So we are airborne. We keep almost the legal altitude and fly southbound. The sky is gray, it is almost overcast, but the air is calm and clouds high enough so they dont bother us. We reach the apennini and follow them, we will try to cross them at the passo della Cisa if the pass is clear of clouds. There is a west wind and that can generate clouds which clog the passes, but it is early enough so it should be clear. if the Cisa is not flyable, we will try more south, around Mugello; that would make the flight a little longer.
This is us, i am the one in hawaian shirt. do i look worried?
Here we are following the apennini, on our right
and here the Pianura Padana, on our left
We cross the apennines. The Passo della Cisa is covered, but clouds are higher than most peaks of the moutains, we have good visibility, so no problem at all. some cloud is lower than us, generated by the humid wind coming from the sea.
we reach the coast, there are some small "fronts" of clouds and a little rain below them, we descend to the canonical 1000ft AGL, and prepare to fly below these small fronts. we will have to follow the apennini leaving them on our left, in order to clear some airports; we tune the radio to listen to traffic. we get some rain, Betty Boop is not totally waterproof so some water makes its way inside the airplane, pushed by the 180kmh airflow. visibility gets very poor in rain so we try to avoid it flying around the cloud fronts.. try that on a motorbike :-)
spectacular marble caves on our left. they sure dug up those mountains, in the course of centuries.
we then reach Il Gabbiano airfield, with its 500mt runway, and we land uneventfully. there are 15 knots of wind so landing is very short, the wind coming undisturbed from the sea quite laminar. it took 2 hours and 15 minutes, and the red line in the itinerary map is behind us. The owner of the place greets us and shows us the fuel. the plastic cans look dodgy and dirty. hope that is only the exterior...i dont like dirty fuel. We tank up, take a leak (always a wise thing to do in toiletless airplanes), and go to check the latest forecast. We are thinking about waiting, usually winds decrease in the late afternoon. But forecast indicates the wind will increase during the day, and it is already very strong so we hurry up, wear the life jackets and take off, direction north of Elba and direct to Bastia, in Corsica. We start to climb, disregarding the italian law, and reach 5000ft, which will allow us to glide to solid ground in case of engine failure, or at least will allow us some time to spot a ship and ditch close to it. The sea is ROUGH due to the strong wind lasting since 6 days.