200 feet on the altimeter, I did climb to 10,300’ on the GPS just to say I’ve done it. As this wasn’t a pre-planned event, I didn’t think of taking a photo at 10K. This photo was all about the negative 3°F.

I did it, so now I’ll return to my flying at a more pleasant altitude, 500 feet…give or take.

Approaching 10,000 foot altitude

Approaching 10,000 foot altitude

Flying to Mankomen, I flew over Tahneta Pass. Which is on the right side of Gunsight Mtn when northbound.

Flying to Mankomen, I flew over Tahneta Pass. Which is on the right side of Gunsight Mtn when northbound.

Returning to Fire Lake, I flew over Caribou Creek. Which is on the right side of Gunsight Mtn when southbound.

Returning to Fire Lake, I flew over Caribou Creek. Which is on the right side of Gunsight Mtn when southbound.

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Black Diamonds are a Super Cub’s best friend

Used the ice screws last week for the sole reason I carry ‘em – quick ties downs. The wind was picking up after landing on Mankomen Lake, so we used ten minutes to quickly tie down the cub on the lake using three ice screws and BlueWater tubular webbing. The ice screws held easily at 12 mph gusting to 20 (cabin has a wind anemometer).

We then had plenty of time to unload beer n steaks from the cub, locate rope & wood chunks, get the ice auger running/drink a beer, and then drill a couple worry-free tie downs thru the ice.

Heavier winds woke us late in the night, but a quick look at both sets of tie downs with the flashlight sent us back to snoring. I’m thankful we had both Black Diamond Express ice screws and augered tie downs securing the wings down that night.

Quick ice tie downs - two 19 cm screws for the wings & one 16 cm screw for the tail, with 15mm webbing

Quick ice tie downs – two 19 cm screws for the wings & one 16 cm screw for the tail, with 15mm webbing

A wee breeze

A wee breeze

Wings tied down first. 16 cm ice screw for tail in the hole for perspective.

Wings tied down first. 16 cm ice screw for tail in the hole for perspective.

Tucked in for the night

Tucked in for the night

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DC Helmet

My new David Clark K-10 helmet is rigged n ready for this week’s trip. I installed my passive David Clark headset in the helmet to test the comfort on a three hour flight from Fire Lake to Tok.

K10 Helmet

K10 Helmet

If the helmet is cozy, I’ll install mah more comfy Lightspeed Zulu ANR headset. I didn’t want to ruin the helmet if it doesn’t fit well, because to rig the Lightspeeds requires cutting larger openings in the liner.

I’ll bring the Lightspeeds along on the flight to Tok, in case the helmet is uncomfortable, and also for my father-in-law to wear when flying him home from his cabin.

Same circumstances as when I bought the ski helmet three years ago, I had to fall down hard and hurt my head before accepting that I should wear a helmet while skiing. My decision to buy and wear a helmet while flying was made when I smacked my noggin on the overhead tubing flying thru some abusive turbulence.

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Star Fruit

Another Asian fruit our daughters fell in love with on our trip to Pohnpei, is star fruit.

Sweet, with just a touch of tartness. Star fruit don’t last very long when I bring em home from Sagaya’s.

I got one slice before my youngest daughter ate em up

I got one slice before my youngest daughter ate em up

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winter where are you?

Two days of 45° F has turned what little snow we had, into a couple inches of meltwater. We still have bout 19 inches of ice on the lake, so no fear of falling thru.

Crazy warm spell

Crazy warm spell

Today is February 23, 2015. Which is towards the end of our winter, with spring ski flying usually starting in March and extending thru beginning of May.

This winter has been the warmest and least snowiest I’ve experienced in Southcentral Alaska. Normally 16° F is the historical average February temperature here in Eagle River. It’ll be interesting to read our snow and temperature averages for this winter.

I’m expecting (well, praying for) a super dump of snow to extend winter ski flying another month or two.

Thinking of repurposing my snow skis into water skis.

Thinking of repurposing my snow skis into water skis.

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Dragon Fruit

Our family enjoys trying new foods. Especially the Asian variety. So when Sagaya’s had Dragon Fruit in stock, I figgered the girls would like to try some. And they liked it. Made for a delicious breakfast along with mango, banana and star fruit.

The taste is similar to Kiwi Fruit. Texture’s like a Kiwi also. We’ll eat Dragon Fruit again when available.

The funky looking, but edible Dragon Fruit

The funky looking, but edible Dragon Fruit

Scoop the fruit out of the pink rind. The seeds are edible too.

Scoop the fruit out of the pink rind. The seeds are edible too.

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