Outpost Flying, Vol 1 : Ponte Vedra Weekend
The weekend of June 15th-17th, I flew to Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida to meet up with my girlfriend, her best friend, and others, at their family vacation home there. I would be flying solo since Arielle had already gone to Atlanta and down from there with her friend.
The weather had been looking spotty the whole week, and the weekend looked like it could be iffy. Mostly scattered thunderstorms, a few periods of bigger bands of thunderstorms, but mostly VFR conditions with clouds forecasted to be 3000-4000 feet for the most part (higher in some places along the route).
I did some pre-flight planning days in advance and the morning of to find the best time to leave. That Friday morning till noon, the skies were mostly clear. It seemed that as long as I got moving before 3pm for the approx 1.5 hr, I would likely avoid any of the thunderstorms rolling into Northern Florida around 5pm and later.
Unfortunately, it’s not always that predictable, and I also should have gotten off to an earlier start.
Once I neared my destination Craig Executive Airport (KCRG), closest to Ponte Vedra Beach, the storms were there. Weaving around them wasn’t a problem, but I had to make a decision on how I would be landing with an embedded storm over JAX and Craig.
While talking to JAX Approach, I determined that my options were to delay my arrival, or land at an alternate. Fernadina Beach was up ahead, and was actually not much further from Ponte Vedra driving. I was intending to wait about 45 minutes for the storm over Craig to pass and then fly on to my final destination, but I decided renting a car and driving from there to Ponte Vedra Beach would be a fine alternative.
Watch the full video, there and back: