Flying X. The Flight to Nowhere
Have you ever headed out, knowingly, to the middle of nowhere?
I had contemplated a flight to Block Island, RI,
A few hours from my departure place of Ithaca, NY,
While a zoology major at Cornell University (1966).
This was dead reckoning from mainland RI,
To Block Island, a small spot of land some 30 to 50 minutes offshore.
I had never done this before; flying over the sea--no land in sight.
Three other grad students eagerly agreed to accompany me on the flight.
All went well across the terrestrial mapped area, until the Atlantic.
I checked my gas, held my breath, and took a heading towards our tiny destination.
With luck and no irregularities, the lovely island came into sight.
We landed, made arrangements for the evening,
And had a gentle and friendly repast, followed by our overnight.
The next morning we took in some sights
And I somewhat nervously checked the weather, which was closing in.
My companions were oblivious to the weather needs for our return,
But I continually checked for a break in our low overcast situation.
The moment came and I suggested we scramble to the plane.
Up we rose into a broken cloud cover with afternoon sun accenting our surroundings.
Up at several thousand feet, I felt relief in our potential accomplishment.
All seemed well until I smelled smoke and my heart basically stopped.
Turning to my passengers, I related my despair,
Until it was discovered that Gloria, one of the passengers,
Had lit up a cigarette!!
My fear was gone, but I sternly instructed that such an act should not be repeated.
At dusk, we arrived home in Ithaca and quietly dispersed.
This was a flight I would never forget--and have not over all these years.
Yet another adventure in my occasional attempt, while defying gravity.
Frank Maurer 17 September 2023
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