Cunard Cruise 2012
Trip Day 1
Wednesday, March 21st
Leave for Singapore

Today this marathon trip begins with my pickup from home by Airlink at approximately 11:00 am. After 75 to 90 minutes I should arrive at Pearson Airport's in Toronto Terminal 3. If all has gone well, sometime in the last 48 hours or so I will have done an online check in for Cathay Pacific's flight CX827 which departs from Toronto at 3:15 p.m. this afternoon heading for Hong Kong.

I should then be dropping off luggage and going through security to arrive at the gate sometime shortly thereafter. Usually (touching wood as I say this) there is more than enough time to complete these necessities and have a bit of time to spare before boarding the plane.

The flight, once it leaves Toronto takes some 15.5 hours to get to the first stop in Hong Kong. That means there is not much more that needs to be said about today.

On to tomorrow with this flights arrival and the second flight to get to Singapore.

What actually happened!!!

What follows are notes I made on my Ipad (in airplane mode of course) as the flight progressed. The actual notes are in a slightly different font and any comments I choose to add will be in this type. I should note that some of these notes are rather short and are reproduced here pretty much exactly the way I wrote them on the plane. I have made a couple of grammatical and spelling corrections but that is all. There are a couple of pictures also. The first set below was written on the sixth day of the trip with the notes about the flight actually written during the flight. Here we go....

The pickup for the trip to the airport occurred at about 10:40am. The trip (after a stop to pick up another couple) took about one hour and fifteen minutes arriving at about 11:50 am. I checked in and was ready to continue by 12:00. The next thing was to go to the Canadian Border Agency and register the IPad and the new small camera for that green card that gets them back into the country if there is any issue.

From here I looked around for a while and found a Swiss Chalet where I had a very satisfactory lunch. I noted in one e-mail I sent (I think that was from the departure gate at Pearson Airport) that it was almost as good as that Fairview Church Staff Lunch I was invited to in January. It seems to me I said that this lunch was missing the “stimulating conversation” of the previous one.

Shortly after 1:00 I went through security and had my first pat down search. I forgot to take my wallet out of my pocket and it tripped the metal detector which is what may have triggered that search. I almost got to use one of their fancy new machines but it had to be rebooted due to some technical problem it was having. It would have been interesting to see what it was like but that did not happen. The person after me got that chance. 

The plane arrived from Hong Kong just as I got to the gate at about 1:30. Almost before the passengers started getting off the fuel truck was hooked up and pumping fuel in for the 15.5 hour return trip. It was still pumping when I got on the plane almost two hours later.


This is the Cathy Pacific Boeing 777ER that I will spend the next almost 16 hours in.

I continue with the notes take during the flight.

Pushed away gate at 3:16pm. Took off from runway parallel to Derry Road at 3:33. There are 12752K or about 7900 miles to go. Route is north along the east side of Georgian Bay then along the west side of  James and Hudson's Bay, just west of  of the North Pole then down over Siberia and China to Hong Kong.

Arctic Ocean 1

This view, taken at 5:12 PM shows what I think is the northeastern portion of Hudson's Bay looking west.

About 12 hours to go now. After some turbulence. It looks like the route has had to deviate a bit farther east than the captain originally indicated. The route so far has followed the eastern shore of Hudson's Bay and has cut across far northern Quebec and is now crossing the central part of Baffin Island.  The moving map now says exactly 12 hours to go and the time is 6:23. The plane just passed between Cape Dorset and it think it was called Kimmirut both located on the southern edge of Baffin Island. Current distance to go is 6287 miles or something around 10,000 kilometers (10084 to be exact) and it is starting to get bumpy again. More to come!

Coming up on 11hours to go now and the plane is just off the northwest coast of Greenland. About 30 minutes ago it passed the last place that was labeled on this moving map system. It is called Clyde River on the northeastern shore of Baffin Island. It looks like the plane will pass the North Pole on the Scandinavian side. Here are the current stats.... 5737 miles to go at approximately 565 miles per hour, 31,000 feet above the Arctic. The flight will shortly start out across the Arctic Ocean heading for Siberia. More to come! The plane is not over the top yet!

Arctic Image 1

This image was taken at 7:40PM.
As the flight progressed it got slightly darker than this but never completely dark.

Another hour has passed by and the plane has just started out over the Arctic Ocean in the last few minutes. At 10 hours to go the stats are 5195 miles to go. The time is 8:24. The plane started over the Arctic Ocean just east of an island that is just west of Greenland.

Well another hour has almost passed. It is approaching 9 now. The plane is slightly less than half way across the Arctic Ocean now. I suspect that it either has passed or shortly will pass the North Pole on the Scandinavian side. Half way by time is still approximately 90 minutes away. Here are the stats: 4647 miles to go with arrival estimated at 6:24 PM Hong Kong time. We are passing well north of an island with a name that starts with an S.

At the 8 hour to go mark the plane is approaching the coast of Siberia. The plane is currently passing a couple of large islands in the Arctic Ocean just off the coast. Distance to go is 4103 miles at 8 hours to go and it is 10:28 either AM or PM. In about another 30 minutes will be the half way point in the 15 hour and 4 minute flight the captain predicted before the plane left Toronto.

Well I am on the down hill side now. At just about the 7 hour and 30 minute mark the plane crossed the coast of Siberia. Mileage wise the plane seems to be more than half way but who knows. So, at the 7 hour to go mark the time is 11:27 with 3552 miles to go (3536 actually).

I might note here that the distances in the notes jump around a bit depending on what the "moving map" system was showing at the time I was writing the note. I would start writing it with one amount and by the time I got to the end of it a new distance would be displayed. The system also jumped back and forth between miles and kilometres which is why there is a mixture of imperial and metric distances.

At this point the day changes to tomorrow and this will continue there.

Created: Feb. 27, 2012
The"What actually happened" update was started: May 28, 2012
The "What actually happened" update was completed: May 29, 2012 3:54 PM
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 3:54 PM