Day 15. Friday, 12
July. Jakobshavn to Godthåb. 2 hours 28 minutes - IFR.
The spark plug didn't arrive on the first flight, but it came on the second at
10.30. It didn't take Flemming long to install it and we were able to take off at midday.
The weather was fine all the way and we had a good view of the wild, rocky coastline as we
On landing in Godthåb (or Nuuk, as the Eskimos call it), Flemming filed a flight plan for
the last leg over the Atlantic to Goose Bay, Canada. (The Canadian authorities require 24
hours prior notice.)
We cycled into town and booked into a room at the Nunatec hostel with a wonderful view of
the bay. Apart from some ugly apartment buildings in the centre, Godthåb is a pretty town
with several houses dating back to the first Danish settlers. Unlike Jakobshavn, there was
no smelly fish hanging out to dry and there were no huskies - just ordinary pet dogs.
Day 16. Saturday, 13 July. Godthab to Goose Bay, Canada. 5 hours 8 minutes
It was a pleasantly smooth flight over the North Atlantic. For
three hours there were no beacons, but we always knew where we were thanks to the Pronav
100. We had VHF radio contact with the controllers the whole way but had to relay with
jets due to very bad HF conditions.
I was surprised to see blocks of ice in the water as we approached the Labrador coast.
Flemming explained that it comes from the North Pole. It travels south down the east coast
of Greenland and currents carry it to the east of Canada.
With the transition altitude jumping up to 18,000 feet, we had to get used to resetting
the altimeter every so often - in inches of mercury and no longer in mbars. Clouds greeted
us as we flew over the Canadian shores, but there were enough gaps between them to see the
wild country beneath us of forests, lakes, rivers and waterfalls (but no roads or houses).
We came into some rain as we made our approach and there was a thunderstorm nearby, but
nothing to bother us. Just some slight turbulence on final.
This was the Mooney's first time back on the American continent since its birth in 1965.
It was an emotional moment... and then, to our surprise, we saw someone clapping us from
the doorway of the airport terminal. Did he think we'd come all the way from Switzerland
in one day?!
Goose Bay itself has nothing to offer the tourist. "Are you continuing your journey
today or overnighting?" was the first question we were asked. They don't expect you
to hang around for a week! We were both tired from flying at 12,000 feet for 5 hours,
Flemming was starting a cold and the Met office said there were plenty of thunderstorms on
the way to Maine. We therefore decided to call it a day.
Day 17. Sunday, 14 July. Goose Bay to Bangor, Maine (USA). 4 hours 39
minutes - IFR. Bangor to Bar Harbor. 22 minutes - IFR.
After a good night's rest, we took off for Bangor early - at 8.26
a.m. Flemming meant to fly at 12,000 feet but it was cloudy and we were getting some icing
at 10,000 feet. We descended to 8000 and flew for about half an hour in clouds and rain
before breaking out over a lower cloud layer. We remained above the clouds until the last
hour of the flight when we got into rain and clouds before making the ILS approach to
Bangor, breaking out at 700 feet.
So it was a grey USA that welcomed us. As we parked our plane we saw a sign that said
"Please call for Customs" with a telephone attached. The official came promptly
after our call and was most courteous and friendly. We were pleasantly surprised, used as
we are to the other sort of welcome reserved for airline passengers entering the USA at
We were soon back in the plane for the short IFR flight to Bar Harbor. Now that we were in
the U.S.A., there was no landing fee to pay. The "tie-down" fee is generally
between US$ 2 and 10 and even that is often waived if you buy fuel.
Just like "normal" tourists, we planned to visit Acadia National Park and eat
large quantities of lobster. There was no problem finding a room in Bar Harbor (thanks to
the recession we were told) and we stayed at the Atlantean Inn - an attractive mansion
built at the turn of the century (and therefore old by American standards!).
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Tourist in Nuuk