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Bahama Mama! South Bahamas On Pineapple Air + More  
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Posted (3 years 2 months 2 days ago) and read 13105 times:

BACKGROUND

My wife and I had been long trying to decide on a Honeymoon destination. Initially we were thinking of South or Southeast Asia (Vietnam, the Maldives, Thailand) but we soon realized that we would prefer something closer to home (we live in Chicago) so that we don't have to "waste" time traveling and recovering from the jet lag (we had a limited time off work). We both agreed that the Bahamas would be an excellent option (we both wanted to go there for a long time) but the difficult part was to decide what island to go to. We wanted something secluded and quiet so we ruled out Nassau right away (even though we knew that most likely we had to fly through there). After much research online we found our spot: Cape Santa Maria at Long Island, in the Southern Bahamas. The place sported one of the best 10 beaches in the world, it was the location of Columbus' third landing in the New World (hence the name: Santa Maria was one of his ships' name), it was picturesque and quiet and could be reached relatively easily by plane since it was only minutes away from the Stella Maris estate airstrip (SML). Unfortunately we couldn't book a full flight itinerary out of Chicago to SML, so we had to book our flights from Chicago to Nassau and from Nassau to SML separately. Delta offered us the best deal out of MDW to Nassau via ATL (which was great since I could add miles to my SkyMiles account). From Nassau (where we were to stay for the night) we found a very good deal with Bahamasair which would take us to Long Island and back for just $200. The flights were to be operated on behalf of Bahamasair by Pineapple Air on a Beechcraft 1900. Another exciting feature of this plan was that on the outbound flight to Long Island, the itinerary involved a stopover at Long Island's other airport: Dead Man's Cay (LGI).


The full itinerary


So in summary, I was to break my personal record for smallest aircraft (Beechcraft 1900), shortest flight both in miles and duration (LGI-SML, 30 miles, 9 minutes), add 3 new airports (Nassau, LGI and SML) and a new airline (Pineapple Air) to my log. Not to mention that LGI and (especially) SML were to be by far the smallest airports I had ever been to and of course in the case of the former, the airport with the wackiest name I've flown to/from.

Just as a note: I used 2 different cameras, a Nikon D3100 and a Samsung TL240 (plus a 3rd one that my wife used, a Canon SD1100IS) hence the difference in the size and quality of the photos.

Another note: Every time I tried to type the IATA code for Nassau International in this report it did not get displayed properly in the text for some reason (a long code showed up instead), so I will keep referring to it as "Nassau" or "Nassau Airport".


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20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 2 days ago) and read 13093 times:

PART I: CHICAGO TO NASSAU

Our original itinerary involved an 8am departure from MDW so my wife and I thought that we could take the CTA red and orange lines to the airport (we live in Lakeview in North Chicago). However a few weeks before the flight, Delta changed the departure time to 7:15am so (given my insistence on being at the airport at least 2h ahead of time) we decided to grab a taxi since the trains did not run that early on a Sunday. Once at MDW we were met with a fairly busy departures area. We had checked-in online the day before so my wife and I used one of the check-in kiosks to print out our boarding passes (no bags to check in, just two very reasonably sized carry-ons with 6-days-worth of beach clothes) and proceeded to Security. After we got done with that we (as per tradition every time we fly out of MDW) made our way to Pegasus On The Fly, for some spanakopita and avgolemono soup. I love savory breakfasts, especially before flying!

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Our A319 waiting at the gate

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Just in case you were wondering who's the boss in MDW

Our machine for the flight to ATL was an A319, which seemed to be in a fairly good state, clean and comfortable. The crew was extremely friendly and constantly smiling, which was a very nice touch and one you don't come across very often in domestic routes anymore. We were offered soft drinks/coffee and a cinnamon cookie.

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Fairly acceptable legroom

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On board drink and snack.

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Downtown Atlanta as seen on our landing approach.

Once in Atlanta we took the train to the appropriate concourse (I don't remember which one, it may have been D but I could be wrong) and found our gate. Both my wife and I were craving some Chick-fil-A (as a farewell to american food for the next 6 days) but these remain closed on Sundays so we got some Burger King sandwiches instead. Our bellies satisfied, we sat on our chairs looking at an increasing number of parents with screaming kids showing up at the gate. Of course Nassau is home to the Atlantis Resort, one of the largest kids-havens in the Americas and it was apparent that our flight was going to be packed with families destined for there.

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Gate Monitor

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ATL and Delta are to many of us almost synonymous.

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Our very good-looking 757

Boarding took place in a fairly orderly manner but once on the plane havoc ensued as a number of kids (most of them between the ages of 4 and 10) engaged in behaviors that kids of these ages are very good at, namely; screaming, fighting between themselves, playing with their chairs etc. We were unfortunate enough to have 2 such kids seating in front of us and 2 more in adjacent rows. Good times, I thought.

The aircraft was equipped with personal IFE screens which proved to be a very welcome distraction from the chaos going on around us. We were offered a choice of cookies, pretzels or peanuts and a drink, which I had to fight constantly not to spill on myself given the seizure-like behavior of the kids in front of me (their parents were busy playing poker on their personal screens). Half through the flight we were provided with Bahamian Immigration arrival forms. Our path took us from ATL to the Georgia coast and from there we headed south, parallel to the east Florida coast, over the island of Grand Bahama, before finally reaching the island of New Providence, which we circled from the west and then the south in order to land at Nassau.

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Personal IFE screens.

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Somewhat tighter legroom this time

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The calm before the kid-storm.

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Flying somewhere over the Florida coast.

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Bahamian Immigration form

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Route map

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Peanuts, pretzels and water

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Overflying Grand Bahama. To the right you can vaguely see Grand Bahama airport (MYGM) a closed military airport, not to be confused with Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO or MYGF).

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Approaching the island of New Providence

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Over south New Providence

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Soon after touchdown at Nassau

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Taxiing next to the domestic terminal of Nassau. We were to fly out of there the following day.

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The old colonists are back. BA is the only European airline to fly to the Bahamas.

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The US departures Terminal

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Approaching our gate

AT THE AIRPORT IN NASSAU

After disembarking, we had to walk a good deal to reach the immigration area which was rather crowded (at least 2 other flights had just arrived from the US) and stuffy. We picked a line and waited. There was a band playing live bahamian music at the back of the hall, which I thought was a cute touch, but not a very practical one as people had trouble hearing the immigration officers and vice versa. After dealing with immigration (and acquiring a cool bahamian stamp on my passport) we reached an area where people waited in several long lines to have their luggage inspected. One of the customs guys saw that we had only carry-ons so he urged us to bypass the lines and go to a lady who at the time was inspecting another couple near the exit of the customs area. We went there but the lady ignored us so we just made our way out. Very confusing, I still have no idea what we were supposed to do or what was the purpose of that inspection. Once outside the customs area we were met with a completely insane downpour of torrential rain. The arrivals area was packed with people looking for their hotel shuttle buses or for taxis. We were (again) very confused as to what was the protocol for getting a taxi (there is no other public transportation out of the airport) but everything was fairly chaotic so we kept moving back an forth in hope that we could see a taxi stand. After a few minutes a guy (airport employee) saw the confused looks in our faces and asked us if we needed a taxi. He told us to follow him and he flagged a newly arrived taxi. The taxi driver was a very friendly and talkative guy who engaged us in conversation and gave us an early idea of the friendliness of the Bahamian people (for which we had heard so many things from others). The great thing about the Bahamas is that its currency, the Bahamian Dollar, is on par with the US dollar and as a result one can use both currencies interchangeably. That meant that there was no need for us to exchange money, a great convenience. The taxi took us to our hotel, the British Colonial Hilton, a historic but recently fully renovated hotel, known for its private beach (apparently the only private beach in Nassau) and the fact that a couple of 007 movies used it as location for some scenes. I payed the taxi driver who agreed to pick us up again the next morning in order to take us back to the airport. By the time we checked-in and got to our room, the rain had stopped so we decided to go for a quick walk around Nassau in search of things to see and also some local food. Unfortunately pretty much everything in Nassau is closed on Sundays so after seeing the Bahamian Government House and a few churches, we decided to head to the only place where we knew we could find some local food, namely the Arawak Cay or "Fish Fry" as it is known locally, a short strip of road with a number of seafood restaurants and bars.

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The British Colonial Hilton hotel from the road

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Our hotel room


The hotel as seen from the beach

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Atlantis and a cruise ship as seen from the private beach


The Bahamian Government House. Most government buildings in the Bahamas are painted pink.


Junkanoo Beach

After a short walk, we reached the Fish Fry and we chose to eat at a place called Twin Brothers, which our taxi driver had recommended (we had to first dodge a few people trying to convince us to dine at their places however). My wife and I had been long looking forward to try the local delicacy, conch, a kind of large sea snail so once we got at the restaurant we went nuts and ordered conch salad, cracked conch and a conch burger. For drinks we also went local, choosing a Bahama Mama for my wife and a Kalik beer for me.



Kalik Beer. The most famous Bahamian beer brand. Pretty good too. The name comes from the sound of the cowbells used at the local Junkanoo festival/parade, hence the logo (cowbells).

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Bahamian Conch salad. Oh so tasty!

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More of Atlantis

After dinner we started making our way back to the hotel but got stranded under a tin roof for about 20 mins as the rain had started yet again. Eventually we got back to our hotel, checked out its garden and beach and then decided to go to bed as we had another early rise the following day.



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 2 days ago) and read 13093 times:

PART II: NASSAU TO LONG ISLAND


The detailed route between Nassau and Long Island

The following morning I woke up to find out a check-out receipt under the door which included, in addition to our room rate, a charge of $70 for drinks consumed at the Hotel bar, which we had never even visited. Great way to start the day, I thought. Fortunately the issue got resolved fairly fast so once we got out of the hotel I saw our taxi driver waiting for us as he had promised. 20 minutes and $30 later we were at the domestic terminal of the Nassau Airport . Once there were were not sure where to check-in as our flight was booked with Bahamasair but operated by Pineapple Air. We first inquired at the Pineapple Air counter but the told us that we had to check-in with Bahamasair. After we took care of that we wandered a little bit around the terminal which was full of small domestic airline offices such as Southern Air, SkyBahamas, Western Air and others. Security comprised of a single line, which moved painfully slow (everything runs on island time here after all) and once we got done we made ourselves comfortable near one of the 3 gates, named J, K and L respectively. Our flight to Deadman's Cay and Stella Maris was delayed by almost 30 mins (old habits die hard for Bahamasair, even if their flights are operated by others) so we had the opportunity to witness the departure of several flights to a number of exotic-named destinations within the Bahamas.

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The domestic departures area

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Bahamasair domestic check-in counters

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The 3 gates of the domestic terminal.

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Bahamasair Dash-8


Eventually, our aircraft became available and we were ushered to it by what I thought at the time was a gate employee but in fact was the co-pilot. The interior of the aircraft was even smaller that I thought, and it was very difficult for a 6'3'' guy like me to get in, move around until seated and find space for my bag under my legs. The state of the windows was terrible (full of scratches and dirt) which did not allow me or my wife to shoot any decent photos. No flight attendants and no on-board service as you can imagine for this flight (I would love to see a flight attendant trying to squeeze through that isle with some drinks).

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Our Pineapple Beechcraft 1900

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Boarding time!

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View into the cockpit!

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The interior of our Beechcraft 1900


Only 9 rows...

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Hardly any leg room as one would expect

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Trash and air

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Oxygen mask container

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Personal light

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Another view into the cockpit

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Flying over Hawksbill Cay, part of the Exuma island chain

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Flying over Compass Cay

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Flying over the New Found Harbor, next to Dead Man's Cay


The flight was rather noisy (we were seating right next to the props so we could hardly hear ourselves think) and rather bumpy too. It was a great experience to be able to look into the cockpit and watch the pilots as they were doing their jobs. The route that we followed took us over and west of the Exuma island chain. After about 40 minutes we were descending into LGI from the west. Once there we taxied quickly into the little terminal building. Three of the passengers disembarked (we were 6 in total to begin with) and 5 more got on board at LGI. In no time we were back on the runway for departure. We took off over the eastern coast of Long Island and then flew over to the west side once more in order to approach SML from there. From take-off to touchdown it took us a total of 9 minutes.


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Approaching Deadman's Cay (you can see the airstrip through the cockpit window)

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Just before touchdown at LGI

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Landing at LGI

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Welcome sign at Deadman's Cay Airport

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Our co-pilot checking the passenger list with an airport employee at LGI

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Getting ready for taking off from LGI

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Looking back at the LGI airstrip after taking off

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Sturrup Cay


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Overflying one of the many blue holes that can be found in the Bahamas, allegedly 365 in total, one for each day of the year...

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Approaching the north part of Long Island

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View of Stella Maris (SML) airport from the cockpit

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Taxiing our way to the terminal at SML

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Our aircraft at SML, shortly before its departure for Nassau

A couple of zoomed in photos of the aircraft's livery
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http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6085.jpg

At SML, we had a taxi waiting for us. Our friendly driver took us through the very rough roads of the island (literally hundreds of potholes everywhere) and 15 minutes later we were at the paradise-on-earth called Cape Santa Maria, at the very north end of Long Island, and what technically is a separate cay, called Galliot Cay. As I mentioned earlier, the beach there is considered to be among the best 10 in the world. I cannot claim to have been to all the beaches in the world of course so I cannot confirm/deny this claim but I can tell you this: I have been to many beaches all around the world (and so has my wife) but this has been hands down the best we've seen. The bad thing was that the place was literally taken over by Italian families. No offence but I think you can imagine what this means. Even though I must say that overall they were relatively well-behaved (for Italians) with regard to noise levels. No place can be perfect! Ah yeah, there were lots of mosquitoes too.

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On the way to our hotel

A few pictures of the resort and the area around it.



We spent 5 days at Cape Santa Maria. One of these days was spent on a guided tour of the island, which gave us the opportunity to learn a bit more about the island, interact with locals, see some very wonderful local architecture, beaches and the world famous Dean's Blue Hole, the deepest underwater sinkhole on the planet. We stopped for food at Clarence Town and also drove by Deadman's Cay and other small towns.

A few words about Long Island. Originally named Yuma by its indigenous Lucayan people, it was renamed Fernandina by Columbus after he landed there in 1492 (his third stop in the New World, after the neighboring Bahamian islands of San Salvador and Rum Cay). Most of the indigenous population was sold as slaves in Cuba and Hispaniola and the island remained virtually abandoned for a long time until it was settled again by Loyalists who fled the American Revolution. Plantations were established across the island but the infertile soil made sure that pretty much none of them was a success. The current name of the island comes from its shape: it is 130km long and only 6km wide at its widest point. Most settlements on the island take their names from the families that first settled there (Saymour's, Simm's, Dean's, Gray's, etc) or from events/characteristics associated with the location (Burnt Ground, Doctor's Creek, Hard Bargain, etc). Clarence Town acts as the local capital but Deadman's Cay is the largest settlement. The permanent population of the island is estimated to be around 3.500.

Here are a few selected photos from around the island:


Dean's Blue Hole. At 663ft is the deepest underwater sinkhole in the world.


St Peter and Paul Church in Clarence Town


Detail of the interior of St Peter and Paul Church


St Mary's Church, by one account the oldest church in the Bahamas, built in the 1600s by the Spanish.


Another church near the Salt Pont settlement


Just look at that water


"Her Majesty's Prison". Apparently still in use.

In addition to the beauty of the island we got to also enjoy some of the local wildlife. We saw lizards of various sizes, giant sea urchins, conch, barracudas, blue crabs, various birds, we swam (too) close to sting rays and even got glimpse of a shark swimming near us (that was a definite adrenaline rush...)


A live conch we found in the shallows

A bird hunting for crabs during the low tide

A beautiful but otherwise very dead crab

A blue-tailed lizard
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Starfish

As for the rest of the local fauna, it was comprised mainly by millions of bloodthirsty mosquitoes and as a result one could not survive a night out without the use of these:
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6321.jpg

And finally a few more photos from our stay at Long Island:

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Fresh potable water is rare at Long Island

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Delicious local lobster dish

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Bahamian 10 Dollar Bill



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 2 days ago) and read 13084 times:

PART III: LONG ISLAND TO NASSAU AND CHICAGO

After a lovely week at the Bahamas, it was time to pack our things and get home. A taxi picked us up at the resort and dropped us off at SML. I was a bit nervous about this trip because any delay in our departure from SML would have jeopardized our connection at Nassau (which was booked separately if you remember). I knew that Bahamasair is notorious for delays (in fact they are notorious for many things, just read any review about them online) and that their unofficial motto is "if you have time to spare, fly Bahamasair". At SML each airline had a little hut where check-in would take place. At Bahamasair hut, two Italian couples were ahead of us in line and it took them 20 minutes to check in (no idea why), whereas it took us literally 30 seconds. The hut had a total of 8 chairs, but of course they were all taken over by the two Italian couples and their luggage. The remaining 10 passengers (me, my wife, a British family of 5 and 3 locals, two of which were rather old) had to stand up... Very classy. There were a few more chairs outside but the place was swarming with mosquitoes, plus most of them were soaking wet from a flash-rainfall that had just ended. Eventually, after about 40 minutes of waiting our aircraft arrived (15 mins early!) from Nassau (almost at the same time with a Southern Air flight also from Nassau). Once it offloaded its passengers we were ushered to it for boarding (there was no security screening). One of the British guys tried to shoot photos of the aircraft but was told by one of the airport employees that it was not allowed. I was much sneakier so I managed to shoot a few photos undetected. Even though we got assigned seats on our boarding passes, we were told that we could seat anywhere we wanted so we chose the back of the aircraft this time, which we thought it would be less noisy, which it was. After taking off (see video below) we made a northwest turn and flew parallel to the Exumas before heading north to Nassau.

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Check-in hut/counter of Bahamasair.

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Pineapple Air check-in window.

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SML departures area


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SML runway


Welcome sign at SML

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Bahamian Flag at SML

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Southern Air

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Our ride to Nassau


Interior of our Beech 1900

Video of our takeoff from SML:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZjSlUrqmkA


http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6433.jpg
Hog Cay Airport, on a tiny private island off the west coast of Long Island.

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Norman's Cay and Little Norman's Cay

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Flying over Nassau

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Thomas Robinson Stadium

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Cable Beach

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Approaching Nassau airport from the north

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6473.jpg
Our aircraft parked at Nassau

Once at the airport we had to make our way from the domestic terminal to the US Departures' one. We had been told that there is a shuttle bus between the two but after a few minutes' wait we decided to walk there. We followed the signs for the US terminal and walked through the International check in area (where BA, Jamaica Air, etc are represented) but then we reached a dead end. Due to construction (a whole new building is being constructed between the current International Departures and the US Departures area) the walkway abruptly stopped. We asked a guy what to do and he told us that the shuttle bus also stopped at the spot we currently were so we should wait for it. After he left however another guy who overheard our conversation told us to just walk by the road, around the construction site and that it would be easier that way. We did so, and sure thing we were there in less than 5 mins.

The US terminal is a far cry from the rest of the airport. It's new, cleaner and it feels like any other airport in the US (and probably better). We tried to check in at a Delta kiosk but for some reason it wouldn't scan some of our documents so we had to join the line anyway. We handed in our Bahamian Departures forms, got our boarding passes and then cleared security in a breeze. Nassau International has a US Immigration pre-clearance facility which is a great convenience if you need to catch a connecting flight after your arrival in the US. It took us about 30 mins to go through it (not bad) and then we entered the gates area, which also contained a number of bahamian shops and a food court. After doing some shopping for souvenirs and grabbing some food, we took our seats by our gate, which by that time was already conquered by hordes of kids. Boarding our MD-88 was pretty standard but once on the plane, it was yet again apparent that it was going to be a fairly noisy, especially in our section of the aircraft, which was taken over by screaming 6-year olds. I probably sound like some grumpy old man that hates kids but I can assure you that the situation was pretty hopeless. I understand that kids are kids and would sometimes be loud, especially the very young ones, but when you get some older kids that are simply spoiled it's a whole different story, especially if the parents do nothing to stop them. On this particular case, we had a kid seating in front of us, which every few minutes would literally scream to the top of his lungs while playing a video game and get up on its seat and jump repeatedly (I guess the parent never heard of turbulence). Also a couple of toddlers were constantly crying at the back but these can be excused of course. Needless to say, despite my neighbors' attempts to sleep, hardly anyone managed to do so for more than a couple of minutes at a time. The flight was meant to last 1:40mins but for some reason it took us an extra 40 mins to reach ATL, but it felt much longer.



http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6474.jpg
US Departures terminal

Some photos of the interior of the US Departures Terminal, post-Immigration.
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6477.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6478.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6493.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6483.jpg

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6490.jpg
Our gate


FIDS

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6481.jpg
Local refreshment

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6489.jpg
Bahamasair departure for... somewhere in Florida

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6496.jpg
American Eagle ATR getting ready for MIA

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6498.jpg
Looking toward the runway at Nassau

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6501.jpg
Our Maddog at the gate


Boarding our MD-88

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6504.jpg
Pretty decent legroom

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6505.jpg
Pushback view

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6508.jpg
Bahamasair 737 with their latest livery


Flying over South Beach, where people are often known to take their... talents to.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6529.jpg
On board refreshments

By the time we reached ATL I felt like I'd rather have snakes on a plane than any more screaming babies on the plane and thankfully our next flight was not only baby-less but also surprisingly empty, with a load factor that did not exceed 30%. The flight was very smooth and uneventful and we reached MDW on time.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6536.jpg
Our A319 at ATL

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6540.jpg
Birds are attracted to each other

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6545.jpg
Legroom

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6556.jpg
Taxiing next to one of Delta's hangars

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6568.jpg
Arriving at Chicago


CONCLUSIONS

This was an unforgettable honeymoon. Not only did we get to see an amazing part of the world, but we also got to fly on some very interesting machines to some very rare airports. Fortunately pretty much everything was on time (or if it wasn't it did not affect us) which was a great relief. I would recommend Long Island to anyone that wants to visit the Bahamas. The Bahamian people are very friendly (except those working behind counters, like the airport or hotels) and it was a joy to interact with them.

I hope you enjoyed this somewhat lengthy report. Feel free to provide some feedback.

Thanks for reading.

WideBodyroga



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 12633 times:

Really nice trip report WideBodyroga - there aren't too many detailed reports from this part of the world. Thanks for giving us an insight into what looks like a lovely place for a vacation (or honeymoon!), even if there were mosquitoes!

The beaches do look stunning - in fact they look similar to some of the beaches we visited in Cuba last year in Jardines del Ray, which is not surprising, given that this part of Cuba is pretty much due south of the Bahamas.

Loved your sunset picture - looked so idyllic.

Nice to see some domestic flight action too.

Thanks for posting! Cheers P/jet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently onlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1220 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 12511 times:

Thank you for the report. I had never heard of this island. I flew Bahamasair in 1976 on a BAC 111 from Miami and it was fine. My favorite flight though was on a Chalk seaplane from Nassau to Bimini on to Miami.

However if you may remember one crashed in Miami a few years ago.


User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1887 posts, RR: 42
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 12464 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Fantastic report! Thanks a lot for sharing. You're lucky to fly on the Beech 1900C! I'm not really a beach going person but those pictures look absolutely amazing, and the food mouth watering!

Regards,

Martijn



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlined3funct From Australia, joined Aug 2011, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 12458 times:

Nice report, the water there really does look amazing!! And the food looked great too!

User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1951 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 12379 times:
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Very nice looking report! Looks like a beautiful part of the world. I've been to Nassau, but nothing quite as exotic as this. The water looks amazing, and the sink hole; how cool!

Delta seemed to provide a pretty average/basic service. On short flights however, I can't really ask for much more than a drink and a small snack of pretzels, or peanuts.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew


User currently offlineYLWbased From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2006, 835 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 12223 times:

I love TR about airlines that I've never heard of, thanks!

YLWbased



Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 17 hours ago) and read 11865 times:

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 4):
Really nice trip report WideBodyroga - there aren't too many detailed reports from this part of the world. Thanks for giving us an insight into what looks like a lovely place for a vacation (or honeymoon!), even if there were mosquitoes!

The beaches do look stunning - in fact they look similar to some of the beaches we visited in Cuba last year in Jardines del Ray, which is not surprising, given that this part of Cuba is pretty much due south of the Bahamas.

Loved your sunset picture - looked so idyllic.

Nice to see some domestic flight action too.

Thanks for posting! Cheers P/jet

Thanks man. Glad you enjoyed the TR. I bet that there are numerous beaches like that in Cuba (perhaps equally or even more unspoiled that those in the Bahamas). Too bad that Cuba is not so easily accessible for some of us.

The sunsets at Long Island were magnificent. Second only to those I saw in Santorini.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 5):
Thank you for the report. I had never heard of this island. I flew Bahamasair in 1976 on a BAC 111 from Miami and it was fine. My favorite flight though was on a Chalk seaplane from Nassau to Bimini on to Miami.

Indeed, not many people know much about the island (me included before this trip, and I'm supposedly good at geography). I guess its fame is somewhat overshadowed by its namesake in the US.

Bahamasair BAC One-eleven and Chalk? That's pretty cool. Any chance for a TR about these? Hehe 
Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 6):

Fantastic report! Thanks a lot for sharing. You're lucky to fly on the Beech 1900C! I'm not really a beach going person but those pictures look absolutely amazing, and the food mouth watering!
Quoting d3funct (Reply 7):

Nice report, the water there really does look amazing!! And the food looked great too!

Thanks guys. As I said the water was the best I've ever seen, so clear, full of life and the sand was finer than powder sugar. I'm missing it already. The food (seafood in particular) was great. I took photos of every meal I had while in the Bahamas but I didn't want to hijack the TR with food photos. Every visitor to the Bahamas owes to try some conch salad, some blackened grouper and snapper fish, chicken souse or boiled grouper for breakfast, bahamian jerk chicken, bahamian eggs Benedict and of course some lobster.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 8):

Very nice looking report! Looks like a beautiful part of the world. I've been to Nassau, but nothing quite as exotic as this. The water looks amazing, and the sink hole; how cool!

Nassau (at least the parts that we saw) was nice but of course it cannot be compared to any of the Family Islands (part of which Long Island is). Nassau (and the whole of N.Providence) is an urban area after all so no matter how well looked-after the beaches are, they cannot compete with the unspoiled nature of those found in the rest of the islands. As for the sinkhole... It was probably the part of the trip I was looking forward the most. Once we got there (the road to get there is atrocious by the way) we couldn't see a thing because of a thunderstorm so we had to drive away, spend some time in Clarence Town and then drive back again. It was a bit nerve racking but it was so worth it. My only regret is that I did not snorkel above the blue hole.

Quoting YLWbased (Reply 9):

I love TR about airlines that I've never heard of, thanks!

Hehe, me too. When I found out that there is an airline called Pineapple Air (and an airport called Dead Man;s Cay) I knew that I HAD to try them.



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7213 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 months 14 hours ago) and read 11775 times:

Fantastic trip report!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Very confusing, I still have no idea what we were supposed to do or what was the purpose of that inspection.

They just check random people usually people with less bags they wont check as much.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Dean's Blue Hole. At 663ft is the deepest underwater sinkhole in the world.

That is awesome! Forgot that was there, makes me want to try to plan a trip there sometime. Seems like a pretty cool area with a bunch of history too.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Some photos of the interior of the US Departures Terminal, post-Immigration.

Thanks for the pics! That area is very new and open recently. I have not been to NAS for a few years now, want to make a trip soon to check out that new terminal.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 5):
My favorite flight though was on a Chalk seaplane from Nassau to Bimini on to Miami.

However if you may remember one crashed in Miami a few years ago.

Same here, flew them often. It was an unfortunate accident.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 11327 times:

Hi

Nice trip report and pictures, I'm quite impressed about the Long Island pics.


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 11028 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 11):
Fantastic trip report!

Thanks flymia!

Quoting flymia (Reply 11):
They just check random people usually people with less bags they wont check as much.

I see. Thanks for clarifying it for me. The whole area seemed a bit disorganized and was hard to figure out what was going on.

Quoting flymia (Reply 11):
That is awesome! Forgot that was there, makes me want to try to plan a trip there sometime. Seems like a pretty cool area with a bunch of history too.

The island was great. In retrospect we should have rented a car to explore the island at our own pace. I really wanted to see the Columbus Monument at the very north of the island, but I was told that the road is so terrible one needs a 4x4 to get there. It's a shame really that they have not invested any money to fix the roads. Getting to the Blue Hole was really tough too. The island has lots of history and one can see this in some of the older buildings. As a basketball fan I was also impressed and moved by the number of open-air basketball courts I saw on the island (some of them made with whatever materials were available). I honestly had no idea that Bahamians loved hoops so much.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 12):
Nice trip report and pictures, I'm quite impressed about the Long Island pics.

Thanks Marc! Glad you liked the photos. One has to thank Nikon more than my own photography skills, even though I am doing my best. And definitely there is no shortage of things to photograph on LI for sure.

Too bad LI was hit so hard by hurricane Irene this week. I heard that the church in Clarence Town lost its roof and that many areas flooded. I feel relieved that we were in LI only a week before the hurricane got there but I really feel sorry for the people that stayed back or live on the island.



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 10670 times:

Hi Widebodyroga,

fantastic report about this amazing holiday trip! It seems I really need to visit the Bahamas one day.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Cape Santa Maria at Long Island, in the Southern Bahamas. The place sported one of the best 10 beaches in the world, it was the location of Columbus' third landing in the New World (hence the name: Santa Maria was one of his ships' name)

Interesting, thanks!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
So in summary, I was to break my personal record for smallest aircraft (Beechcraft 1900), shortest flight both in miles and duration (LGI-SML, 30 miles, 9 minutes), add 3 new airports (Nassau, LGI and SML) and a new airline (Pineapple Air) to my log. Not to mention that LGI and (especially) SML were to be by far the smallest airports I had ever been to and of course in the case of the former, the airport with the wackiest name I've flown to/from.

Congratulations!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
ATL and Delta are to many of us almost synonymous.

  

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
The old colonists are back.

 

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Atlantis and a cruise ship as seen from the private beach

That's close!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Kalik Beer. The most famous Bahamian beer brand.

I always enjoy to try local brands. I'll keep that name in mind.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
More of Atlantis

Interesting, I hadn't seen the Bahamas version yet.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
The state of the windows was terrible (full of scratches and dirt) which did not allow me or my wife to shoot any decent photos.

I hate that!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
A few pictures of the resort and the area around it.

Wow, these pictures are great. What a wonderful scenery!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePs76 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 10274 times:

Hi!

Many thanks for the trip report. Was cool to read about flying to one of the more exotic parts of the World and the photos from your destination were nice too. That hotel you stayed at in Nassau looked pretty decent too with a nice beach and room. Sorry to hear about the screaming kids but at least they weren't flying on to your destination!

Many thanks,

Pierre


User currently offlineYLWbased From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2006, 835 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 10200 times:

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 10):
Hehe, me too. When I found out that there is an airline called Pineapple Air (and an airport called Dead Man;s Cay) I knew that I HAD to try them.
Undiscovered Taiwan - Do-228, MD-90, 747Combi (by YLWbased Jun 19 2011 in Trip Reports)
You can also check out one of my older TR if you're interested in small a/c and unknown airlines.
This TR includes Do228 of Daily Air from Taiwan.



Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5124 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 10186 times:

Fantastic report! I had given Bahamas a pass in the past as I thought it was too touristy - but looking at some of the pictures, I might have to reconsider. Thanks for the pictures - especially the yummy food ones.

Saludos,
A.

PS: Amazing how skimpy DL catering is.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineRussianGirl From Russia, joined Jan 2011, 107 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 10183 times:

Hi Widebodyroga,
Extremely fantastic trip report!It's very interesting for reading! And while I was looking at your pics my jaw dropped because you had made amazing shots! Islands seems to be a paradise! Thank you for sharing!

Anastasia


User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1744 posts, RR: 30
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 10156 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Wbr,

Excellent read with a nice tropical feel to it!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
We wanted something secluded and quiet

I understand you'd like that for a honeymoon  

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
I was to break my personal record for smallest aircraft (Beechcraft 1900), shortest flight both in miles and duration (LGI-SML, 30 miles, 9 minutes), add 3 new airports (Nassau, LGI and SML) and a new airline (Pineapple Air) to my log. Not to mention that LGI and (especially) SML were to be by far the smallest airports I had ever been to and of course in the case of the former, the airport with the wackiest name I've flown to/from.

All nice additions to your log.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
it was apparent that our flight was going to be packed with families destined for there.

'Some' children on board are usually OK, but a plane load of children can be a nuisance  

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Somewhat tighter legroom this time

I wonder: are these 757's also for TATL flights used?

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Bahamasair domestic check-in counters

Lovely, gets you right in the mood!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
No offence but I think you can imagine what this means.

  

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
it was comprised mainly by millions of bloodthirsty mosquitoes and as a result one could not survive a night out without the use of these:

You didn't bring a net with you, most effective!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 3):
if you have time to spare, fly Bahamasair

Ha, that's a slogan! Makes you rule them out quickly.

   Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9883 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 14):
Hi Widebodyroga,

fantastic report about this amazing holiday trip! It seems I really need to visit the Bahamas one day.

Thanks PH! The Bahamas are definitely worth a visit. I fell in love with the nature there. Make sure you get off the beaten path because that's where all the money is!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 14):
I hate that!

It was such a shame. The landscape was amazing yet one could not take any photos. I wonder what created all these scratches. Could it be the salt?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 14):
I always enjoy to try local brands. I'll keep that name in mind.

I'm not a big fan of Carribean beers but this one was fairly pleasant and a perfect companion to the seafood that came with it.

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 15):
Many thanks for the trip report. Was cool to read about flying to one of the more exotic parts of the World and the photos from your destination were nice too. That hotel you stayed at in Nassau looked pretty decent too with a nice beach and room. Sorry to hear about the screaming kids but at least they weren't flying on to your destination!

Thanks for your kind words, Ps76. The Hilton in Nassau was very nice, clean and quiet. The private beach was a huge plus too. However, (going back to the story about the drinks I was automatically charged) I later found out that they never corrected the extra charges. They just gave me a receipt that did not include the extra charges just to get rid of me at the check out. They still charged my credit card the extra $70. I called them about it and even though they said (again) that they will credit me back the money, two weeks later nothing has been paid to my account. It leaves me with a bitter taste. Having said that, it's a good choice hotel for someone that wants to stay near the center of Nassau.

Quoting YLWbased (Reply 16):
You can also check out one of my older TR if you're interested in small a/c and unknown airlines.
This TR includes Do228 of Daily Air from Taiwan.

Thanks YLWbased! I'll definitely do so.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):

Fantastic report! I had given Bahamas a pass in the past as I thought it was too touristy - but looking at some of the pictures, I might have to reconsider. Thanks for the pictures - especially the yummy food ones.

Saludos,
A.

PS: Amazing how skimpy DL catering is.

Thanks Alex! As I said, the Bahamas definitely worth a try. With so many islands (most of which have very little tourist-related infrastructure) you can always find a quiet getaway.

DL's "catering" was basically identical to that of a domestic route, which of course was very disappointing. I was looking forward to something more than a cookie or a pack of peanuts. I got more (that is, TWO cookies and TWO packs of peanuts) on my domestic flight to SLC the other week.

Quoting RussianGirl (Reply 18):

Hi Widebodyroga,
Extremely fantastic trip report!It's very interesting for reading! And while I was looking at your pics my jaw dropped because you had made amazing shots! Islands seems to be a paradise! Thank you for sharing!

Anastasia

Thank you very much Anastasia! I'm glad you liked the photos.  
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 19):
Excellent read with a nice tropical feel to it!

Thanks Sultanils   It's always a pleasure to read your comments.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 19):
'Some' children on board are usually OK, but a plane load of children can be a nuisance

It seems that lately all of my flights have been plagued by rowdy kids. Of course the worse scenario is getting such kids on a TATL.



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
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