12. CHRISTMAS ISLAND; YPXM, (Australia) - 720NM - 4:15

Round the World Flight with HB-PON 2008/09
Rolf Martin FRIEDEN & Manfred Melloh
Fri 4 Jul 2008 16:08

"10:27.1S 105:41.4E



Singapore WSSL to Christmas Isl. YPXM



We had an early start and headed to the airport rather early, to

tackle the paperwork and to refuel the plane.

The weather was overcast, and just after takeoff, we noticed,

that our main artificial horizon just went on a blink, as we

entered into lover visibility on our climb out. With the back up

electrical horizon, we ended up hand flying the aircraft all the

way to Christmas Island without our autopilot. What a task!


The weather somehow improved, as we headed south west across the

equator over Indonesia.


>From Jakarta onwards, heading south over the Indian Ocean for

some 400 miles, we spotted Christmas Island from some distance

on the horizon, with large clouds on top.






To stay on the safe side, we approached the south western edge

of the island and went below the clouds and finally landed after

battling with some vicious turbulence on final, on a rather nice

and modern airport, with everyone waiting for us there: Andy the

airport manager-, Peter from Customs & Immigration- and some

ladies from the Quarantine department. We were advised to leave

our doors and windows shut and first spray the inside of the

cabin with insecticide for quarantine purposes, before we could

disembark our plane after a 5 minute wait.

He! We were on Australian soil for the first time!





First landing on Australian soil


At Christmas Island they normally get only three regular (RPT)

flights a week, and according to their memories, we were the only

single engine aircraft landing there for a very long time, so we got

a royal treatment on our arrival. From the airport we got a lift to

the islands settlement and our hotel the VQ at Somerset overlooking

the seashores by Andy’s wife Sasha.




At the nearby pub we watched the magnificent sunset and then enjoyed

dinner with a nice bottle of Australian wine.


>From all the history we read about, and the beauty of the island

with its vast population of indigenous birds and its 8 million red

and blue crabs, we decided to stay an extra day, and discover more

of this interesting place with a rented 4WD car..


Next morning, not with an early start, our hired car arrived at 9hr,

no breakfast, we went to the airport and checked the weather and

decided to explore the island.




Rocky, wild coast line


After we paid a visit to the Tourist Information Centre in town, we

drove along the western coast to the now closed down Casino centre

and then back up to the airport. We explored the Greta and Dolly

beaches, using the 4 wheel drive, also the Margaret Knoll, the

heading south to the Quarry, west on the ridge, to the newly

constructed detention centre at Marry Hill.



The newly (2006–2007) built IRPC detention Centre. Guantanamo Bay?



We took quite a few photographs of this impressive and modern

complex and we then went on to Martin Point, where we t some local

people, who suggested to us to drove to the so called “Blow Holes”,

which is something really special.





The "Blow Holes"



Back for a shower and a meal at Rocky Point, on the northern point

of the Island with lovely palm trees, and after seeing the newest

Indiana Johns “The Crystal Skull” in the open air theatre, we went

to bed for an early start the next day to Bali.



Getting dark at Christmas Island….