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Nick and Andy's T21 adventure

Booker Gliding - Sat, 07/25/2020 - 16:26
We've had some excellent soaring weather recently, so one day Nick Newton and Andy Monk set off from Booker in Nick's T21 thinking that it would be fun to drop in on Chiltern Park. Which it would have been.........they got as far as Nettlebed. Nicely manicured grass field though, and the Pawnee soon rescued them.

Early optimism
Looking good at 4,000ft
Down to earth - so near and yet.........

500s in the bag

Booker Gliding - Thu, 07/23/2020 - 13:14
The excellent weather over the last few days has enabled plenty of epic flights from several clubs. Flying the flag for Booker, Paul Field and Howard Joseph completed their first 500k flights (Diamond Distance) on Tuesday. And Howard enjoyed it so much he had another go on Wednesday, although he didn't quite make it. Plenty of other members did noteworthy flights, including Denis Campbell who went to Devon, and John Otty, who cancelled his meetings, arrived at Chiltern Park at 3pm and nipped round a 300k. Just shows what you can do if you want to.

Paul and Howard celebrating their 500k
Denis went to Devon......
.........passing through Sussex on the way
John visited Salisbury........
......and had a view of the Isle of Wight beyond SouthamptonBack at Booker, evening flying resumed on Tuesday - 6 launches followed by beers and a picnic outside the clubhouse. First to fly was 16 year old Ossian O'Sullivan who went solo last year. Evening groups are now running Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from around 1700.

As from 1st August, training flights will be at Booker 7 days a week, with cross country staying at Chiltern Park for a little while longer.

Ossian O'Sulllivan and Graham Saw about to take the first launch on Tuesday evening



Fiji Opens to Private Jet & Superyacht Travel

Super Yachts Charters - Wed, 07/22/2020 - 10:00
Fiji Opens to Private Jet & Superyacht Travel Superyacht owners, guests and charterers have been presented with an opportunity to escape to the paradisiacal archipelago of Fiji. The country has opened up to private jet travel and created ‘Blue Lanes’ which will allow groups to fly in and meet a yacht, before spending their quarantine period cruising the magnificent surrounding area.

With many owners and charterers looking for a safe location to enjoy their next adventure, there are few destinations as promising as the South Pacific. The region has managed the virus with great comparative success, and now some of the world’s most exquisite cruising grounds are reopening to superyacht traffic.

Over the weekend, Fiji has finalised details of a framework which will facilitate superyacht migration to the country. This comes after three private jets carrying UHNW tourists have already been granted access to Fiji in recent weeks.

First launched in June 2020, the Blue Lanes are a government-driven initiative aimed at stimulating yacht and pleasure craft migration into Fiji while adapting to stringent security measures. Allowing the passage of superyachts into the region will not only delight owners, but provide an economic impetus for the economy of Fiji without any risk. It is the strength of the superyacht industry during this time to boost tourism economies while restrictions for high-volume travel are still in place.

“This is great news for Fiji and our region,” said Cynthia Rasch, CEO of Port Denarau Marina where superyachts will first arrive in Fiji. “Once again Fiji has demonstrated the sort of creative initiative that has made Fiji the Hub for superyachts in our region.”

Superyacht Arrival

The entry of international superyachts is still being granted on a case-by-case basis, though the process is relatively simple. Negative Covid-19 tests are required for both passengers and crew no more than 48 hours before departure, and all conditions of the Blue Lane Initiative must be adhered to.

One advantage is that the quarantine period begins from the last port of call, so any uninterrupted days of sailing will be subtracted from the 14 days. Uninterrupted sailing days are days when no persons have embarked on the yacht or disembarked the yacht, and during quarantine the crew must only have contact with those considered within the superyacht ‘bubble’.

Arrival of Owners and Guests

Similarly, owners and guests must produce a negative Covid-19 test inside 48 hours of departure. Temperature and symptom checks are then carried out upon arrival at the airport, before guests are transferred to Port Denarau Marina to meet their superyacht. A planned itinerary should also be provided before boarding the superyacht, so visiting parties are advised to contact a local Fijian yacht agent    

A Perfect Escape

It is hard to imagine a better way to spend quarantine than onboard a superyacht cruising the crystal-clear waters of Fiji.

For superyachts, Fiji offers the ultimate destination for true island seclusion and luxury. The stunning archipelago encompasses a sprawling chain of over 300 rugged islands covered in a haze of deepest emerald that leads down to sugary white sand beaches and cerulean waters teeming with diverse marine life. Superyacht visitation is made seamless by world-class facilities and excellence service at the world-renowned Port Denarau Marina.

The Blue Lanes have made sure that owners and guests can still enjoy their superyacht to the full during quarantine. The conditions state that: “During the quarantine period, the Superyacht will be allowed to undertake watersports such as surfing, kiteboarding, diving and snorkelling to name a few within approved areas.”

Quarantine will be completed under the supervision of members of the Fijian military or navy, who will follow in a shadow vessel. This will ensure that the agreed itinerary and procedures are followed in the interests of both visitors and the local population. 

Interest from superyachts in visiting Fiji has been very high during the lockdown period, and many will be seriously considered taking advantage of this opportunity. Three superyachts were known to be applying for entry into the country before this latest update was confirmed, with a renowned Top100 yacht due to arrive in August.

There is plenty of reason to stay in the South Pacific region through this year and beyond, with the opening of countries such as Tahiti boosting prospects for travel. The America’s Cup will still be held in New Zealand in March 2021, an event which has always attracted high-profile superyachts. For now, though, superyachts will be thrilled to see opportunities for travel to exotic locations open up again.

Summary of conditions for superyacht quarantine in Fiji:

  • Engage with a Fiji Yacht agent
  • Provide a negative RT-PCR test <48hrs from departure. This has to be a laboratory test on a letterhead.
  • Provide details on where they intend to cruise, itinerary
  • Bear cost of a shadow boat containing military/navy personnel during their quarantine cruising period
  • Adhere to all conditions as per the Blue Lane initiative under the Fijian COVID Safe Economic Recovery Framework. 
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Chiltern Challenge Cup final day

Booker Gliding - Sun, 07/19/2020 - 13:27
The last day of the comp gave us more good weather, enough for a short task to ensure everyone was back in time for the evening's entertainments. One of the turnpoints was BO3 - Booker - so there was a risk that pilots would make like homing pigeons for Booker, but they all got back. Jim White, John Otty and Denis Campbell have been jockeying for the podium all week but this time for a change Howard Joseph and Bob Smith came 2nd and 3rd behind Jim. The overall winner was Jim, with 2nd place John and 3rd place Denis.

At the end of flying we squashed all the trailers up to one end of the field to make way for parachuting which resumed on Saturday, and then Jim provided a bbq from his motorhome.

Jim the champion, with RichardIt was a very enjoyable week - the only comp in the country this year - and thanks go to Richard for sorting everything out, and to Dennis Pearson of Chiltern Airsports who let us get on with it, mixing safely with gyrocopters and microlights and whatever else turned up. Also to Nils who did weather forecasts every day, and the tug pilots - James Roland, Rob Turner and Doug Hilton - for efficient launching, and not forgetting Pete Wyld who did the scoring from the peace and quiet of his own home.

Scorer's view

In other news, Nick Newton and Andy Monk set off from Booker in Nick's T21 thinking that it would be fun to drop in on Chiltern Park. Which it would have been.........they got as far as Nettlebed. Nicely manicured grass field though, and the Pawnee soon rescued them.

Early optimism
Looking good at 4,000ft
Back to earth
And finally.........James Giles, who has yet to complete his Bronze, made the effort to drive that bit further to Chiltern Park, flew the Duo a couple of times to get used to the site, had a lesson in how to rig a Pegase and then had three long soaring flights - type conversion and a new site! And he did a lot of running around helping to launch the grid.


The grin says it all!

The Booker Chiltern Park Cup

Booker Gliding - Fri, 07/17/2020 - 08:33
In a normal world, this week we would be running the Booker Red Kite Regionals at Wycombe Air Park, but with life as it is, we are running the Chiltern Challenge Cup at Chiltern Park, a 7 day comp with Distance Handicapped Tasks and regionals rules, although it is not a rated comp.

On Saturday 11th July we got off to a good start with a task of 198km, a couple of airfield landouts with aerotow retrieves and the first three places going to Jim White, Denis Campbell and John Otty.

Sunday was an amazing day with 6,000ft cloudbase in parts and light winds and the task was 322km, as always routed past airstrips to allow for safe landouts if necessary. The podium places shuffled a bit: Jim White, John Otty and Denis Campbell. Special mention for David Hamilton, flying his first comp, who managed 221km, having sensibly decided to skip the last turnpoint at Marlborough.

Nice looking skyMonday and Tuesday were scrubs. Wednesday looked unpromising until mid afternoon when the grid launched on a task of 102km. It was a valiant effort - Denis did 52km before turning on his engine, Nils and Jim landed at Abingdon, and John helpfully flew over them before firing up his engine. Everyone else landed back. The result was Denis, Jim and John, but sadly no points because no-one passed the magic Y. There really should be marks for effort! Plenty of people enjoyed the day on tracking from the comfort of their own home though.

Nils and Jim dropped in at Abingdon

On Thursday the task was 152km around Lasham, Membury and Oxford. The sky looked good from the ground but it was plainly not so good on track. The winner was John, followed by Jim and then Denis. A handful of pilots had extra adventures - Ashley landed at a short strip near Kingsclere and was retrieved by road, Martin (a guest from Halton) landed at Membury and got a tow back from the Jones brothers, Nils landed at Bourne Park and was brought home by John in GH, and David picked a mammoth stubble field and was fetched by Richard in the Pawnee (any excuse).

Getting ready to launch the grid
Nils at Bourne Park - sadly soon to close and be built on
David in his mammoth field
The detailed results are here: https://www.soaringspot.com/en_gb/booker2020/results

Meanwhile at Booker - we resumed flying at WAP last Friday with 9 training flights, and another 9 on Saturday. The new method of operation worked very well with great joint working with power traffic.

St. Lucian Escapes: Marigot Bay Re-Opens for Visitors

Super Yachts Charters - Thu, 07/16/2020 - 16:30
St. Lucian Escapes: Marigot Bay Re-Opens for Visitors Nestled in the heart of St. Lucia, intimate beaches and turquoise seas make Marigot Bay Marina & Resort easily one of the most breathtaking spots to berth in the world. Today, the 5-star luxury marina has re-opened its doors to foreign travellers, offering a safe haven for yachts and superyachts as worldwide travel restrictions are eased.

Reclaiming its official status as port of entry into St. Lucia, Customs will be resuming operations at Marigot Bay as of this week. Those looking to dock at Marigot Bay can expect to see ramped up safety and hygiene measures in keeping with guidelines, but otherwise largely a return to ‘business as usual’. 

And what exactly does business as usual look like at Marigot Bay? Picture intimate bayside dining spots, serving fresh deep-sea fish and locally sourced ingredients. Picture observation decks looking out at vast expanses of unspoilt landscape, pristinely maintained suites and spa facilities, infinity pools. This should give visitors an idea of the slice of paradise they can expect upon berthing at Marigot Bay Marina & Resort. To add to this idyllic appeal, the marina offers berthing capacity for up to 42 yachts, 20 mooring locations anchored in the surrounding bay and world-class maintenance and repair facilities.  

As part of the resumption of operations, Marigot Bay will also see a new port health office established as well as a nursing station in the Marina Village according to the requirements laid out by the Ministry of Health. Visiting yachts fall into one of two categories; those within the ‘Travel Bubble’ and those outside of it. Yachts outside of the bubble will be required to undergo 14-day quarantine upon arrival and obtain a negative result from a PCR Test within 7 days in line with careful precautions at Marigot Bay. 

The ‘Travel Bubble’ has been defined to include Aruba, Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Monsterrat, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Martin, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos.

Troy Blanchard, Marigot Marina Manager, comments, “Providing a safe and clean environment for our boaters and Marina Staff has always been a top priority for Marigot Bay Marina. Now more than ever, we remain committed to upholding the highest standards of cleanliness and want you to feel at ease when you berth with us.”

He goes on, “As we look forward to the future of yachting and cruising, we have implemented full-scale enhancements to our already stringent quality controls and health and safety measures.  We have embarked on our newly activated CASE programme (Clean and Sanitize Everything) which provides ongoing, real-time guidance on the safety and well-being of associates and guests in the evolving COVID-19 world and beyond.”

Although the local supermarket and restaurants remain closed for now, the upper swimming pool is open to marina guests, and the marina plans to have ‘In-Boat’ call out food service for boats wishing to make an advance order.

 

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Best United States adventure holidays: Top 19 active vacations in USA

Windsurfing - Wed, 07/15/2020 - 14:11

Looking to plan the best United States adventure holidays? It is a huge country offering everything from skydiving to scuba diving… So to help you narrow it down, check out our top 19 active vacations in USA. Best United States adventure holidays The United States is a massive country! Seriously, look at google maps, perhaps …

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