Well, we're back after a 10-day vacation. Kate and I made the 6-hour flight to Block Island in one of the Archers, which was a really wonderful flight. The weather, as promised, was severe clear with little wind, which allowed us to fly at 9,500 feet the whole way, so there was no turbulence and we were up high enough to get VFR flight following from ATC.
The flight following was nice because I had planned a large dog-leg in the flight path, to carry us well north of the very busy controlled airspace around New York City's airports. We had just turned north on first leg of this when New York Approach (famous for their rapid-fire instructions and lack of patience) asked me what our route of flight was. I told him "direct Sparta, direct Carmel, direct" to which he replied "if you want to go direct Groton now, that's fine with me." This took us right across their controlled airspace about 20 miles north of Manhattan, so we were treated with a really beautiful view of the skyscrapers and the Hudson and East rivers. Awesome!
I was a little nervous about the 20-mile stretch over open water, since the plane doesn't have any flotation equipment, but it was an uneventful flight. And it was a real kick to see Block Island rising off the horizon as we climbed! The pattern was pretty busy--Block Island is a popular airport--so I had to do a "proper" overflight and pattern entry "on the 45." I was a little worried about the relatively short runway on the island, but that turned out to be no problem.
Parked on the grass for the week and proceeded to our vacation!