and Monica both arrived home from college for summer break on
Friday so it was not a hard decision for Toni and me to leave
first thing Saturday morning with rockets in tow to celebrate
our 27th year wedding anniversary flying rockets over the entire
weekend. We snuck across the Bay Bridge before the beach traffic
and enjoyed a nice leisurely breakfast at Hollys. This was the
first launch of the summer flying season at the Central Sod
Farm. The launches do not start until noon on Saturdays so we
dawdled about before it was time to set up the field.
The soft sod was lush and green as far as the eye could see. The
skies were blue with a slight breeze. The temperatures were
moderate and the humidity was non-existent. There was an
industrial field sprinkler system to the right that would
eventually reach us but otherwise, a perfect rocket flying day.
We made quick work setting up the field.
I tended some responsibilities and it was not until after 03:00
PM before I could prepare Shaken, Not Stirred
customary Loki H144 motor. In the meantime, the normal LCO had
to leave so we enlisted Momoko to take over the LCO duties. I
decided to play a joke and loaded up my flight card with “R”s
and “L”s knowing that Momoko had a hard time pronouncing these
sounds. I should have known better than to mess with Karma.
On the first attempt, Shaken, Not Stirred
and my joke backfired. Momoko immediately turned the joke back
on me as I made the walk of shame back to my vehicle to get a
new igniter. The second attempt fared no better with another
chuff and another walk of shame with head hung low. I apologized
to Karma and installed two igniters for the third attempt. With
a chuff and a huff, Shaken, Not Stirred
took to the skies and
soared to an altitude of 1,228 feet before arching over and
deploying its drogue. The mains dutifully deployed at the
preprogrammed 400 feet and Shaken, Not Stirred
came to rest
in the soft green sod. I did receive many “very nices” or was
that “berry nices”. Post flight inspection revealed upper
shoulder wear around the nose cone that will have to be
Not Stirred finally take flight here.
I will no
longer tempt fate with Karma.
was our last flight for Saturday. We checked
into the Sleep Inn and hurriedly washed the day’s activities
from us as we had reservations at Annies for our anniversary
dinner. Some close rocket friends joined us in celebration. The
drinks flowed freely, the food was excellent, and the company
awesome. It was a very good anniversary with good memories that
will last a lifetime.
We paid the price Sunday morning as we were reluctant to stumble
out of bed and head to the field. We returned to Hollys for
breakfast and some black coffee to bring us back to reality. We
arrived at the field a little late but no worse for the wear.
The weather at the field was breezy and cloudy.
We decided to take it easy. Toni prepared my Mini Sweet
with a D12 black powder motor. Mini Sweet
slowly lifted off in the stiff breeze before
arching overhead where the small multicolored main parachute
came to rest in the lush sod close by.
Sweet Vengeance fly here.
That was our last launch for the weekend. We laid back enjoying
the cool weather and other flights until it was time to pack up
the field. We enjoyed dinner at the Cracker Barrel on the way
home knowing that this was our last chance for peace and quiet
for the summer. As feared, the kids were still home when we
returned. Until the next launch . . .