Published On: Wed, Jan 31st, 2018

More New Friends, A New Roof, and Conch Fritters!!!!!

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Last month’s Bahamas Habitat Fly In & Help Out Event was another huge success.   Most folks met up at Orlando Executive Airport (KORL) for lunch and then the mass departure for the Bahamas began!  Over 30 pilots and passengers in 8+ planes made the trip to serve the great people of Eleuthera, Bahamas.  The itinerary was the same as it had been for previous events.

This time I had two friends from church join me.  Both of them had never been in a small plane before, but that didn’t damper their excitement.  A little over 2 hours after leaving Orlando, we were the first plane to touch down in Governor’s Harbour (MYEM), Eleuthera.  We had loaded up the plane with various supplies that had been waiting to be delivered to the camp which almost turned into a little bit of an ordeal.  The customs officer, freshly transferred from Nassau, was very keen to ALL the boxes we had brought with us.  Luckily you are allowed a $100 exemption per person from import duties so we managed to write up an agreed upon manifest and kept it below that mark!

Odyssey Aviation, the local FBO at the airport, was gracious enough to meet all the pilots and crews with catered finger foods, drinks and gift bags for everyone upon arrival.  They also were generous to donate $3500 to the Zion’s Children’s Home on Current Island; a project hugely supported by the Bahamas Habitat.  So if you find yourself in the Bahamas and in need of FBO services, please give your patronage to Odyssey Aviation to show your thanks for their support of their communities.

This trip, we worked in the settlement of South Palmetto Point.  We served a nice older gentleman and his aunt as we repaid her roof, demolished the crumbling half of his house, and finished putting on a new roof on the remaining front half of his home.  We did this over two days and it’s amazing what can be accomplished by so many in just a short time.

After working the 2nd day, a group of us headed for the airport for a little island hopping.  I let John and Doug take turns flying the plane and they did very well.  After a quick turn at North Eleuthera to load the fuel we needed to get home, we flew towards the Exuma Islands chain and stopped at Staniel Cay and walked to the yacht club for lunch.  Unlike last February, the power was on!  So we enjoyed a fabulous lunch and of course the obligatory conch fritters!

Sunday’s flight home was none eventful.  The weather was perfect, clearing customs in Ft Pierce was painless as usual, and we were home in Jacksonville by early afternoon.  It was an amazing four days and I truly enjoyed see some familiar faces, making new friends, and sharing this experience with Doug and John.  The main conversation we had when we got home was,”When are we going back?”  Soon I hope!  The next event will be February 20- 23, 2014.  Mark you calendars and join us!

Here is a slide show of our photos.  It also includes some GoPro video while flying low along the beautiful islands of Exuma.

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