Fiji to Christmas Island (Kiribati)

Arrived at Fiji International around 8:30 PM for departure. By the time we cleared customs and immigration, loaded our flight plan into our GPS, copied our clearance, and finally started our engine it was 10:15 PM. We have been flying for 9 1/2 hrs. now. The first 7 hrs. at 11,000 ft. we were above cumulus clouds or were able to fly around them. We experienced a beautiful sunrise. At 6 degrees south of the equator we saw the most unusual cloud formations I have ever seen. It looked like Sodona. My photos do not capture what we experienced. This cloud formation persisted for about 250 miles.We now are 550 miles from Christmas Island - about another 3hrs 45 mins. to go, looks like a little under 14 hrs. for this leg.

We finally got our overflight and landing permits to Christmas Island yesterday, we arrived at the international airport at 3:30 AM for a 4:30 departure this morning. There was a mixup with our flight plan. When it was all sorted out it was too late to depart as Christmas Island does not permit night arrivals. It is one of our longest legs… over 2,100 miles and over 13 hrs. to get there.
So back to our hotel, only 20 min. from the airport. By 6:30AM, Marty and I were sleeping. I woke up about 11:00. We spent a quiet day at our hotel and enjoyed a very nice Thai lunch.
We plan to depart around 10:00 PM tonight and arrive at our destination by noon tomorrow… only our second daytime landing. We will be less than 1,000 miles to Hilo, Hawaii, our next destination.

Christmas Island

We had a tropical storm over Christmas Island yesterday. The storm extended over 300 miles to the north, the direct center of our course to Hilo, Hawaii.
We had hoped to depart yesterday. We re-fueled, in the rain, with an additional 110 gal. We felt it might be possible to get out. I called Steve Pellettiere on Marty’s satellite phone. He said that the intra tropical convergence zone at the equator was in full blast with severe WX and it would be hazardous for our health and well being and life to depart. Marty did feel it could be done, but decided not to argue with me. (I am very hard headed and don't listen)
We spent the rest of the day back at the hotel. We did have a new cinder block hotel room. This one had a working air conditioner. No phones, radio, TV or internet. The room water is turned off at 8:00 PM. We also had 2 large crabs in our room, at no additional charge.

All is well.
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Alzheimer’s Organization

Fiji and Christmas