Today we are leaving for Kona, Hawaii. The flight will take us over Cold Bay in the Aleutian chain of islands. Anchorage is seeing us off with beautiful weather, few clouds and temperature in the 60s F. We will probably miss this cool weather very soon.
The GV is already on the ramp, waiting for us. The mechanic and technicians come out earlier than the science team to have extra time to prepare the airplane and not have people scurrying around, waiting on them. It works best for all that way in the end. We fuel the aircraft; it takes quite a bit of Jet-A to make sure we have enough to take us all the way to Hawaii.
For the first half of the flight I am disappointed: there is a double to triple cloud deck over the Aleutians and the volcanoes are nowhere to be seen. We fly a low approach into Cold Bay, looking at the flat open tundra under our wings. There is not a trace of snow anywhere except for the remote mountain range in the distance.
We make a climbing turn coming out of Cold Bay and the pilot leads the way to the South.
The next stop is Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii.