Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kathmandu - Sentani Post 9: Langgur and...Home!

Sorry I wasn't able to get anything off yesterday evening...wasn't able to find WiFi in the immediate environs of our hotel.

The Maumere to Langgur leg was beautiful and uneventful.  On arrival at the airport in the morning, it took a bit of back and forth with the fueling crew to get some gas into our airplane.  Brad used the time to give our bird a much needed bath.

We soon had Jet-A in our tanks, air beneath our wheels...and more gunung api (Indonesian for volcano; literally: fire mountain) filling our horizon.  More than once we wondered whether the Ring of Fire more vividly described the volcanoes passing beneath our wings...or the state of our backsides after 35 hours of sitting in the Porter's seats (a nod here to Barry McFarlane for creative inspiration).

We did most of the route looking like a couple of intensive care patients with oxygen cannulas sticking up our noses.  We maintained 15,000 feet most of the way and climbed to 19,000 for the last 60 mile stretch of volcano-free water.

93% blood oxygen saturation at 19,000 feet.
The hotel in Langgur gave the place in Bangladesh a run for its money in terms of simplicity, but one of the great things about Indonesia is that you are rarely far from a great meal.  A quick wander down the street found us in front of a streetside grilled fish vendor and we soon had platefuls of grilled red snapper in front of us...and Brad introduced me to grilled squid (16 years in Indonesia and I've never tried the stuff).  Both the fish and the squid were fantastic.

Dinner in Langgur.
Grilled really was good. 
After a great night sleep, we were soon airborne again off of Langgur.  The islands between Langgur and the Papuan mainland were stunning in their remoteness, pristine white beaches, clear water and beautiful reefs.

Tailwinds mercifully turned our final day's 4.5 hour leg into an even 4 hours and we were quickly back in our home airspace.  Great fun to be greeted and congratulated by a number of other pilot friends on the frequency.

Thank you so much for praying.  The entire trip was without question held together by the hand of God.  We saw this in ways too numerous to recount, but the fact that we arrived in Sentani exactly on schedule is a huge testimony to how the Lord paved every step of the way for us.

Please continue to pray for Swiss ferry pilot Dani and Porter #4 which is scheduled to arrive here in 3 days...and for final customs clearance on both aircraft which can take some time.  Be great to have these aircraft online and serving as soon as we can.

Thank you, Lord, for bringing this Porter to Papua.

I'll leave you with a number of pictures of the arrival.  

Short final to...home!
photo Tim Harold
The first of what we pray will be
many happy touchdowns on Sentani's runway 12.
photo Tim Harold
The home stretch.
photo Caleb Harold
The final turn...
                                                                                                         photo Caleb Harold 
The first handshakes from Yajasi's faithful Ground Ops crew.
photo Caleb Harold

The hug I'd been waiting for.    
photo Caleb Harold
Brad is welcomed home by fellow pilot and
Yajasi Board Member Darsono Widjatmiko.
photo Tim Harold
Gathering for a prayer of thanksgiving.
photo Tim Harold


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