formerly "The View From Up Here"

Formerly titled "The View From Up Here" this column began in the Liberty Gazette June 26, 2007.

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August 25, 2015 Story Generator

The Liberty Gazette
August 25, 2015
Ely Air Lines
By Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely

Linda: Why we fly – ask any pilot and you’ll hear "freedom", "independence", and "challenge". Flying affords a perspective of the world like nothing else, from understanding gained by learning to fly as well as from each moment we defy gravity. This is why the story bank is always full, and the good adventures keep coming.

Among the quests we haven’t shared in this space before are those organized by Air Journey, a company that has for over 15 years created exciting trips for those who fly themselves.

Offering group voyages to every continent, Air Journey’s calendar is full of choices for every pilot traveler. Coming up in November is their annual Bahamas Treasure Hunt, a popular package they’ve offered for years. They ask the aviator to release the inner pirate for a nine-day pursuit through the Out Islands of the Bahamas, to search for clues and enjoy the sun, sea, and relaxing beaches. Activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and kayaking are included, for well-rounded interests while the airplane is parked. The flying will take pilots and their passengers island hopping a total of 890 nautical miles to Green Turtle Cay, Harbour Island, Eleuthera Islands, Staniel Cay, Crooked Island, and Cat Island.

Mike: Those who register for the event will meet in North Palm Beach, Florida for a safety briefing to cover weather, details of the treasure hunt and how to collect clues.

During the trip the group will have the opportunity to explore secret coves of 17th century Caribbean pirates or visit "quaint 18th century fishing villages first settled during the Revolutionary War by Loyalists who fled to Abaco and the other Islands of The Bahamas." A visit to the historic settlement of New Plymouth offers the experience of a quiet 18th century village by the sea, its museums, sculpture garden, shops, restaurants and gingerbread homes "that remind one of a turn-of-the-century village of the New England coast." And that only covers the first two days. Plenty more choices of activity or leisure are available the entire trip, including feeding swimming pigs and seeing flamingos.

Reading the itinerary, the one sentence that is repeated at the close of each day is: "We’ll meet for a game of cards before dinner." I suspect these nightly card games will hold some clues for the treasure hunt. The trip culminates with a costume party and farewell barbeque dinner – pirate style. Someday, I’d like to take that trip.

Linda: The folks at Air Journey offer several different escorted excursions with this goal in mind: to expand the pilot-aircraft owner’s horizons, providing self-flying group travel experiences to over 100 countries, and even an around-the-world trip. Among their other scheduled journeys over the next year are a Caribbean golf-flying tour in March, and one that is intriguing to me, the Journey to Africa, August through October next year. The Africa trip will depart Quebec City, travel through Europe, then on to Africa. The jaunt includes a safari and 17 countries to visit while traveling 18,655 nautical miles. Guests will, they promise, collect thousands of memories, and to me that means thousands more stories.

If you know someone who flies, do them a favor and suggest a trip with Air Journey, or – what a priceless gift idea. In addition to escorted, pre-planned journeys, the company offers concierge journeys – customized trips they’ll help you create, "Your destinations, your dates, your budget."

If you like this idea but you’re not a pilot, we’ll have a suggestion for you next week.

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