Friday the 13th – 9:00 take off. We departed from Banyan Air Services.
Banyan provides everything a pilot needs and beyond. The service is outstanding. For the third year in a row Banyan has been the perfect place to regroup. Pilots were offered appreciated fuel and shop discounts. Presentations started at 3.30 PM and finished at 5 PM.
Mr. Campion, the owner made a surprise visit during which he told us about how he started and how he got to build one of the largest FBOs in the USA. Mr. Campion is actually from Ontario Canada. He wished us all a safe flight !
Shuttles from Banyan and from the westin made the transfer process for 50 some people easy and trouble free.
This year a full crew of 5 travelling onboard Philippe Bonnet impressive Beaver turbine amphibian were to film the Air Rally for the 13 episode show called AIR broadcasted this fall on TVA Sports. Also onboard was Mr. Francis Chao editor of China General Aviation report and Mr. Jin manager of Beijing largest FBO: Capital Jet.
18 planes took off from Fort Lauderdale at 9 AM on route to the beautiful islands of Turks And Caicos. Crews from 7 different countries participated for a total of 54 people. Two more aircraft joined us enroute making it a group of 20 total.
Our first stop for refuelling would be, Long Island, Bahamas, for slowest aircraft and Providenciales for others Grand Turk was only minutes away. Children waited at the airport meeting pilots and visiting aircraft as we arrived. Many were very serious about becoming pilots.
A quick check in at the hotel and off we went to the Governor’s WATERLOO Home built in 1815 and located right on the beach in Colombus Landfall Park. Governor Rick Todd kindly received us with an open bar. A few words were spoken, pictures taken and it was time to go back to the hotel we call home: The Osprey Beach resort: Charming hotel directly on the beach, great service, friendly personnel and great food at a very reasonable price. Jenny the manager is one of the nicest and helpful people on the island. A BBQ and dance evening celebration by the beach was arranged at the Bohio Dive resort were a some of us stayed as there was not enough to accommodate all at the Osprey.
The islands of Turks and Caicos are described as “Beautiful by nature” Crystalline water and white sand beaches. Grand Turk was the perfect place for us. A small island, far from being crowded, and so peaceful. Cruise ships only come in during the week so the island was OURS to enjoy.
We woke up on Saturday to a beautiful perfect day !!! fifty people were ready for the bicycle ride around the island. Police escort by car and bikes followed and protected the participants all the way. We stopped at one of the most popular public beaches, we enjoyed a lunch followed by a game of volley ball organised by Winston our coordinator. Grand Turk kids against pilots !!! Kids wan !
Etienne Leblanc from HAT , also a Canadian from the province of Quebec, dedicated two days to transport the group back and forth to the Bohio and to activities. Should anyone want to have assistance and guidance while in the islands do not hesitate to call Etienne as he is a reliable and very resourceful person www.highadventuretechnology.com
Sunday was a perfect day for diving and Grand Turk offers one of the world’s greatest wall-diving with a drop of nearly 7000 feet only 1/4mile from the beach. Beachcombing, relaxation or walking around the streets shaded by bougainvillea and yellow elder, shopping in the only open places: B&B boutiques, restored Bermudian style 18-19 century buildings of the salt raking era. We thank the Tourism office, for providing us with the perfect setting and activities to celebrate the beginning of this 14 day journey and bind into a group of friendly people ready to enjoy the rest of the journey.
We will be back in Turks and Caicos on the 26th to celebrate the Finals in Providenciales.