I was able to cover the Boeing 747-8 VIP delivery press conference and fly away on behalf of NYCAviation.com this week. This was technically the first Intercontinental passenger version delivered, but it is the VIP version rather than the true passenger version which will be delivered to Lufthansa later this month.
For my 40th birthday, Jenn bought me a surprise tandem skydiving adventure! However, due to weather, the actual jump would have to occur a week later than planned. I've always wanted to jump out of an airplane, despite my fear of heights, so I looked forward to doing it.
Here's the embeded player:
The remaining days of our Bahamas vacation were a mostly spent at the Atlantis water park. All of the slides were now open! That's good because by now, all of the cruise ships (up to 5 at a time) have been returning to Nassau after Irene altered their schedules. This meant a large influx of visitors, and having more rides open reduces the lines. However, the best line reducer is a cloudburst!
With Irene now thundering up the eastern seaboard, the weather in Nassau returned to relative normal. The sun was bright with a few passing thunderstorms. We awoke, had breakfast and packed to move back to the adjacent Comfort Suites. Today, our neighbors Chad and Jen and their kids would be sailing in to Nassau on board a Disney cruise ship.
"Aftermath" might be a strong word. Usually such a word is reserved for events on the scale of Mount St. Helens or Katrina, and here in Nassau it wasn't anything quite that bad.
Hurricane Irene's eye passed about 50 miles to the northeast of us, however, due to the way the hurricane had evolved, we were in a relatively calm pocket despite our proximity to it. The winds here were in the range of tropical storm force, not the hurricane force winds as predicts. The rainfall was also much less than it could have been.
We awoke to another beautiful sunny day. We were half expecting to see signs of Irene, but there were none yet. It was a little breezy, however.
We prepared to pack a suitcase to move to our backup room at the Atlantis. As we packed, a squall moved in and we thought it was the first band from Irene, but it quickly passed and it turns out that it was just a standard tropical cloudburst.
Earlier in the year we booked a week-long vacation to Nassau, Bahamas to celebrate two graduations: Hayley from high school, and Jenn with her software development degree. Over the course of the summer out plans started to solidify. We would be staying at a hotel on "Paradise Island" which is the same island that the famous Atlantis Resort resides. Not our typical vacation, but the package price couldn't be beat.
Sunspot group 1261 has had a busy week unleashing at least 3 M-class solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) toward the Earth last week. While still year from solar max, this is quite a bit of activity. I took a photo of the sun and sunspot group 1261 from my deck last week: