We take off from the south coast of Cuba and head north, climbing over the island and then over the bright blue waters of the Caribbean.
However my XM Satellite weather subscription apparently only covers the USA so we can’t quite tell in real-time if we are heading into bad weather or not. There is green, yellow and red on the radar to the north of us close to US territory, but it is clearly cut-off on the iPad screen. We furiously work the iPads and books – what other islands can we land on besides Providence (Nassau) if the weather traps us, and what are the consequences if we land at a non-airport-of-entry?
Fortunately, the weather doesn’t materialize and we easily land at Nassau, where we instantly go from insanely wealthy Americans with an airplane to lowly tourists that can only afford one engine on their airplane, and not even a jet powered one. We land on a Friday so the private air terminal is packed with all sizes of jets, most from the east coast that have come down for the weekend, some most certainly to their private island. Our plane is towed to the back lot, up against an old rusted fence.
The staff is very helpful, and many of the documents we filled out in Florida (e.g. general declaration, cruising permit and flight plan for our next flight) are filled out incorrectly but they quickly help us with them. At that time in Florida we were focused on Cuba paperwork, which now I see was a lot more important anyway. I think the entire economy of the Bahamas is tourism and they are set up to make it easy. The customs guy didn’t do much more than give us tips on how to get through US customs later (e.g. put drugs in with snorkeling gear).
Tomorrow we’ll fly to some gorgeous island airstrips in the Exuma chain that are not much longer than 2,000 feet. Jets can’t land there. Just saying.
Next post in Cuba / Bahamas Flying Adventure: Cuba to Bahamas in Sixty Seconds