June 1, 2013 by Last Star blog
OK, up bright and early….early for us. Well you see there is no real early really as we are up most of the night recently. We’re just not asleep and that seems ok by us? Let’s see I was up at about 2:30 AM at low tide when the wind was coming in the hatch oh so sweet and I thought it was marvelous until I wondered WHY the wind was coming in the hatch at such an odd angle. Well when your boat is sitting on its keel and no longer spinning with the wind then the wind can in fact come in sideways. Well this was OK for a bit until the rudder was “bumping” into the muddy bottom and then bumping into the bottom of my mattress. OK, now I’m really up. Then a few hours later the anchor alarm (set to a conservative 90 feet due to proximity of derelicts in this anchorage/wasteland) has me up investigating what the f**k is going on now? So when the sun comes up and the ability to get the hell out of here presents itself I am now UP!!
So we need to clear customs–first thing. We get the boat moved a safe distance from the criminal vagrants living “under the bridge” and then dinghy back to one of the Marinas suggested by the guy on the phone at Customs and Home Land Defense–new name must justify the vast budget needed for all of this. Oh and the $27.50 “processing fee” I paid for a small decal to put on the boat was just a bit of extortion courtesy of US government. No one ever asked anything about it. SO we are looking for a place to put the dinghy so we can go to Customs and do the passport thing, 45 minutes max. So we stop at the Rivera Beach Muni marina and tie up to the dinghy dock. Standard procedure in the Bahamas is go see the dock master, tell him about the dinghy, he makes sure you didn’t put it right in the middle of the fuel dock for example and then he says “yeah mon, all cool, have a nice day”. Here at the Municipal marina they have to buzz you in, then there is a glass window (WTF) and the person behind tells me it is “$10.00 to dock the dinghy for the day”. That’s nice but I only need to go to customs for 45 minutes and that includes transit time! Can I just leave it there for 45 minutes? “No.” OK, uh how about $5 for half a day? “No.” Little sparks are going off behind my eyes but I try real hard to blink them away and not blow a gasket. Fine, let’s go in for some more extortion to “serve me better”. I give her the $10 and then she hands me a FORM!!!! Are you shitting me? Well, let’s see…..name…Buster Hymen….that seems good. Address…fabricated….vessel ID–oh better get that right. I give the form back to the gracious attendant and then she turns to make copies!? No wonder all this shit costs 10 bucks. Maybe we can call in a lawyer to notarize the f’in thing. Now she asks for an ID…oops. I give her my complicated Texas Drivers License which she glances at and I guess thinks says “Buster Hymen”. Awesome. Now she places my copy in a plastic envelope with zip-strip and I am to go back to the dinghy and fasten it to the dinghy; by now I could be getting a proctological exam from Customs if I wasn’t so delayed here. I put the plastic sleeve on the dinghy and glance at the other 3 dinghies there…..not one freaking envelope on those!!!!
At this point Patricia and I start to work our way out of the fenced in Marina and towards customs. We make the trip without incident and then return to our dinghy in less than 45 minutes. Customs was cake (I did a bulk of the processing the night before with a 1-800 number when you call in upon arrival) and the agent stamped the passports and we were done. Oh and the envelope is still zip-stripped to the nose of the dinghy to remind me everyday how helpful and gracious the folks at Riveria Beach Muni are to people…..
Now let’s fast forward to our next stop. We motored way up Lake Worth to do our grocery shopping up there and so are again in the dinghy looking for the place to “put in” so we can go to the publix. Well there is no real dinghy dock here, you just put in near a bridge and scale a ditch/embankment and then you are on the road.
Here’s how we put in while in the Bahamas…..
Almost the same.
OK, now we’re off to get reacquainted with civilization and life here in Florida.
Oh and one photo of the cats from the art dictator