I need to say a late 'good evening' to our RV Family of Friends! We've had QUITE the LONG DAY today, and it started with our normal wakeup call...actually somebody's car alarm going off at 0600-0630...quite annoying, but hey....no problem! Getting up early makes for a nice LONG day!
Jailbird, Indira, Keys, Tuppergal and I met for breakfast at 0715 on the outside terrace (4th floor) of the Hotel Europa in old Town Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). Our taxi arrived at 0810, and we were at the airport just before 0900. Check out the blue skies in this picture....
Using a screenshot (on our camera) of Jim Parker's instuctions, we were able to navigate the airport and found the General Aviation office at the far west end of the terminal building, second floor. That's where we filled out our flight plans with some minor corrections per the young ladies in the office.
Once complete, the office manager was very kind and walked us to the weather office where a really 'spry' gentleman, with excitement in his voice, gave us a complete WX briefing. He said it would be blue skies all the way to Curaçao, but from the Satellite picture we saw, we knew we'd have to do some cloud dodging (if you zoom into the SPOT Track, you can see where we did a little bit of zig and zag)
Once the WX briefing was complete, we walked out of the office to find 'Jose' who brought us from the FBO located at the far southern end of the runway ACROSS from the main terminal building. There was no way we could walk across a ramp full of Boeing aircraft so Jose drove us over. His timing was by chance so he walked us to the metal detector then to Immigration. One simple form and were out-of-there!
A short walk to exit the building where the 'workers' work (not where passengers exit the building) and we piled into Jose's van. Once back to the planes, we got them off the grass and onto the pavement....when those blue skies started looking not so blue...we got the planes packed and the fueling truck started with Jailbird's plane, then Keys then me...
...and then it began to rain! Blue skies to rain is less than an hour...welcome to life in the islands. We waited it out, maybe 15 or 20 minutes, and then jumped in the planes, and taxied out with Jailbird leading.
Once at the runup, we really took our time and made sure the planes were ready... you ready Keys?
Only 376nm of open water to Curaçao!
Looking South: Here's the ramp where we parked, to the right of the two twins. The FBO trailers are there too:
By the way, the tower cleared us on to the runway maybe 30 seconds apart. Keys/I caught up to Jailbird pretty quick, and we climbed on course but had to deviate right of course to 'dodge' some clouds, no big deal.
Here's what we saw once on course. Realize that we climbed over the first deck that you can see but the rest of the clouds were REALLY high and 'no factor':
As you can guess, there are not many pictures to take when over the water...except for clouds. We leveled and flew to Curaçao at 8500', and at one point had to climb to 9500' for a short while with a little more zig/zag. Here's the on-course heading to Curaçao just off the left at 8500'....NOT GOOD...but notice the deck is falling off to the right so we flew right:
We needed to deviate maybe 20 degrees right and climb to 9500' feet (and we were not concerned about the even/odd rule for our direction of flight 100's of miles from nowhere). Here's the deck we climbed over and 'through the valley' that looked just fine: