Posts Tagged ‘Culebra’

Flying to Culebra

We decided to fly from San Juan, Puerto Rico to the beautiful island of Culebra on Vieques Air Link (VAL).

Weight seemed to be extremely important for the check in process. Every bag was measured very carefully and we were all asked for our own weight. Lorna severely underestimated her own weight, no doubt the result of the cruise we had recently been on. It was somewhat unseemly to have to step onto the machine that weighed one’s luggage.

Security was less rigorous than we were used from TSA at Atlanta airport. There was no taking off of shoes, removal of iPads, disposal of liquids, or indeed screening of luggage. It was however very friendly. The announcer called passengers by Christian name.

Nancy was extremely keen to have a window seat, something that was easy to accommodate in the 8 person, 4 row plane.


Seat assignments were by weight with Lorna and I on opposite sides of the plane. One lucky passenger was chosen for the co-pilot seat. I’m not entirely sure about her level of training for the role. As the pilot on this airline was only qualified to fly during daylight hours, I’m sure she wasn’t too under qualified. A two step ladder was placed on the ground to help us embark.

I read the emergency briefing details carefully (printed in Benbridge, Isle of Wight, England). I noted the first instruction: “Locate the emergency exit”. It was by my right knee and labeled by Dymo-label “emergency exit”. As it was the only door, it was pretty easy to find. Furthermore, if I moved my right knee I could move the door from locked to closed and then to open.


We were soon flying above San Juan and then the ocean. As you can see, the views from 115 metres up (I could see the altimeter) were compelling. The breeze from the propellers was refreshing and it was only a matter of time before Lorna volunteered to do a spot of wing walking.


The landing was smooth. One week in to our holiday (vacation), I felt our trip was beginning.