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Old 06-10-2016, 10:36 AM
J.R.2009 J.R.2009 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mt. Pleasant, SC
Posts: 8,151

Part 2 continued.

Pics 10, 11 &12: All are attempts to show the colors, but in reality I must admit they don’t do it justice.

Pic 13: Becky and me, with old #7218 in the background as we try very hard not to break our faces with uncontrollable smiles.

By the first afternoon in Green Turtle Cay we had entered paradise, a land of brilliant white sand beaches, some as fine as talcum powder, all sloping off gently to the water’s edge where it begins to take on that characteristic Caribbean color that everyone tries so hard to describe; a sea that is absolutely colorless at the shoreline, then gradually turning hundreds of shades of greens and blues as it deepens to a saturated turquoise in the deep water. It’s truly a magic land.
During that first relaxing evening at the resort bar we met one of the local “experts” who knew of a perfect diving spot on the south end of Great Abaco, at a place called Sandy Point. Today, using the internet, a quick view of this ideal location using Google Earth (26° 1'52.57"N 77°24'0.89"W) will show a huge light colored sandy area that is way too shallow for an amphibian of our size to land in, but there were two darker colored channels right near the town just long enough to land and takeoff from. Our “expert” assured us that the dark color meant much deeper water that was deep enough to land on, plus the location provided easy access to the restaurant in town using our inflatable Zodiac. So we proceeded to land, only to run aground after slowing down enough for the hull to come down off plane. As it turned out, the dark color in the channel was dark green sea grass growing on a sandbar, making it look 25’ deep when in fact it was only about 3’ deep. Fortunately we had the ability to back up by reversing the props, and repeated attempts finally broke us free but it severely damaged the prop seal on the #2 engine. The decision was made to send #7218 inland with only a minimum crew of 2 on board because the prop might have to be feathered immediately after takeoff, with the remaining short flight done on one engine. The other 9 crew members were left behind to hitchhike home by whatever means possible (another long story).
The short flight up to the Marsh Harbor Airport was made without incident and our aircraft repair plan consisted of a call to Chalk’s Airline in Miami. They were flying a whole fleet of Grumman’s’ at that time and a short call with a credit card number was all it took to get a new prop flown over to our island location, complete with a crew to change it.
Pic 14: Just before takeoff the crew prepares for our first dive – all the scuba gear and Zodiac inflatable came out of the aft storage compartment, and back on deck.

Pic 15: Old #7218 back on land at the Marsh Harbour Airport with the #2 engine prop feathered.

With the aircraft grounded for a day, our gracious host arranged for a local fishing guide named Lincoln to take us on an island tour, complete with instructions on how to catch the local fish and harvest conch from the sea floor by free diving, all topped off with a magnificent shore lunch in his private island park. He explained that obtaining such a fine location was simply a matter of putting up his sign “LINCOLN PARK”, and when nobody took it down all the locals just agreed it was his.
Pics 16 to19: With a day off while the prop was being replaced, owner chartered a guide to show everyone how to catch fish and conch for a Bahamian style shore lunch.

Still have lots more to this story, and more pics, but the 12 pic limit is forcing me to start yet another page. Stay tuned it gets really interesting.


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