“Welcome to the Bahamas
No need to rush… Take your time. You are on Island time now,”
So greeted the ramp personnel as they helped us tie the aircraft down and unload the aircraft where ever we landed in the Bahamas. Island Time. Has a nice ring right?
The cab was waiting to ferry us over to the Fernandez Bay Village (FBV) resort. After a quick tour of the resort, and checking in, we were settled in our villa. A few of the others who had arrived earlier, were already out relaxing on the beach, in the warm waters or lounging in the Club House sipping intoxicating Rum Punch and snacking on cookies laid out to welcome us.
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Life is full of choices
I bought a T-shirt one year at Airventure that read “Life is full of choices”. How true.
2014 was an incredible year. I flew a lot. I flew to the Bahamas. To Sun ‘n Fun. To Airventure. I flew to Virginia airports for $500 Vegeburger runs and stamps. I finally got my tail wheel rating. It was fantabulous!
2015, on the other hand was tame. As they say, life is full of choices!
Here are some fun posts from 2015:
January: Words on Wednesdays: From AAA to FLY
February: Bahamas Blues
March: Indian Women Pilots
May: Heroes in Fiction
August: Logging Memories V
September: Remembering this day
October: It’s Beautiful out here!
November: Monday Morning Reality
December: Limited Edition Airplane Cookies
My adventures flying to the Bahamas in a C172 continued to be the most popular post for a second year in a row. It seems there are a lot of people interested in or at least dreaming about doing this trip. To all of them, just do it!
To some who might wonder, I have a cooking blog too… Flyncook
TOP 10 Popular Posts of 2014:
Flying to the Bahamas in a C172
DCA From the Catwalk
Book Review: Fifty Classic Destinations for Pilots
How to Speak like a Pilot
As for New Year Resolutions? I am resolving to Just Wing It! How about you?
Stay Safe and Have a Happy New Year and I hope to see you back here next year!
Flyncook: 2014 Year in Review
That is indeed the question!
It is the time of the year when plans for the 4th Annual Bahamas Bash are in full force. Over chilli, this past weekend, most of the details were finalized. In fact this year, the details were finalized back in June. The Chilli, was merely to enjoy the beautiful fall weather, hanger talk and lure in the wanna goes. Since the must goes, have already committed to their schedule, the Bahamas plan. Heck, they designed the plan 🙂
I have strictly stayed away from the temptation so far, staying away from the occasional meetings and even the chilli night. Having done it twice already, I know what to expect, what I will see and how incredible the experience is, even if repeated. As I have written in the past, there are 29 islands and 57 airports in the Bahamas. So far, I have landed at 11 airports, but there is plenty more to see and do out there.
To Bahama or not Bahama, that is indeed the question! The next few months will be challenging as I battle with myself to make a decision. Can I resist temptation? Or will I succumb to the lure of the Bahamas?
Only time will tell.
Flying is everything to me. After every new adventure, I start thinking and planning for the next one 🙂
There are some adventures, that are so out of this world, that I don’t mind repeating them… again and again!
Some time ago, I posted my Favorite Destinations!
Here are the latest ten of my favorite destinations, that I have done at least twice, if not more, so far!
And, I will very likely do them again 🙂
The best experiences cannot be planned, so…
Remember to Get Lost
— Jonathan Petrino, Reader’s Digest (02/2014)
Last year when we planned the Bahamas trip, we set off with a hotel reservation in Fort Pierce, FL, which by the way, we had to change since we departed one day later than planned. Of course, we did need to prepare ahead of the time: radio licenses for the aircraft as well as the pilots, decal for the aircraft, and eAPIS accounts to submit passenger manifests. That was the extent of our planning. I roughly planned what stops we would make on the outbound, so we could have a rough estimate of flight times to expect and where we would stop for fuel, food and customs. But that was it.
This year we had to do a little more. In addition to the Fort Pierce, FL reservation, we had to plan the Bahamas reservation several months ahead. Last year, few of the others, had stayed at the Fernandez Bay Village (FBV) Resort and liked it so much, that this year the choice was unanimous. At the start of our planning, almost 30 people were seriously considering the trip, and FBV resort did not have sufficient cottages and villas to cater to everyone. So we had to plan ahead of time, in order to ensure we had a spot.
Two years in a row, we almost winged the trip. Flying is that way. We can plan however much we want, but what transpires might be different from what is expected. So usually, we go as far as we can, and stop as needed.
The 4 days and nights at FBV were extraordinary: the perfect setting for a Tropics getaway. Almost. FBV resort is set on the beach, with an open clubhouse that faces the beach. Half the seating is outside and doors remain open 24/7. The greatest prey in the Tropics are the mosquitoes! Once the sun set, they plagued and harvested on poor unsuspecting victims and had a particular affinity for me. Don’t forget that mosquito repellent!
Flying to the Bahamas is an incredible adventure, in any small General Aviation aircraft. This year we had 9 aircraft: 3 Cessna 172, 1 Cessna 182, 1 Piper Arrow, 1 Cessna 206, 1 Bonanza, 1 Twin Comanche and 1 Twin Star.
If you are only interested in getting there and back, then the bigger, faster and higher might suit you. If it were up to me, I would love to fly low and slow over the islands in a single engine airplane. A Cessna 172 suits that purpose well. I love to see where I am going and the Bahamas are magnificent, when you trace the islands, a few hundred feet from the ground.
It took us 8.2 hours to fly south from the Mid-Atlantic to Fort Pierce, FL under some stiff headwinds. The return instead was easy-breezy 7.0 hours from Fort Pierce back to the Mid-Atlantic, with a stopover at Orangeburg Airport, SC, where we grabbed the courtesy car for some lunch, while our aircraft was being fueled.
This year, other than having to do some flying in IMC, we lucked out. We had absolutely no delays, and got some excellent experience flying through some good IMC weather.
The Bahamas trip for now appears to be an annual to-do flight. This is the third year in a row some of the group members have made this trip. Doesn’t matter if one of them has moved to Stearman Field in Kansas… I am sure they still would love to join the group next year 🙂
If wishes were horses, I would love to make this trip again, year after year.