April 27 - May 4, 2013 - Bahamas Flying Adventure

I'm not sure what generated the idea for this Bahamas flight.  I think it was on my flying bucket list.  At one of the reunions with all my high school buddies, I mentioned it to Jack M. and he said "Let's do it!".   I offered the trip to Lynnette first of course.  Because it would involve flying over the ocean and lots of time in the airplane, Lynnette -- who doesn't really like flying -- said, "Hey, if Jack wants to go, no problem!"  We put it on the schedule at least a year and half ago.

I didn't know anything about the Bahamas.  So this trip involved a lot of flight planning:  which islands to visit, international flying procedures, what to bring, where to stay.   The general idea was to island hop each day as opposed to staying in one or two places the entire trip.  Because the Dominican Republic wasn't very far away, I thought it would be neat to go there, so we added it to the itinerary.   Eventually I worked out a flight plan schedule.  Jack liked it.  Then he took care of the lodging and reservations.   At the same time I built a list of paperwork and equipment we would need and set about acquiring it.  Finally, in April I inspected the RV and did a bunch of stuff to make it as ready as it could possibly be.  So we had a good plan and everything we would need at least a month prior to the actual trip.  The plane was ready.  I started checking the weather forecast excessively about a week out.  Eventually, the day arrived!


Click on the following links to follow our journey:

  • April 26 :  Essex Skypark, MD to Spartanburg, SC to Waycross, GA
  • April 27: Waycross, GA to Ft. Pierce, FL to Marsh Harbor, Grand Abaco
  • April 27-28 : Great Guana Cay
  • April 29 : N. Eleuthera
  • April 29 : Hawks Nest, Cat Island
  • April 30 : Exumas, Staniel Cay
  • April 30 : Georgetown, Exuma
  • May 1-2 : Exuma Int. to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
  • May 3 : Puerto Plata to Great Inagua to Stella Maris, Long Island
  • May 3 : Stella Maris, Long Island
  • May 4 : Stella Maris to Ft. Pierce, FL to Cross City, FL
  • May 5 : Cross City, FL to Ridgeland, SC to Essex Skypark, MD

Flying the Bahamas Lessons Learned



Well, it was a great trip.   The plane ran flawlessly.   But I was glad I was flying a fast plane to minimize the time over open ocean.  I wouldn't have done the flight in the old, slow Citabria.  I was in the air a little over 28 hours the entire trip.

 I enjoyed seeing places I had never seen before: from the air and on the ground.  The Space Shuttle landing field, Great Guana Cay, N. Eleuthera, Hawk's Nest, Staniel Cay, Georgetown, Puerto Plata, Great Inagua, Stella Maris: it was all good.  Flying low up and down the entire Exuma island chain was the highlight.   Jack and I drank many Kaliks.  The Bahamian and DR people were friendly.  The Bahamian beaches were the best I've ever seen -- and I lived in Hawaii for two years.   It was neat flying into Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic. 

We were never intercepted, fined, jailed or even yelled at so I guess I did well enough on the international flying procedures.  The airport security or situation at all the airports we used was such that I never worried about the plane being vandalized.   And I never worried about personal safety -- as opposed, say, walking around downtown Baltimore.  The trip was a little more expensive than I had anticipated but I'd still recommend flying the Bahamas/DR to any pilot. 

Yeah, mon!