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|29 August 2001||The 5 of us set out for Gatwick on Wednesday to catch the Virgin flight VS041 to San Francisco...|
|We were the last people to board - flight crew consulting their watches, tapping their feet & speaking on walkie-talkies; excellent! - to find the afternoon flight only one third full. This worried the living daylights out of me, as I had read that fatal public journeys always contained less passengers than would normally be expected...|
|The 10-hour flight followed a Great Circle over Greenland and Canada and, in spite of travelling from the afternoon through midnight to the following afternoon, was conducted under the rays of the Sun throughout. Don't even try to work it out, it's not worth it.
It was marvellous to see land (if only from a mile up) that the dirty fingers of man had not interfered with. Britain, of course, has been almost entirely changed throughout it's length, but it was a shock to find that America seems to be the same. Greenland, and the parts of Canada that we saw, were not. Nor the sea. There surely needs to be some places for the wildness of the spirit & soul to run free.
A sea-mist was pouring in from the Pacific and attempting to engulf San Francisco, but being burnt off by the sun. It was also Daniel & Becky's first trip to America, and we were excited to see our first security guard wearing a gun. He was 5 foot nothing tall, and the gun looked enormous on his hip. Before that a trying-to-be-patient lady had enquired whether we had been on a farm before flying, or whether we had had contact with foot and mouth. What would they have done if we had said yes?