Ever since our first trip to the Caribbean in 2004
with mentor Jim "Jimmyb" Baker, I’ve made it a life-long-goal
to try and get back every other year, and so far it’s still happening; 2005
and now 2013!!!!
Our one-month-long vacation started on Saturday, April 6th and will take Tuppergal & I to the Turks & Caicos where we'll continue on and fly around the Caribbean Islands (and fly within 20nm of South America). Why…because we can! Life is TOO SHORT, and I NEVER want to say, “I sure wish I would have……..”
After spending so much time vacationing on “Island Time”, I can see why people sell everything and move down there
My retirement fantasy is to sell EVERYTHING, move to the Caribbean and work at Dive Shop or be a handyman!
My pictures start on page 4, and I hope to post each evening (when I have internet access).
Our group this year includes seasoned over-water veterans and a couple of newbies who I look forward to flying with;
Caribbean Trip Fliers (one month):
Paul (Rosie) & Victoria (Tuppergal) Rosales from California
Chris (Jailbird) & Indira Kleen from Washington
Andrew (Sharkbait) Brandt from California (will be splitting off from the BVI to fly below the equator)
Mike (Keys) Brewton from California
Grand Turk Fliers (one week on the island)
Scott (Scoot) & Tanya (Cookie) Card from Texas
Dave (Taco) & Alina (Belle) Bouno from Texas
Gene (Moody Blue) & Janet Larsen from Iowa and have flown EVERY trip with me!
Randy (Deuce) & Laura McFarland (1st timers) from California
John & Dani Wilson (My Skypark Neighbors flying a Bonanza) from California
Bill, Jody and baby Will Wootton (1st timers) from California
Greg & Robin Vouga (1st timers arriving April 13th) from North Carolina
Standing (L-R): Bill Wootton, Mike Brewton, Steph Hoke, Scott & Tanya Card, Andrew Brandt, Laura McFarland, Dani Wilson, Janet Larsen, Dave & Alina Bouno, Chris & Indira Kleen, Doug Dodson
Kneeling (L-R): Rosie, Tuppergal, Randy McFarland, John Wilson, Gene Larsen
Ten planes are starting out April 9th from Homestead to vacation on Grand Turk and one more RV will join the group on Grand Turk on April 13th. There is a chance my skypark neighbors Doug & Gail Dodson may join us for a short time as they are flying to Brazil so Doug can land his Glasair below the equator (with Sharkbait).
From Grand Turk, four RVs will depart on April 12th and continue to the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Dominican Republic, Curaçao, Bonaire, Grenada and up the Lesser Antilles Island chain for ONE BIG MONTH-LONG LOOP around the Caribbean! I'm thinking we may take a day while in the BVI to clear Customs back to the USA at St. Thomas, and island-hop the USVI and Puerto Rico "just because it would be fun"!
Here's the Great Circle routing (not all landing destinations displayed as I used this for planning only):
Here's a better depiction of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. LOTS of water from the Dominican Republic to Curaçao and then Bonaire to Grenada (Bonaire is the small island to the right of Curaçao):
Here are the dates for the Caribbean Adventure, and by the way, we only
have reservations set-in-stone for Grand Turk
(my favorite hotel) and the British Virgin Islands
(winging-it at its best!);
Grand Turk: April 9-12
Virgin Gorda (BVI): April 12-17
Dominican Republic : April 17-19
Bonaire: April 19-22
Grenada: April 22-23 (will meet up with Sharkbait after his ‘equator run’)
OPEN (Island hopping northbound up the Antilles - we have no reservations anywhere): April 23-May 1
Dominican Republic or Providenciales: By the evening of May 2
Florida: May 3
Texas: May 4
Home to California: May 5
Back to work: May 6
I hope you all can follow along, especially on the two days of our biggest open water flights;
April 19: Dominican Republic to Curaçao to Bonaire (416nm)
April 22: Bonaire to Grenada (381nm)
If you are flying, fly safe!
And if you are building, “Keep poundin’ them rivets because it’s ALL WORTH IT
!!!” Rosie & Tuppergal
PS: Planning will start during this trip for Cayman Islands/Belize 2015!
We completed the trip and arrived home safely on May 5th after flying 9405 nautical miles over 70 hours with landings on 23 islands
Read on to see how much FUN we had!