Video: Round the Island Race 2016

The annual Round the island Race, round the Isle of Wight, that is, took place this year on 2 July. We entered, as usual, with some friends, having sailed the Solent for the previous few days.

Conditions were challenging, at times, but the big disappointment was the genoa jamming as we tried to take it down towards the end of the race. Hey ho, we had fun and there’s always next year.


Music by Josh Woodward (buy it!), cameras were two Drift HD Ghosts and a Drift Stealth 2.

The Webbs’ Golden Wedding Anniversary Surprise Party

Jenny Green and Jenny Morris organised a surprise party for Spider and Gill last night.

Pete & Gill's Golden Wedding
Pete & Gill’s Golden Wedding

A good time was had by all!

Trip Report (Historical) – South Africa to the UK, September 1998

I bought my A36 Bonanza in July 1998 in South Africa when the currency was having one of its periodic falls. I wrote up the story of the ferry flight for Aero Africa magazine (RIP), and have just found it again. For the full story, see my A36 Blog.

Loading at Wonderboom
Loading at Wonderboom

For the full story, see my A36 Blog.

Garmin GPSMAP 695 – Sold!

This is a rock-solid GPS which has lived in my panel for the last two years. It has a 7″ screen which is very easy to see in a bright cockpit, hard buttons (no touchscreen) and it won’t overheat. With the “bare wires” cable connected to your panel, the 695 receives the current flight plan from your GTN/GNS and a charge so if you were to lose electrical power you’d have a fully charged GPS to work with.

I bought this GPS second-hand in 2013 and replaced the battery at that time. All the databases are up-to-date. ChartView is unlocked and Central European Jeppesen charts are installed. They will expire soon but remain visible until 70 days after expiration.

I’m including a soft case, the protective cover, cigarette light power adapter, AC adapter, USB cable, Quick Reference Guide, Owner’s Manual and the “bare wires” data & power cable. The original yoke mount got taken to pieces so I could install the GPS in my panel so I might not be able to put it back together, but there are loads of cockpit mounts available.

More information about the GPSMAP 695 on Garmin’s website.

695 screen
695 screen
695 installed
695 installed

I’ll take some more photos when I remove the GPS from my aircraft.

This GPS is over £1400 new – I’m asking £600 plus postage.

Karen’s Accident

Rescue arrives
Rescue arrives

Karen had a nasty accident this week and broke both bones in her lower right leg. She was helicoptered down the mountain to the Morzine Medical Centre and, after and x-ray, moved to the Georges Pianta Hospital in Thonon-les-Bains for an operation to set her leg. She’s had a plate and screws attached to hold everything together and is now on the mend.

We’re expecting her to be discharged on Sunday, but she’ll be on crutches for six weeks or so and it will take three to four months for a complete recovery.

Update: Monday 22 Feb. Karen saw the doctor this morning and he said the new cast will be fitted today but she needs to stay in hospital for another night before being released.

Update: Tuesday 23 Feb. Escape Committee success! Karen was discharged this morning and is now on the sofa at home! Her new cast is split on both sides so we can clean the skin every two days. Now, how to get to Geneva on Sunday?

Update: Friday 26 Feb. Back to Thonon Hospital this morning for a final check-up with the surgeon. He’s very happy with the way the wound is healing so it’s London on Sunday and a London hospital next week for the permanent cast to be fitted.

Update: Tuesday 15 March. The cast is off but still no weight on leg for at least another two weeks.

Instant Aviation Weather Anywhere

How would like you like to get weather information like this…

EGOV 250950Z 17014KT 9999 FEW017 SCT170 BKN250 16/11 Q1004 BLU NOSIG TAF EGOV 250736Z 2509/2518 17012KT 9999 FEW022 PROB30 TEMPO 2514/2517 7000 -RA BECMG 2516/2518 BKN018


European Radar
European Radar



…instantly on any device?

With one free app and another free account, you can.

It works by combining your AutoRouter account with the new Telegram Messenger app. Here’s how to get it set up:

    Go to and open a free account
    Download Telegram Messenger for all the devices you want to use
    Associate Telegram with your mobile telephone number
    In Telegram, search for “autorouter” (it’s a bot) and send it a message
    It will reply that it doesn’t know who you are because you need to link the Autorouter account with the Autorouter bot
    Tap on the safety pin, find yourself in the contacts list, and send it your mobile number

It should all be configured now, so try sending “radar” to the autorouter bot and get back something like the first image in this post. If that works, try “sferics” to get lightning strikes or “EGLL” to get the Heathrow weather.

There are tons of commands available. If you enter one that the bot doesn’t understand, it replies with the list of supported commands. Since it doesn’t understand “help”, that’s what I use to remind me what’s available.

    Supported commands:
    EOBT – delay or bring forward next flight plan to hour and minute UTC.
    CANCEL – cancel the next flight plan.
    ARRIVAL – send arrival message at hour and minute UTC.
    WX – METAR/TAF for airport with given ICAO ID.
    NEAR – get METAR/TAF near ICAO airport
    NOTAM – NOTAMs for airport/FIR (add ordinal for details)
    PLATES – AIP plates
    SUBSCRIBE – subscription management
    GRAMET – vertical route profile
    SIGMET – European SIGMET
    SFERICS – lightning strikes
    RADAR – rain radar
    SATIR – infrared satellite
    TOPS – infrared with cloud tops estimation
    MSLP – mean sea level pressure analysis
    SIGWX – significant weather
    TEMSI – European TEMSI forecast
    AIRSPACES – Active airspace information
    RADARSLOVENIA – Slovenian rain radar
    NORDICSWC – Scandinavian Significant Weather Chart
    DWD – German Met Office products (subscription required)
    Send your location for METAR/TAF in the vicinity

For a complete explanation of how to set it up and the commands available, go to the Autorouter site.

One more thing – if you have an account with the German Weather Service (DWD), perhaps because you have an ADL120 installed in your aircraft, you can get images like this:


Parker Family Photos

David and Kayleigh got married this weekend in Cambridge – a great weekend from start to finish. Of course, the whole tribe was there so we took the chance to grab some family photos.

Aerial View
Aerial View