I thought the weather was looking fairly promising when I rolled out of the motel room & looked at the sky toward the west. By the time we got packed up & down at the airfield at 9.30 am, the blue sky I’d seen previously had now been replaced by grey.
We were still optimistic that we could possibly get out toward the west – the north was an impossibility. The weather forecast was saying 4000 feet cloud over the mountains toward the west – but from our position, it looked pretty low.
The mountain range to the west that we would have to pass over was going in & out with cloud. Michael decided to take my jab for a fly to verify the cloud base & check what it looked like from higher up. The last thing we wanted to do was to take off & get boxed in by cloud over high mountains & have no where to go.
Following Michael’s inspection of the cloud, it was confirmed that they were pretty low over the mountain range & by this time it was becoming late morning & our options were dwindling.
We considered flying down south first toward Townsville & then coming across over the mountain range which is a lot lower but following some calculations, we would be pushing daylight to get to Cooktown in time. We all agreed that the only option would be to spend another night in lovely Ingham.
Although we have been held up, it has been good to rest up as myself & the team are feeling much better now in pushing ahead.
Tomorrow, depending on weather, we might be able to get up the coast however, our safest option will probably be going south, then west to Georgetown, then up to Cooktown. Although this route is double the distance to Cooktown, we need to get past this crap weather.
We will make a final decision in the morning.
It is disappointing to be stuck here & it is creating problems for us with arranging accommodation & transport in small country towns where options for these are very limited.
If anyone has any ideas for suitable accommodation around Burketown, please let us know as our accommodation has now fallen through due to our delays & we might end up sleeping under the wings of our planes.
Over & out,