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Everything posted by DGP

  1. We got up at 7 and had breakfast at the resort and then drove back to the airport which took a while...lots of folks going to work and the road is very narrow. We do outbound Customs and hit the sky. Buddy wanted to fly down the west side of the island but the tower told us to head to the east side as the main airport in St Lucia is on the south end of the island and they had a jetliner inbound so we got to fly right over the island...very lush and green but very rugged. We fly past the airport on the south side of the island and head out over the ocean again...hour and a half to Trinidad!!!
  2. We were staying at the Coco Palm Resort so the walk to the restaurant only took about 5 minutes. The Big Chef Steakhouse has great food. WE had a few drinks and then headed back to the resort. Buddy was going to hit the rack so I headed to the outdoor cabana for a few drinks. They had a live band playing and I met up with some Aussies and had a great time. Again they couldn't believe I was from Canada and heading to South America. Again I had to get the weather for tomorrow...we were going to refuel in Trinidad and then off to Georgetown.
  3. We had bben watching the sun getting lower and lower way out to are right side. When it slipped under the waves we knew a call would be coming. The guy in the tower wants to know our eta and I tell him we are 60 miles back and will be on the ramp in 30 minutes. He is happy to hear this and also says there are 3 cruise ships leaving the island right now and says do not fly over them on the way in. These boats were lite up like a christmas tree...better than an ils....we continue in and call final for the ramp. It is pretty much black as I flip on the landing light and settle onto the ramp. We do Customs and get picked up by our hotel owners Audi suv... very nice! Its about a 20 minute drive to the hotel....pitch black. We get to the hotel and I tell buddy I am starving so we walk downtown to have supper.....to be continued
  4. I think we have kicked this one around before...go to history and fill your boots!!!!
  5. We pass right over the runway on the Island of St Kitts. This was our original fuel stop for today. We continue south and I can see some nasty showers ahead.Things get pretty rough and we get to see lightning happening out over the ocean...not cool! It is a 3 hr ride from Saint Marteen to St.Luscia...over some very black and nasty looking ocean. We are also fighting daylight .We left at 3 PM and sundown is at 6. You are not aloud night vfr in the Caribbean. As the gps goes from daytime to nighttime mode we get a call from the St Luscia tower...to be continued.
  6. I let the engine whined down and twist the throttle off and on a couple of time and give it another try...nothing. Well I think I have been stuck in worse places! I tell buddy to keep strapped in and open the front doors. I go and open the engine doors and grab the bung wrench and go do some gentle tapping on some of the vital parts...close up the engine doors and giver it another try...away she goes....we blast off the ramp and head south for St.Luscia!
  7. I am out on the ramp watching these jetliners land on this runway and taking off.It is fairly busy and it is really hot. A few rain showers have gone thru and the runway is steaming with the water on it. At the far end of this runway opposite to the beach is a huge old volcanic mountain and it is quit the site to see these huge planes taking off and making a very radical right turn to miss this hill. I am wondering how the passengers are enjoying the ride. Finally we are ready to go and we get our life jackets on and hit the starter button and roll the throttle ...no light off! to be continued
  8. I get the tower on the radio and they ask if I can do a 360 so this jet can get lined up for an approach. I say sure...around we go. i am looking at the fuel gauge which has dropped to 200 lbs now and the tower asks if I can do another 360. I say sure but if we got to hang around out here much longer I will be declaring a fuel issue. Now I have his attention...he then says ...are you declaring a fuel problem. I say NO but I want to get to shore...we are still 30 miles out! and fianally he says you can head into the airport and park with all the transient traffic on the west side of the strip. We fly low and slow as we pass the beach on final. This is the beach that you can look up on youtube where the jetliners are screaming into and not too far from the beach goers! Insane!!! we land on the ramp and are told the fuel truck will be right over as well as the Customs folks....to be continued!
  9. Flying over Puerto Rico was awesome...green green jungle and blue water. We had taken a course along the south shore and I see that there is a US naval gunnery range coming up .I give San Juan control a call and ask if it is active. He says to give him a minute and comes back that it's not .That's good...we need all the fuel we got left to make Saint Marteen. I tell him our new destination and he says he will pass on the info to FSS in Saint Marteen. We are still up above 5 grand so I climb up higher to see if we can loose this head wind. I get up to almost 10 grand with no improvement...still doing 90 over the water. Ok...I put it in a dive and head for the water...we are doing a lot better when I level off at 300 ft....105. Looking at the gps we now can make it ...We can see a big island off to our 2 oclock which is the US Virgin Islands...which would have been my alternate if we ran into trouble...I can land there no problem...better than swimming! Lots of sea birds flying around down this low but we are making good time. I can see land dead ahead and I can also see a huge jetliner going from our left to right...I give Saint Marteen a call...to be continued!
  10. Around midnight I am ready for the rack...I spend another hour getting the weather for our next couple of legs. Buddy wants to refuel in St Kitts tomorrow. I said we are only going to try that leg if we have a wind pushing us. It is 390 miles without stopping. I meet up for breakfast and we head to the airport. Buddy gets my papers again and goes in the back room with the Customs people. About 30 minutes he has all the paperwork straight and we head out to the ship. A good Di and we throw on the life jackets again and hit the sky. Its about 80 miles over to Puerto Rico and then a long haul to St Kitts. With our slow ground speed I tell buddy that we should land in San Juan and gets some fuel. This is when he lets me know that he cannot land in a US country as he doesn't have a visa....great to know now. We have climbed up to 5500 ft to get over a big mountain on Puerto Rico. Wind up there is right on the nose....90 miles an hour over the ground..water... aint going to work! I tell him to find another destination...we are heading for Saint Marteen!
  11. We load back into a cab and drive another 20 minutes down the road and finally get checked into the correct resort. we throw our bags in the room and I tell buddy I will meet him in the bar which we do in about 10 minutes. I had mentioned to buddy that I liked cuban cigars and when he rolls into the outdoor cabana he hands me a big fat Cuban...we get a drink from the ladies wondering around the place...they are playboy quality....I take a sip and tell buddy to don't drink that swill. I go up to the bar and tell the bartender to get out the real booze. He reaches under the bar and comes out with the good stuff....I tell him to pour a couple of stiff ones and offer him a tip which he accepts and I tell him I will be back soon. Buddy and I are enjoying the evening with the cigars,rum and the Micheal Jackson Review blasting tunes with an ocean breeze blowing a nice 70F wind off the ocean. Not to shabby!
  12. We get clearance to land on the west side of the ramp and idle back for cool down . I am friggin exhausted ! No food an flying all friggin day. I am ready to kill somebody. We get processed thru customs and finally get a cab to our resort for the night. A 30 minute drive we roll into a resort .There are hundreds of kids hanging around this place...what the he## is up here....we go inside...it is a casino and resort...tons of people around. I tell buddy I am going to the bar...look me up there. I plop my a## on a bar stool and order a triple...with lots of ice...it is hotter than he##. I just polished this off in record time when buddy comes and tells me we are in the wrong resort...I am friggin going nuts!
  13. It takes almost 2 hrs to get to the airport in Punta Cana and I can tell you this island has the most inhospitable countryside that i have ever flown over. Flying over the ocean seems way better.I tell buddy if we loose an engine over this sh#T we will be toast. His reply ...what!!!! I can't wait to land!..We come over a fairy high mountain ridge and there is the airport...thank Christ...this leg really sucked!
  14. It's an hour and a bit over this stretch of water...140 miles...we finally see the shore coming up...there is a huge rock island just off the coast...looks like the rock of Gibraltor but smaller. We fly right over this and then drop down to 100 ft above the trees. Mostly palm trees and banana groves...it's shades of Vietnam...muddy rice paddies ...small grass hooches . I feel safer down low as anyone that hears us coming will not see us until we scream over them...just in case they don't appreciate us being in their neighbourhood! You never know!!!
  15. So I hang up with Chris and am waiting for buddy...there are S76 and Dauphin helicopters coming and going everywhere....this place is busy or what! Buddy gets back...hands me my stuff and we put the life jackets back on and away we go again back out over the water. I tell my new found friend that I will stay away from Haiti and we set up to hit the shore right at the border of DR and Haiti. got to go.
  16. I ask if he has got us on the flight tracker and he says that they are taking turns watching our trip. he then asks...where the he## am I and I said well you know where Cuba is...we are about 80 miles n/e of there.He says that that was a lot of water that you just flew over and I say you don't have to remind me...I was there. He wants to know where we are going next and I tell him ...to be continued.
  17. Ahhhhh....boy that felt good!.Buddy has taken my passort and pilots license into the little customs shack that is not far from the gas tanks while I handle refueling with the gas man...I ask him his name while he is filling the spare tank in the back seat. He says his name is Elliott. I have to ask him...that wouldn't be Ness by any chance. He looks confused...I guess he never saw the show! It is a balmy 35C on the ramp. I decide to give the guys in the hangar back home a call to make sure they are tracking our progress and I get Chris on the line and without much small talk he says...hey Pottsy...hows it going like I am calling him from down the street!
  18. We land at a very small airstrip which is used by US Coast Guard to do our customs work..this is the end of Caribbean airspace. Next stop will be Punta Cana Dominican Republic. Well buddy quickly jumped out when we landed to go do some washroom work and I got 2 minutes more to try not to wet my pants....engine off...i make a run for the bushes!!!
  19. This guy is new to me so I don't know what to expect! Well he can't maintain altitude...we are up and down like a yoyo. I give him some advice and finally he starts to get the hang of it...just what I wanted to do...flight training 100 miles from the nearest land. I zoom out the gps to see something other than blue...looks like we are nearing Cuba. The wind has been blowing us off course a bit...havent seen land now for 3 hrs. Slight turn to the left and we have 40 minutes to are destination and my bladder is about to burst!!!
  20. We climb up to 3500 ft and after a half hour decide to get that fuel tank in the back seat up and running. We are down about 100 pounds of fuel and get the spare fuel system running. It had clear tubing going out the rear window and into the gas cap to our main tank.We can see that it is working and after an hour the fuel gauge still reads 700 lbs. Buddy says he wants to do some flying so I say fill your boots..I eat breakfast and try to stop looking at the engine oil pressure and caution lights...to be continued!!!!
  21. That is twice that this has happened...you guys lost some great stories and at my age don't think I will be able to remember what I wrote. Soooo.....we get up and head to the airport...breakfast will be served on route...grapes and gateraide...I am not impressed. We leave Dennis at the Nassau International and blast off out over the ocean...next stop Inagua Island...380 miles away!
  22. Or better yet ...just forget about it!
  23. I will do it in 5 minute segments!
  24. Just spent 45 minutes writing up the next leg and IT didn't load!
  25. So we see the customs folks coming over and in very short order we are finished. They never even opened a door on the ship.We go in side and give them our passport and grab a seat in the waiting room. There is a group of guys wearing military uniforms...turns out they are US Custom helicopter crews. I strike up a conversation and after telling them our destination we get some great info from these guys on flying in the Caribbean . Turns out the guy I am talking with has the same first name as me...he gives me his card and we have been in touch now for 7 years. His last posting was on Kodiak Island in Alaska. As I mention...that's a long way from Nassau! We finally get picked up by the buyers of the ship and head to the north east side of the island for drinks...rum...and later supper. We had a great view of the ocean on their patio...more rum...then we are heading to our hotel for the night.We drive back into town which by the way has no street lights. It is black as coal! WE show up at a hotel that is totally dark and meet a guy which I still down't know who he was...we go thru a darked out bar room into a long hallway which leads back to our rooms on the second floor...we are the only people staying here...very scary! In the morning I open the curtains on my room and see the pool which is in pretty bad shape...lots of stuff floating in the water...the roof across from the pool has most of the shingles missing. On the grounds are about 4-5 folks cutting the lawn with machettes! Nice! We are told our ride has arrived...also now I find out that Dennis will be flying back to TO from here and I will be riding the rest of the trip south with the new owner...I am pissed!
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