Here’s something you don’t see every day. There was a lot of hot air around the ship this morning. Luckily, it was all contained in the Mayflower Van Lines Balloon.
Yesterday the pilot of the balloon, Kevin Knapp, asked if he could bring the balloon down to the waterfront to take some pictures in calm of the early morning. He arranged to have some employees of the company come and help set the balloon up and to hold on to the tethers while a motorboat took some pictures with our own Mayflower as foreground.
It was amazing to watch the setup and the firing of the balloon. Kevin is very practiced at the procedures. Everything is done in a particular sequence and he is very careful to make sure everyone followed directions. It only took about 15 minutes to inflate the balloon and about five minutes of firing hot air into it to get the balloon to stand upright.
Kevin said he did not intend to actually fly the balloon from the waterfront for two reasons. First it was a little windy for controlling the balloon safely and secondly if he did take off, the wind direction was offshore. There are not a lot of options for landing a balloon if you miss the slender arm of Cape Cod.
The local radio station mention the event in the morning and our local paper, the Old Colony Memorial covered the event as well. Not bad for one day’s notice.
The whole process, from setting up the balloon to deflating and putting it all away took about an hour and a half.
I’m thinking we should trade in Mayflower II and just use a balloon next time we want to go sailing and get a little press. Think of the time and labor savings.