While selecting my hotel for a week's stay on Corfu, I realized that it was located right next to the Gouvia Marina, which in turn was home for a new airline called AirSea Lines, intent on connecting Corfu to its neighbouring islands using seaplanes. Of course I couldn't just lie at the beach and hear the PT6 engines roar nearby day after day - I had to fly those beasts!

Very idyllic early morning scene in Gouvia - Twin Otter SX-BVP is being prepared for a flight to Brindisi, Italy



BMG is the oldest of the bunch and got some additional rest today 

...in the meantime, GIK's been very active already and is seen returning from her first hop of the day. Built in 1981, she had served in frosty Canada and hot Pakistan before joining AirSea Lines...


Finally the time had come for my first flight on floats, a 30 minute sightseeing flight around beautiful Corfu island.

For takeoff, the planes taxi from the base (see the arrow below) out into the bay and depart towards the open sea. After an initial right turn I'm rewarded with a nice view of Gouvia harbour as well as our hotel (with the swimming pool).




Passing Corfu town, the airport runway visible in the back 



Inland, hills and picturesque villages dominate the scenery! 



Only a few moments later, Corfu's west coast comes into view 



The Canadian captain descends to a few dozen feet and takes us cliff-hugging - so cool! 



Reaching the northwesternmost tip of the island, the pilots yank the aircraft around for the way back - so that the people on the other side of the cabin get the same great views   



What a life! 



Way too soon the adventure is over, and we're back on finals for Gouvia Marina




Touch...err...Splashdown!

After that first great experience, I was hooked! So I booked a second flight with them - to the neighbouring island of Paxos this time. Being at the base 6.45 the next morning, I could witness the Otters leaving their dry dock - with passengers in them. Hope they hadn't had breakfast!




07:20: Boarding completed, the sun rises over my hotel, and we are ready to go!   



Taking off in the first light of the rising sun. Does it get any better? Sure does - doing it on water! 



Another view of one of the villages 



We reach Paxos after a short 10 minute flight :) 



At the dock already! During the taxiing, the co-pilot and an assistant had to get out to tie the aircraft to the dock 



In the meantime, the Captain's parking the aircraft using forward and reverse thrust - quite impressive! 



I used the two hours till my return flight for a short stroll through the idyllic village of Gaios 



Nice! 



Back to Corfu again - with a little different apron jumble for once! 



Cabin Shot, the flights seem to be quite popular! 



We're already approaching Corfu's southern tip again 



Since Thursday is the slowest day at the international airport, we had no problems to get a crossing clearence, and I got the great apron overview I'd hoped for. Lovely! 



A short look down to Corfu's harbour, before we touched down in Gouvia again, and a brief but fun adventure came to an end! 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, AirSea Lines has ceased operations shortly after my visit, citing the lack of official support and too strict regulations as the causes. Sad!

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