Carlo continues his narration of the flight around Zambales. We explore two exquisite islands and the site of a WWII sea battle. Carlo reflects on our journey from 60 feet under the sea to 2,000 feet above it.
It’s good to turn away from forbidding volcanic terrain towards the flat coastal plain of Zambales.
We can survive an engine failure now… .
Someday, I will fly there and relax on the beach after flying. Hopefully with an appreciative girlfriend in tow. 😀
[Tonet’s note: Girlfriend, huh? Hopefully by then global warming will have submerged Iba… .]
I had looked forward to seeing these privately-owned islands, both of which have their own airfields!
This is the first time I am flying over water without flying parallel to the shoreline.
What’s the gliding distance of the Cessna 152 at this altitude? When did I ever become paranoid? Oh well, paranoid is good, in a pilot.
[Hermana Minor, literally “little sister”, has a sod airstrip that looks long enough for a 747!]
Both islands are surrounded by beaches, with coral reefs offshore that are clearly visible from the air.
[The famous US submarine Harder was lost to a Japanese depth charge attack here in August, 1944. In November, the Japanese heavy cruiser Kumano, survivor of many vicious Pacific battles, was sunk in shallow water here by American torpedo attacks.]
I recall SCUBA diving with Tonet a few years ago. After seeing everything from inquisitive barracuda and chameleon cuttlefish to schools of jacks the size and shape of Texas tornadoes, Tonet and I figured we’d reached our peak. Little did we know.
I’m excited about what’s next.
[Meanwhile, Tonet is excited about getting an invitation to fly to this beautiful grass airstrip on Hermana Mayor, the “big sister”.]
Even from this altitude, the beaches look superb all around.
[Hermana Mayor and Hermana Minor are privately-owned by separate clans. Hermana Mayor is more developed, with cabanas, a golf course and a man-made lake.]
As we fly east and head back to Clark, ducking rain clouds, Tonet remarks that he could never have imagined all this just a few years ago.
The landing is perfect, of course. 😀
Next in this series: Pangasinan, a mythical airfield, an encounter with Presidential Security, and the re-invention of a Cessna pilot.
Posted from Guangzhou, Jan 16, 2008.