Being a seaplane there were no shouts of “Chocks away!” as the flight prepared to embark on its south westerly route. There was, though, multiple flicking of cockpit switches and manoeuvring of levers before the Cessna’s propellors fired into life as my airborne sojourn commenced in earnest.
Scene – Late Sunday morning, solars rays at last being unshackled by their cumulus cloud gatekeepers. GJ Strachan sits next to the pilot in the ten seater plane. His excited anticipation akin to that ordinarily displayed by a 10 year old boy being afforded access to the cockpit of a large commercial airplane.
Footnote – I’d like to make it clear I was in the co-pilot seat for the flight as a paying passenger. If I’d have been granted access to piloting the plane there’s a very good chance my final blog would’ve been yesterday’s literary offering, Lady of the Lake.
Anyhow, shortly after 11am, like Icarus fleeing Crete, the Cessna took to the skies. Unlike Icarus, though, it didn’t fly too close to the sun (it peaked at 1800 feet) and mercifully it’s wings remained intact for the journey’s duration.
Maintaining a speed of 140 knots (160mph) the New Zealand pilot Michael guided us south west towards the Atlantic coast and the Firth of Glasgow locales of Bute, Rothesay and Largs. Prior to landing back on Loch Lomond waters around thirty minutes later.
The relatively low height flown affording excellent views of the rolling hills and settlements below. In fact, the skies provided such clarity I’m pretty sure I was able to see a Rothesay farmer’s nasal hair as he laboured collecting his harvest….. Either that or the nose follicle I saw was a rope he was using for securing his agricultural bounty.
This flying altitude also allowed for a greater appreciation of the brutal geological scarring of Scotland’s south west coast. The Highland Boundary Fault, dividing the likes of the Isle of Bute into highland and lowland areas and surrounding coastline, giving the appearance this part of Scotland had been through a physiological shredder.
On getting feet back on terra firma I felt exhilarated from what’d played out in the previous half hour. My seaplane cherry popped, yours truly’s bucket list was diminished by one.
After a sandwich lunch at a hostelry in the nearby village of Drymen, I ventured back to the lodge; spending an afternoon chilling at my laptop keyboard accompanied by ever pleasing views of the facilities gardens in the foreground, Loch Lomond in the middle distance and rolling Scottish hills on the horizon.
Later, I dined on sea bass, salad and potatoes whose already excellent taste was enhanced further by a splendid glass (or two) of Sauvignon Blanc. Flavoursome fare to match the luxury of surroundings which currently spoil me; a lifestyle one could very easily become attached to….. Pretentious maybe, but I can’t dine on Pot Noodles when I’m stopping somewhere as posh as this, can I?!
Today will be a lazy day. More writing perhaps, some caricature drawing and a dip in the hot tub. The latter covered so not affected by the prevailing precipitation which commenced early yesterday evening. That being said, these rain showers haven’t denting my vigour. Moreover, the sound of heavy rain amplified through the open French doors leading out to the patio bringing with it a calming of the soul and catharsis of its own.