Monday, November 29, 2010

It isn't as difficult to leave Germany as I thought - temperatures below freezing, short days, windy weather and lots of cloud and rain make this departure an easy one indeed. I've spent the past couple of months scouring eBay and other online sites for bargains destined for Zanshin I, including a complete set of replacement running rigging and the new Jordan Series drogue plus all sorts of odds and ends. They were picked up on Friday the 26th and will arrive in St. Martin via freight somewhere around Christmas for pickup.

11:05am - The weather this weekend makes it particularly easy to leave - temperatures under freezing and enough humidity in the air and slight breeze to make the whole thing really uncomfortable. It will be a real pleasure to be able to dispense with wearing shoes and thick winter clothing. I'm currently sitting in the ICE express en route to Frankfurt airport and from thence to the flight to Antigua.

17:30pm - Although we were only officially delayed from 14:30 to 15:30 we got on board one hour late and then proceeded to wait for the de-icing trucks to arrive. We got to watch them de-ice the aircraft to our right and left, then the aircraft towed into position to our left... and then drive off into the sunset (well, off into the light snow drifting down). When we were finally at the front of the line only one truck showed up and took quite a while to get us sprayed with orange goop.

The flight goes from Frankfurt to Punta Carna via Antigua and most of the guests on this Airbus are bound for the Dominican Republic. Since the crew has legal work time maximal value to meet, the flight will bypass Antigua and go directly to Punta Carna... then spend 2 hours on the ground refuelling and cleaning and then pick up passengers and fly back to Germany via Antigua. This is the second time that this has happened to me with Condor, the first time I had 4 hours to make my LIAT connection flight and missed it (8 hour delay), and the airline didn't pay for cab or hotel and I had to take care of re-booking my LIAT flight myself. This time around I had planned on a night in Antigua, but am a bit disappointed since I booked a “all-inclusive” rate so that I could get dinner and I don't think I'll be arriving in Antigua until about midnight, far too late to get any food. It is surprising how badly this airline treats passengers. Last time I had a chuckle when the pilot talked about the ground staff assisting passengers - Condor has no ground staff in Antigua and all of them showed up that time.


Dortmund sunset Dortmund sunset

[51°29'57.3"N 7°27'44.92"E (facing N)]
Dortmund sunset
Shipping cases to St. Martin These cases are still in Germany and are about to begin their long (and time-consuming) journey to St. Martin via Florida.
Shipping cases to St. Martin
Christmas market in Dortmund Christmas market in Dortmund
Christmas market in Dortmund
Da Capo pizza crew The lunchtime crew at Da Capo pizzeria in Dortmund Germany, where we found ourselves 3 times a week.
Da Capo pizza crew
Garage Storage Not only is the bike in here, but all those Peli Cases and duffel bags are bound for Zanshin I
Garage Storage
Frankfurt departure board Frankfurt departure board
Frankfurt departure board
Frankfurt weather The snow made for a mess at departure with many, many delays including ours. The whole airport seemed to have only 2 functioning de-icing trucks.
Frankfurt weather
Frankfurt Departure I departed Germany on this day, which had the first snow of the year and the conditions were, unfortunately, rather warm so we had to get de-iced prior to takeoff. To make matters worse, they only had a couple of de-icing vehicles available that day so we had a 4-hour delay in getting off the ground!

[50°2'51.47"N 8°34'17.95"E (facing SW)]
Frankfurt Departure

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