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    Sometimes it takes someone to plant the seed in your head for you to act on an idea and this would be one of those instances. I had been thinking about buying a Canon 70-200L f2.8 IS for a while but had been putting it off for other things, content with my 100-400 for the time being. It wasn't till fellow Jetphotos screener Will bought this lense and bombarded me with his great shots from the lense that I decided it was time to get my act together and get one. The ebay prices weren't to bad but would attract tax on landing in Australia, so a quick scan of the AFL schedule for a weekend my team was playing interstate and a quick call to UA, had me spending 20,000 points and $71 in taxes on a ticket to Christchurch to pickup some white L glass.

    05/08/06 MEL-CHC
    NZ 792 ZK-OJH


    Found myself at the NZ check in around 2.5 hours before the scheduled departure after a very early start to the day and sleeping through my alarm 3 times. Not a sole to be seen at this hour at the NZ check in with only one the check in agent seeing to passengers, he to looking like he would rather still be in bed. A whole 2 minutes later i had my boarding pass for 11A, an exit row on the A320. Not a lot happening once through security so bought a newspaper and settled in at the end of the terminal to watch arrivals. Boarding was called right on time and we were set to go way before the scheduled departure but as usual there is some sort of hold up and we pushed just after the scheduled time.

    Departure today was from Rwy 27 and a hard bank left after take off had us pointing back in the general direction of New Zealand. Breakfast was the meal to be served, with some sort of hash brown being offered with the alternative being a continental breakfast. A full bar service was also offered which a lot of the cabin (including myself) took up at this early hour. The inflight entertainment for today would be the movie Over the hedge so i made the most of NZ's excellent Urban Grooves channel and tried to get some zzzz. A few bumps approaching the coast of NZ had me awake and taking in the awesome scenery of the southern alps where we started descent into CHC.

    Certainly no surprise that closer to CHC we encountered more and more cloud, this city always seems to turn on the weather for me Landing on Rwy 02 after a quick approach had us heading to gate 27 to alight, or was it 28? Seemed the pilot thought it was 27 and the random guy that decided to wave us in thought so as well, but the fact the ground equipment and jetway were ready at gate 28 seemed to indicate otherwise. A quick backtrack on the apron and we making our way off the aircraft at gate 28. Seemed immigration weren't ready for us either with the glass doors to let us into the duty free/immigration area not open. First in line at immigration, back already on the belt and shot through the quarantine inspections. Out to meet Will and onwards to Photo and Video where the lovely Mel bought me and my new lense together finally.

    That night was spent at Palazzo Mallinson, providing excellent accommodation including in room internet, car service and pay tv. What more could one want? Next morning it was out spotting with the owner himself, Will, along with Tum and Mr Mungous at the aero club. Again more fine weather led to an early retirement to the Yaldhurst Pub for some soothing ales. The "Yaldy" would also today play host to the " Crew Trans Tasman Yaldhurts Pub Pool Trophy" which would turn out to be a hard fought contest between the only two entrants, with the inagrual trophy staying with the home team and heading back to Palazzo Mallinson.

    06/08/06 CHC-MEL
    NZ793 ZK-OJH
    STD/ATD: 1535/1553
    STA/ATA: 1725/1717
    SEAT 12A

    After the shocking loss of the pool trophy, i headed back to the airport for my return flight home. Having earlier checked in, it was a quick run through security and customs, making it to the gate right on the boarding time. The NZ crew however had other ideas and boarding had been delayed for some un announced reason, so i had time for a couple of calls to inform a few others of my lose of the pool trophy. Finally boarded the aircraft which bought me across the ditch yesterday and into my seat, one row behind the previous days. Same safety announcement, before a Rwy 20 departure. The seat belt signs stayed until we were off the NZ coast due to the never eventuating turbulence the captain had predicted. Given the flight was between meal times in either zone, the meal served was a bit of a mixed bag. Can't remember the last time i saw a meat pie served with rice, usually it comes with tomato sauce! At least the ice cream was half decent. Mission Impossible III was the choice of movie today and was a good time killer, although the gentleman next to me obviously thought i didn't really want to watch it and would rather the classical music station, as i kept sticking his pointy elbows onto my station/volume controller and kindly changing the channel for me! How nice of him. I didn't really want to head what they were saying anyway.

    As the movie came to a less than thrilling end, we started our descent into MEL for a Rwy 27 landing. The pilot managed to find the right gate today and soon had us waiting for our bags, which arrived before those of the Jetstar flight having also arrived from CHC 15mins before us. Obviously the 26 hour stay in another country looked suspicious to someone as i was herded off to have my bags inspected instead of being let out the little side door into the arrivals hall like most from my flight.

    All in all, an enjoyable weekend except for the disappointing loss of the pool trophy. I'm sure some training and a few more beers will see the result reversed in the near future!
    Last edited by MELflyer; 2006-08-07, 04:27.

  • #2
    Nice report BV, was good to catch up with you again. Hope you enjoyed the great weekend weather!


    • #3
      Sounds like you had a fun time!

      Always took you for a Classical music fan anyway


      • #4
        Like reading your report!!


        • #5
          nice report


          • #6
            Interesting and descriptive report.

            Thanks for visiting
            *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *


            • #7