CaribbeanLife AshoreUS Virgin Islands

Flight from paradise

By June 17, 2012 2 Comments

This week I flew to Denver to help run the Relay For Life, which I will tell you about next week.  What I want to tell you about this week is my flight from St Thomas.  I got up around 7:00am in order to straighten some things up and get the boat ready for me to not be aboard for a week and a half.  At 8:30am I had my bags packed and was ready to go to shore, but I did not want to take my dinghy and have it sit at the dinghy dock while I was gone.  So I looked around and found another boat getting in their dinghy and waved them down to bum a ride to shore.  From there, I was waiting for the local bus (called a safari), but a gypsy taxi (one not licensed) stopped and picked two of us up.  He dropped me off at the bus stop at the end of the road for only a $1 and I walked the half a mile to the terminal. I could have gotten him to take me the whole way, but it would have been $9 for that half a mile!  A helpful hint when you are flying from St Thomas you want to arrive two hours early, because sometimes it takes that long to get through customs.  Even though you are in the USA, St Thomas is a free port and you are limited on what you can take back without paying taxes on it.

When it was time for our flight they walked us out to an airplane, which seemed small enough to have been put together with model glue and hung on a ceiling.  There were a total of five rows with two seats per row and this is only if you count the cockpit where a passenger sits in the copilot seat.  Once we get to the plane they took our carryon luggage, which was weighed beforehand, and shoved it into the wings.  When I opened my backpack to take out a magazine, I was told not to change the weight of the bag too much.  Let me tell you, I was getting a bit concerned about this flight if having a magazine in the wrong place was an issue (do you like the pun?)!  Next, they assigned your seat after looking you up and down, so the plane would be balanced.  Once we got in, they closed the door and I realized two things.  First, there is no air conditioner, just some fans and it was getting toasty quick, they could really use the help from Riverside HVAC (  Second, you better not be thirsty because the pilot is the only employee and I don’t think the FAA would like him serving drinks and flying at the same time.  Of course once I looked around I concluded you don’t want a heating service redbank nj service.

This flight took about 45 minutes as we flew over the western half of St Thomas and then the Spanish Virgin Islands.  I noticed the pilot was navigating with a Garmin chart plotter and I thought how much it looked like the same unit I used on the boat (let’s hope it has more features to deal with the added dimension of altitude!!!!!).  Once I landed in Puerto Rico my next two flights were much more conventional and I landed in Denver at 11:15pm.

PS – Season 2 – The Bahamas started this week with episode 1 about grand Bahama Island.  Enjoy!


  • Shane says:


    I am looking forward to having you guys aboard. When we get closer I will contact you and work out some details for your awesome week aboard!!!!

  • Victor says:

    Shane – Thanks for the tip on flying out of St Thomas. We will be sailing with you in mid August and have a 9am flight out after our sail. I guess it will be an early morning that day. Look forward to our week sailing on the Guiding Light.

    Victor & Family
    Morro Bay, Ca

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