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Azores to Geneva

Leg 8. 14 August. Santa Maria to Oporto, Portugal. 6 hours 12 minutes.

I contemplated the second hop across the ocean without the slightest feeling of trepidation. Oporto was much nearer than St. John's, for one thing. Also, we were to travel by day in fine weather. The sea was much warmer at this latitude so it would not be necessary to wear our immersion suits this time.
A headwind was forecast so we filled up all the tanks except for the extra one in the cabin. Sure enough, there was a slight crosswind from the north which slowed us down by five to ten knots. There was low cloud over the sea for much of the way but it was clear above us. There is less transatlantic traffic by day so the HF frequencies were not as congested and Flemming was able to make his 3 position reports via HF without difficulty. When we touched down at Oporto, it occurred to me that, in actual fact, we had spent almost the same length of time over the water with no land in sight as we had on the first hop. Just as well I didn't think of it until afterwards! We took a taxi into town and spent the next day visiting some of the port cellars on the banks of the Douro river.

Leg 9. 16 August. Oporto to Geneva, Switzerland. 5 hours 8 minutes.

We took off in fine weather rising above Oporto's pollution haze at 4000 feet. Our routing took us near the valley of the Douro river where the grapes for port wine are grown. Cruising at flight level 120, we picked up a tailwind of 20 to 30 knots and in less than an hour we were over Spain. The ground became arid until we approached the north coast with the Pyrenees visible to our right. We were routed via San Sebastian and Biarritz where we had our last look at the Atlantic before continuing east. Soon we were over the Massif Central and, about 50 minutes from Geneva, we had our first sight of the Alps and the Mont Blanc in almost fourteen months. We flew over the Jet d'eau, made a left turn over the lake and came in on final for the familiar runway 23 of Geneva Cointrin.

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Refuelling in Santa Maria, Azores

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Oporto approach
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View of Annecy and Mont Blanc approaching Geneva
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View of lake Geneva and the Jet d'eau. Left downwind for runway 23
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Home again with Honey Mooney
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