How Air Canada helped me say goodbye

The perfect flight plan, home, work, sailing, harbour islands, cloudbase

View from the plane - Tilt Shift View from the plane - Without Tilt Shift

Just had a gorgeous farewell brunch at the Paramount with Katya, and packed my whole life into cold storage until September when I'm back. Then Air Canada gifted me the most beautiful flight rising out of Boston Logan international airport. It was as if the pilot had decided to give me one last tour of my stomping ground and a chance to say a proper goodbye.

As an aside, the featured picture here (shared under creative commons by Tostie14) is an example of a fun illusion technique, known as 'tilt shift', which makes real life look like miniature, as covered in this tutorial. It's shown alongside the original unmodified picture. Click on the images to see higher res.

First of all, the runway is right next to the route of the Harbour Islands trip I took a few weeks ago with Community Boating. We were sailing so close to the flightpath that though the wind was dead calm, we could actually power ourselves with the vortices coming off the wingtips of the 747s coming in to land overhead - a lovely memory to conjure up just before I leave this place for 3 months.

Then the takeoff, carving around the building where I've been living since late April - the 20th floor of one of the huge downtown apartment blocks which we banked past on takeoff. We continued to bank with the late evening sun shining on the Statehouse, giving a picture-postcard view of Boston Common and The Hill, while we drifted South over the Media Lab building and the 'Frank Gehry' Stata Centre building - remarkably hard to identify from the air.

As we were climbing to cloudbase (a more and more evocative and informative experience since I've been paragliding) we powered up over the Charles River where I've been learning to sail for the last two months, and then pretty well duplicated the route of the Harbour trip, over Spectacle Island and the Long Island bridge, finishing with a perfect plan view of the ramparts of the 19thC fort on George's Island.

Priceless - the only downer - my bag was too big for the cabin lockers on their little Air Canada hopper to the Halifax stopover, so I couldn't capture this personal tour to share with you.


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