November 30, 2009.
Let me jump back to Thanksgiving for a minute. We had a lovely meal in the Far Niente’s shoreside home along with the Alibi II’s and Solitaire. During the course of dinner conversation it became known that Bill from Alibi II is actually Vanna Whites big brother. Since I had the picture I figured I had to tell the story. I can see the resemblance.
Back to the present. We were sitting in the anchorage at Lake Worth waiting to start an overnight crossing. The inlet is pretty small considering the size of some of the boat traffic transiting the inlet. This large fella came in with a deck just covered in boats being transported from one
place to another.
At 1600 hours we pulled anchor and set out for Lucaya on Grand Bahamas Island. The crossing was into a very slight headwind and was an all night motorboat trip complete with a full moon for most of the trip. We arrived just before dawn and were pleasantly surprised to find the inlet bordered by well lit navigational buoys. Solitaire was timing their arrival to coincide with the marinas opening at 0800. So we slipped through the channel and anchored in a wide spot inside the safety of the harbor. We had close to 2 hours to catch up on our sleep but I was unable to rest as I was pretty excited about being here once again.
Once Solitaire arrived we hoisted anchor and pulled into the marina. That’s pretty much where the love affair with Lucaya came to an end. We both took slips as required to check in with Customs and Immigration. When Nancy was making our reservations she found that the sailboat section (read that as cheaper) had closed. We were told that we would be given that sections rate. That was of course until we actually showed up in person. Then it was “No, no der be no such ting as special pricing”. The 20 percent difference in price was annoying but the whole lying thing…..well that’s just really gets my goat. While the woman was lying to my face she made a motion with her hand and knocked her full cup of coffee all over her keyboard, calculator and desktop. I was in full smirk when I said “Oh boy, that’s a shame” and left. Karma meet lying marina worker, lying marina worker meet karma.
Next it was off to Customs and Immigration. The Customs officer was not in yet so Immigration was first. When you fill out the half dozen associated forms one of them asks how long you would like to stay in the country. The maximum is 6 months so we always ask for 180 days. It’s very random as to who gets what. Solitaire and we were only granted 90 days. It’s not that big a deal as you can stop in at any customs office and get an extension for another 90 days. So the question becomes…..”If you’re gonna give me the 180 days anyway, why can’t I walk outta here with all of em’ today?” It’s a huge pain in the ass as we have to be in a place where we can get our extension just as our permits run out. But it is what it is.
As part of the process the Immigration officer called the Customs division and let them know that there were people here to check in. After 2 hours and repeated assurances that she was on the way the facts came to light. The Immigration officer never made the call. Once the Customs woman was actually notified she was there in ten minutes and blew through our paperwork quickly.
After spending 3 hours to accumulate a few rubber stamps we went home to the boat for lunch. After lunch we walked the downtown shopping district with the Solitaires. Then Christy washed the salt and filth from the decks while I jerry jugged some diesel to top off our tanks.
We’ll be leaving for the Berry islands in the morning and once there we’ll be hiding from a front that supposed to move through the area on Wednesday and Thursday. So its no internet for us for at least a week I would guess.
There’s something a bit wrong with 85 degrees, loud Christmas music and a huge decorated tree. Don't misconstrue that as complaining, I'll deal with it.