I was fortunate to be invited to guest-lecture and supervise a graduate student at the University of Florida (Gainsville). Thank you Madan!
Not getting to Florida very regularly, I played hookey for a few days before I was due to officially arrive. Thus I got to visit one of the best aircraft collections in the world, and chat briefly with Kermit. Sadly, my scheduled flight in a Stearman was defeated by weather conditions.
Thereafter I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream by visiting Cape Kennedy. On the way north I found a navigable gravel road at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. What an amazing spot! NASA played ball in the nicest possible way.
My first digital camera (a Nikon D70) had arrived about 3 months earlier. I likely hadn’t finished reading the manual yet – but was pleased with some of the results!
Click on any image to start a full-screen slide-show (and hit “Esc” to return here)
Florida’s so nice in March
One very wet, and very mean-looking Martin Marauder at Fantasy of Flight. This airframe is kind of special for me, being one of those recovered from the famous “Million Dollar Valley” near Smith River, BC., way back in 1972. This is serial 40-1464.
inside B-17 nose
A great display at Fantasy of flight
A very damp Short Sunderland on the ramp at Kermit Week’s incredible Fantasy of Flight museum, 29 March 2005. I believe this is the last one that ever flew.
Bill R, one of the museum volunteers at FoF
The immaculate Spitfire XVIe TE476 at Fantasy of Flight. This example is unusual in the thoroughness of its restoration, complete with WWII issue instruments, radios and guns.
In Canada the cops hang out at Tim Horten’s…
They must have heard I was coming…
Security measures – Orlando style
Remembrance at Cape Kennedy
Lunar excursion module
Exploring the crab nebula
The truly impressive Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Cape Kennedy. Once the largest building in the world by volume, it apparently now ranks fifth or sixth.
Man left for the moon from this spot – this is Saturn V Launch Pad 39B
Atlas rocket sitting on pad
the road less travelled…if you’re a Canadian, and you spy an unmarked gravel road in Florida, TAKE IT!
White Ibis reflection
Anhingas are cool
Roseate spoonbills and the Vehicle assembly building – I just love the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge!
Marbled Godwit perhaps? If so, this likely qualifies as my “best bird of the trip” – and I didn’t even know it until I examined the photos.
we’re coming to eat you haha haha
I just love Black Skimmers!
and Black Skimmers loved me!
about to pounce
American White Pelican
I love sanderlings
This was just too cool for words. They scrubbed the planned launch a day earlier, so I decided to return to Merritt Island NWR for more birdwatching. Little did I know that NASA had other plans. This is the Atlas launch from 39b complex, 11 March 2005.
Atlas launch from 39b complex #2
Payne’s Prairie State Reserve, Florida’s first, near Gainesville.
noisy Fish Crow
On the road through Ocala National Forest
Little Blue heron
andrew in Florida