Richard and Weez Excellent Adventure - North Pacific Ocean...

Sunday 29th March - 4:12am

As you can see, it's Sunday again - time travel!  We crossed the international date line quite a while back now.  Dawn is now here - Hi Dawn.....(Probably a better received Young Ones crack than the coffin one Harley!!) and since I can't sleep I thought I'd type a little more.

747-200 Wing

We left not long after 10pm.  The take off was marginally on the scary side for me!   In all my past travels when I was younger, I can't recall the plane shaking and rattling like it does on take off.  The trip has been bumpy ever since we left but only once has it been so bad for the 'Fasten Seatbelt' sign to come on.  The bumpiness really unnerved me for the first hour, but now it seems to serve as a quiet reminder that we are actually moving along.

Tea was served not long after take off.  Weez and I had lasagne (which was quite yummy I might add) with some kind of fruit slice for desert.  The crackers and cheese are stashed  away for later consumption.  We are in seats 57B and 57C just as we ordered at the Air New Zealand flight centre - (Wasn't Wesely Snypes Pasenger 57 ?).  We are the first row where there are only two seats at the rear of the plane.  The extra room to the left hand side where they couldn't quite fit in an extra seat has proved a real bonus for us to stash all the extra junk we are carrying (laptop, camera equipment, Camcorder, Weez briefcase, kitchen sink....)

I've managed to sleep for a couple of hours I think - I don't feel too bad at the moment but I think later in the day will tell a bit more.  (Louise has slept most of the way - and I bet she'll get there and say 'I feel like crap'!)  I have my watch set to NZ time still (4.31am) and also LA time (8.31) - so I'm now trying to get used to the LA time.  The light show at Disneyland is only on in the weekends so we may have a quick snooze when we land to charge our batteries up for the night show.  Talking of which - time for another Quake session before they go flat............

The stewardess (is that what they still call them?) kindly asked the pilot for me if I could go up on the flight deck for a bit of a look.  Everyone on the plane was still asleep and things were pretty quiet and luckily for me he said yes.  It was interesting to feel that the further up the plane you walked, the less bumpy it became.   Looks like there's a trade off for us in having more room for our bagage next to us in the two seats at the back and a smoother ride up the front of the plane.  Anyway, on and up to the flightdeck.  I sat in a seat next to the flight engineer just to the rear of the pilot.  The view was magnificant even if it was only clouds and blue sky.   The ride right up the front was super smooth.  I was pretty blown away by everything around me that I was lost for words for a while.  The pilot and co-pilot seemed fairly busy in what they were doing (not flat out like lizards drinking but obviously they were being meticulous about their work) so I chatted to the flight engineer a little.  He explained a little to me about some of the guages and what was being done when the pilot did something.  Conversation occasionally shifted to the Hong Kong Sevens, but while I was there it was pretty much business (if anyone can tell me how New Zealand did, please let me know.   I knew my time was limited so I hurriedly grabbed some photos.  Having not used my EOS-5 for a while, I hoped like hell that I was exercising the correct judgement when using fill-in flash to balance the bright outside with the relatively low light level inside.  Just to be sure I got something semi-useful, I switched to the 'tyro' mode and grabbed a couple of extra shots.  Before I knew it, the stewardess was back to collect me and my visit was over.  If you ever get the chance, a visit up the front was well worth it...........

Much more of the same.  We finally landed which was one of the smoothest landings we've had in the last few flights especially in such a big plane.  Well done to the flight crew.