9. Kagoshima to Matsuyama - 23 May 2004

 
  Looking back toward Kagoshima
 
  Mountainous terrain
 
  Oita
 
  Satamisaki peninsula
 
  Satamisaki peninsula
 
  Islands around Iwakuni
 
  Matsuyama: notice buildings to right of landing field

With this flight I entered the area covered by my two ONC charts. At 157 nm, this was not a short flight, but because the scenery is more interesting now I switched back to the Mooney.

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Flying north over the Kumamoto prefecture I noticed a sharp contrast with the tropical look of the southern coast, which I entered on my last flight. Here, in the sparsely populated mountains, it still looked like winter. There's a good screenshot looking backward at the Kagoshima airport that illustrates this.

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The landscape here is wrinkled with mountains and valleys, though at 5,500 ft, the sea is often visible to east and west. I was particularly taken by the tall, cone-shaped mountain that I saw in the distance to the west, but which I could not identify. Looking at my maps again, I suspect that this was Mt. Fuken, a volcanic island which stands out in Tachibana Bay east of Nagasaki.

Navigation has been simple so far: I tracked the Oita VOR to the northeastern coast of Kyushu and then followed the Matsuyama VOR across the water to Shikoku, following the line of the Satamisaki peninsula.

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As I neared Matsuyama, I saw to the north, on my left, a circular formation of islands and little peninsulae that shelter -- I can see now, looking at the map -- Iwakuni and, farther to the north, Hiroshima. Towards the end of this tour, I will explore that area from the north. For the next few legs, though, I will still be travelling in Shikoku.

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Landing in Matsuyama was good enough, though now that I am cruising at higher altitudes, I find that I am not calculating the descent very well; it is still too hurried at the end.