Second try at leaving SFO wasn't much better than the first. Got everyone boarded in time for the scheduled 11PM departure, taxied out for take-off, then sat, and sat and sat. Finally the dreaded voice of the pilot, "Uh, sorry folks, we can't seem to get the engines to start. We're returning to the terminal, and we'll keep you posted." This can't be happening, can it? Well, yes, it can!
Back to the terminal, where they directed us to a new gate, new airplane, then told us we had to hurry and board because unless we were all on board and the doors to the aircraft closed by 1:35AM, the crew would be illegal, timewise, and we couldn't leave. Everyone scrambled, and with only about one minute to spare we got boarded and the doors closed. Third time's a charm, right?
Uneventful flight, with most passengers just yucking it up because it was all so surreal. As we approached Sydney the pilot came on again. Westerly winds up to 35 knots, have to land to the west, not a lot of fuel to spare, but we have to circle for an hour to see if the winds will ease off. Sigh. This time our luck held, and we did in fact land at 9:12AM Saturday morning.
So here I am, Sunday morning, feeling fairly frail and hoping I'm not coming down with something, but in one piece and on terra firma.
Kitties arrived at the quarantine facility just fine and I hope they're settling in alright. If I'm up to it, I'll make the drive on Tuesday to see for myself.
Thanks to you all for your best wishes and commiserations!