But if you're flying a Challenger 604-or doing the kind of cross-country hard IFR that a Challenger is built to do-all that technology also makes sense. Challenger pilots, after all, don't spend a lot of time looking out the window. Their world is the instrument panel. And anything manufacturers can do to make that world more akin to the invisible one outside-more intuitive, more visual, more informative and more integrated-makes an IFR pilot's job far easier. On this particular day, however, I wasn't trying to fly IFR cross-country. I'd gone to Seattle for a briefing on Microsoft's newest version of its Flight Simulator product, and I'd ended up with a free day to do some exploring. It was that glorious, short time of year known as the Pacific Northwest Summer, when the spigots finally turn off for a few weeks, the sun comes out and-if you'd never been advised of the region's typical weather, which allows the Seattle Rain Festival to open September 15th and continue through July 4th-you'd quit your job, hock everything and move there immediately. It's no-kidding, honest-to-goodness that beautiful. I'd also heard reports that some pods of Orca whales had been spotted in the vicinity. So I contacted my friend Bruce, who flight instructs out of Galvin Flight Service at Boeing Field, to see if we could take a low-level fun flight up to the San Juan Islands for lunch and look for whales along the way.