So as we waited in Vero Beach Florida for a good crossing, we were bombarded by American politics, negative ads on TV and daily shootings. We were good and ready to go! The crossing forecast was not perfect but we were pretty sure it would work out. We left Vero Beach and went outside Fort Pierce Inlet to Lake Worth where we were anchored for the night. We decided to leave a little extra early the next day because the winds were supposed to be calmer. As we pulled out in the dark at 4:30 AM the winds were light and the seas were about 2 feet. Not too bad. The Gulfstream started about 7 miles from shore and again it wasn’t too bad but the seas were sort of close together which made it a bumpy ride. The winds built as the day went on and by the time we got to the Bahamas we were reading in the 20s on the nose. Not pretty and we were going very slow… Our destination was Great Sale Cay and we slogged on until well after midnight. Pretty exhausted, but we made it! The next day we were on to Green Turtle Cay, an uneventful 50 mile trip.
So grateful to be in the Bahamas! It was too late to check in at Customs so we just launched the dinghy and stayed on the boat.
Customs office opens at 9 am so we went in around 8:30 with all the necessary documents and our $300.00 for our cruising permit. Here’s where the classic Bahamas fiasco begins… The Customs agent did not arrive on the ferry that morning. Figuring we were on Bahama time, we waited till about 9:15 then went to the equivalent of their Town hall to ask if the agent would be coming in, but they weren’t open either…Picture going to the DMV and having no one show up. We spoke to a few people who said that there was a 1030 ferry and she would most likely be on that and arrive around 11 o’clock. We waited around trying to get our phones to work, but that’s another story… A kind woman in a realty office there called the Customs office where we were told that the agent was not coming that day, apparently ill… They suggested that we go to Treasure Cay, another island about three hours away and clear in there. A woman told Dan that she would meet us at the marina whenever we arrived. So off we went around Whale Cay, always an adventure, and grabbed a mooring in Treasure Cay around 230. We borrowed a phone from the sweet girl in the marina and called the customs agent. The number we had switched us to an operator who was not available and whose mailbox was full…Our new friend at the marina tried several different numbers for Customs and we finally got through to the agent at the airport at Treasure Cay. She then told us that she was there by herself and we would have to come TO the airport to check in. We weren’t pleased but figured we could get a cab there and be done with it. Of course, the cab ride round-trip was $60, a $10 tip and now we were going to spend $35 for the mooring because it was going to be too late to leave. We took a deep breath and decided it would be worth getting done. Only other option was to go the following day to Marsh Harbour, pull into a marina which we would pay at least $100 for and meet custom agents possibly there. So off we went in Papas taxi, with him looking at his phone the entire ride, yikes! The agents at the airport offered no sympathy and shrugged their shoulders like, hey that’s the Bahamas and we did not complain. You don’t want to piss off customs agents in another country. They were very sweet, as all Bahamians are. Took care of business, took the hair raising cab back with Pappy and crashed on the boat for the evening.
Enough whining!! This morning we are off to Hopetown, our final destination, yeah!!! Nothing but sun, clear aqua waters and bright Bahamian smiles. Another winter in paradise – ahhh!
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