Santa Maria To Half Moon Bay

On January 31, 2010 my friend Case Ketting took me and a couple of friends for a flight along the coast from Santa Maria to Half Moon Bay.

A Flight to Half Moon Bay

I'm a licensed pilot but I haven't been able to fly much in recent years so it's a special treat to go flying with my friend Dr. Case Ketting. You may remember my friend Case from the other aerial adventure on my web page. He now lives in Arroyo Grande and when I visited him we went flying again.

Navion Preflight

Case gave the plane a thorough preflight check.

take off roll

Take off! The fun begins!

looking left just after takeoff

As we gain altitude we see things from a different perspective.

In line with the runway after takeoff

Case demonstrates great flying skills by staying on the runway centerline after takeoff.

Town of Quadalupe CA

We pass by the small town of Guadalupe on our way to the coast.

Pismo Dunes

We are treated to a good view of the Pismo Dunes as we get to the coast.

Pismo Beach and Pier

Pismo beach is the first resort town we come to on the coast.

Shell Beach

Here is a view of Shell Beach.

Gordon's plane off the right wing at Pismo

We continue along the coast. Up ahead is Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

Lion Rock

One of those Islands is Lion Rock.

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

Off the right wing is a good view of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

Morro Bay

We proceeded along the coast up to Morro Bay.

Morro Rock

Ahh, Morro Rock.

Estero Bay

We kept on our way up the coast. Here you can see Estero Bay.

Cambria, San Simeon and Hearst Castle

Here we are looking at Cambria (lower right), San Simeon (left of center) and Hearst castle (the dot on the hill at the top of the picture).

Hearst Castle overlooking the ocean

Hearst on top of the enchanted hill AKA "La Cuesta Encantada" overlooking the ocean.

Piedras Blancas Lighthouse

The Piedras Blancas light house.

Arrival at Big Sur

A little further up the coast and we arrive at Big Sur.

Big Creek Bridge, Big Sur

The double arch Big Creek Bridge doesn't look so big from this perspective.

Point Sur Light Station

Point Sur Light Station, another scenic point on our way.


As we continue, we get to Carmel.

Carmel By The Sea

You can see the golf course in Carmel (Pebble Beach).

17 mile drive

Seventeen Mile Drive is beautiful from the sky too.

Pebble Beach

Of course Seventeen Mile Drive also has the Spyglass Hill (shown) and Cypress Hill golf courses.

Moss Landing

Moss landing is a major landmark in the Monterey Bay.

Monterey Bay Academy

Here is Monterey Bay Academy. It's special to me because it's where I went to high school and learned to surf.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk

One of the notable coastal recreational places on the Monterey Bay is the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Pigeon Point Light House

We left the Monterey Bay and came upon Pigeon Point Light House.

Tunitas Beach

We passed Tunitas Beach on the way.

Pillar Point Harbor

Pillar Point Harbor and Half Moon Bay Airport, finally, our destination is in sight.

Entering Half Moon Bay Airport Traffic

We entered the traffic pattern

lining up for final approach

Case lined the plane up with the runway, landed and...

3-Zero Cafe

Ahh, the colorful charm of an airport diner. The food was good at the 3-zero cafe. Fun fact: A $100 hamburger ("hundred-dollar hamburger") is aviation slang for a general aviation pilot needing an excuse to fly. A $100 hamburger trip usually involves flying a short distance (less than two hours), eating at an airport restaurant, and flying home.

Taking off from Half Moon Bay Airport

After we ate, we took off.

Moss Beach

As we departed we were treated to a lovely view of the town of Moss Beach. Then, we headed back.

Santa Cruz Light House Point

We went to the Monterey Bay again and I got some good pictures of the Santa Cruz Light House point, also known to surfers as steamers lane.

Santa Cruz Light House Park

I just have to put another picture in because the Light House Park is one of my favorite places to surf, although I haven't been in years.

Monterey Bay Academy

We Passed Monterey Bay Academy again on the way back.

Monterey Bay

We decided to go home by another way and so we turned inland from the Monterey Bay.

Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca Corral De Tierra Golf Course

Here we can see the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca (to the right) and Corral De Tierra golf course (to the left).

North end of San Luis Obispo and Diary Creek golf course

We also saw places like the north end of San Luis Obispo and Dairy Creek golf course.

California Farm Land

Of course there was lots of farmland.

Friends Home

We got a look at the home of Dr. Erenius. Yes we had two doctors on board.

Base Leg Traffic at Santa Maria

We're back at the Santa Maria airport.

Final approach at Santa Maria

Case lined the plane up for a great landing, thus ending another great flying adventure.