Flying to the Bahamas for fishing, time on the beach

Published 1:00 am Saturday, June 8, 2019

If you happened to read last week’s column, you will remember that my family and I flew to the Bahamas from West Palm Beach, Florida. We rented this secluded cabin on Green Turtle Cay. We were practically alone. There was a mile-long beach of beautiful white sand about 100 yards from our cabin.

During the week that we were there, we saw only a few people on the Beach one day. There was a sort of a resort area at the dock where we came in. One evening we decided to go to the restaurant there.

While the rest of the family went into the restaurant, I stopped at the bar and ordered a drink. When the bartender used a bar master to fill my glass, I notice a bug came out of it into my glass, I pointed this out to the bartender and he took his finger and flicked out the bug and handed me the drink. It was OK, the bug didn’t drink much.

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It was a memorable week and all made possible with the magic carpet called a Cessna 182 Skylane.

One day, the kids and I went on a fishing trip with our guide. He had a wooden bucket with a glass bottom. He would use it to find fish and then let us fish for them. We caught several and the guide cleaned them.

I mentioned last week that we lost our gas refrigerator since it backfired and burned all the insulation. We had to eat as much of the fish as quickly as we could since we could not keep them very long. We had an uneventful trip back, landing at West Palm Beach where we returned the required flotation gear for flying over the ocean. The custom agents were a lot more trusting back in those days. We landed and I went in to talk to the customs agent. He asked if we had any contraband on board, I replied that we did not.

He said, “You are free to go.”

Now, back to the present, the resurfacing of the runway at Lawrence County Airport is going well in spite of the intermittent rain. The old surface has been removed and a layer of what appears to be concrete has been applied. The final asphalt surface will be applied to this when enough dry weather comes along.

A notice to young people about to decide on a career, if you are healthy and have good eyesight, you should consider flying as a career. There is  shortage of pilots presently.

The flight from Yeager Airport in Charleston to Houston and return has been discontinued. The reason was that they have a pilot shortage and even though the trip was making money, it was cancelled.

Airlines have depended on pilots retiring or leaving the Air Force for their main source of flying personnel, but that seems to be drying up. To start your training, consider the Lawrence County Airport to evaluate your ability to fly. Of course, you can join the Air Force and, if you can qualify, you can take pilot training.

Don Lee, a pilot flying out of Lawrence County Airport since 1970, has been in charge of equipment and grounds maintenance for the last several years. He can be reached at