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Napier Hastings Fly In

(NZHS) Oct 2004

“I Faithfully Follow No Roads”

The inclement weather forecast for the Hawkes Bay area proved accurate and the independent decisions to turn a FLY IN to a DRIVE IN were correct. The convoy from the North was lead by Fred & Eileen Bain accompanied by IYE student, Maxi Von Morner, from Germany. Phil & Judy Pacey had visitors from Oz, Allan & Maise Grady as passengers and were closely followed by Keith & Glennis Sinclair.

Wayne Scott chauffeured Mal McLennan, Danish IYE Student, Marie Harpoeth and yours truly with the journey verified /monitored by handheld GPS to add flavour of weekend. As an aside we were obliged to stop just south of Matamata to observe the cowl flap position on a low flying C185 piloted by Mark (& Sue) Sullivan (on route to Queenstown) as it passed overhead. The events of this flight —-should be the subject of another yarn. Ian Jenner and Julie Sobiecki joined the group at Taupo for lunch. All spirits were raised (decisions confirmed) soon after as we entered the low cloud accompanied by drizzle/rain which was to be with us during the weekend. Another aside has us waiting to view the “flashed” photo to confirm Keith’s story that Phil’s cellphone warning and the onboard navigator’s instructions arrived at that same instance… too late! This will also clear the confusion over reported ground speeds of the Sinclair mobile.

Philip Evers-Swindell’s efforts to fly from Ashburton were halted by weather at Kaikoura and we understand his decision to return home. An exception to the general rule was the landing at Bridge Pa Airfield by Brian & Jeanette Souter whose efforts kept alive our Fly In atmosphere. A warm welcome at the Motel from organisers Graham and Carol Gimlett had us soon catching up with other notable guests, Mike & Lynn Hoggard, Eric & Patricia Linklater, Roy & Marlene Marsden, Arthur Smethurst, Colin & Jan Kay and Michael & Sheryl Bryant. We soon adjoined to the local Cosmopolitan Club for a meal and further fellowship.

Next morning local organiser Peter (RC of Greenmeadows) introduced us to our Bus driver for our scenic trip around points of interest in Napier including the historic Mission Vineyard. Then on to the Seahorse farm prior to lunch at the well known Clifton Bay Restaurant. The highlight of the weekend a journey by 4 wheel drive buses through the exclusive and private farm redevelopment into golf course and exclusive resort to one of the area’s Gannet Colonies.

We were enthralled just watching the nesting pairs and by the flying skills of these magnificent birds. This despite the downwind odour created by the dense close living of the colony. A welcome “cuppa” and then return to Napier for a brief rest prior to Dinner with President Brian Hall and members of the Rotary Club of Greenmeadows in their Club rooms.

Next morning Chairman Graham presided over our meeting with the discussion and decisions being subject the meeting’s minutes. A lunch time departure for home by most with some staying on for further exploration of Napier.

Roger Leadbeater

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