South African Pilots make their dream a reality of visiting The Bahamas

PLANTATION – Captains Sean Murray and Colin Gray, pilots from Cape Town, South Africa said, that they had always been fascinated with the beauty of The Bahamas and had dreamed of flying there.

They decided to make their dream a reality and combined their trip to The Bahamas with the recent EAA Air Venture Conference in OshKosh, Wisconsin, which climaxed July 31, 2017.

Captain Murray, a flight instructor and operator of a flying squad in South Africa said that he was “captivated by the beauty of The Bahamas and began enquiring into flying there”.

In searching the internet for flying instructors to The Bahamas, he was directed to The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation’s (MOT) website where he was able to get all the necessary information.  He then requested assistance from the Bahamas’ Flying Ambassadors, and quickly received a response from Captain Anthony “Tony” Restaino, one of the Bahamas’ flying ambassadors founding members, who organized the fly-out.

Greg Rolle, Sr. Director of Sports and Vertical Markets, MOT, said that “the MOT’s website is results driven and is designed to connect all the dots with our industry partners, hoteliers, flying ambassadors and other operators.  It has been a proven and vital tool for us, and user friendly to our visitors and investors”.

South African Pilots make their dream a reality of visiting The Bahamas

Captains Sean Murray and Colin Gray with Greg Rolle, Sr. Director of Sports and Vertical Markets, MOT, and Captain Anthony “Tony” Restaino

“We are always happy to connect with and engaged our visitors and drive business into The Bahamas,” he said.

Murray and Gray said they were totally sold on The Bahamas, after viewing a video on U-Tube produced by pilot, Steveorino, which showcased the ease of flying into The Bahamas, while highlighting its crystal clear waters and pristine beauty.

South African Pilots make their dream a reality of visiting The Bahamas

Captains Sean Murray and Colin Gray

When the team arrived in the United States, they quickly connected with Captain Restaino, completed the necessary paper work, testing procedures and began planning their Bahamas fly out.   Upon renting a Piper Seneca (PA34) aircraft, they then flew to Bimini, cleared Bahamas Customs and continued onto Great Harbour Cay, where they spent the day.

The team returned to the USA to change their aircraft, one that would allow them further exploration of the Bahama Islands.

The team cleared Bahamas customs in San Andros before spending the day in Staniel Cay, Exuma.  There, they rented a boat, snorkeled, swam with the pigs and had lunch.

They then flew to Georgetown, Exuma, and became friends with taxi driver, Denise, who dazzled them with her compelling cultural stories, that were equally colorful to her 6 inches nails.

They visited Lee Stocking Island, did more beaching and lounging, experienced sharks and dined at Chat n Chill Restaurant, before returning to Opa Locka, Florida.

‘The Bahamas was everything we imagined and more,” said Murray.  “We tried to do everything but could not.  Our plans are to visit again and again, each time staying for longer periods of time.  This time, it was with the boys, our next visit, planned for October 2017, will be with our families,” he said.

Captain Restaino, who is also President of AERO Flying Club, will be leading a group of 35 persons in a fly out to Grand Bahama, September 15-17, 2017.

Posted in: National News
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