Friday, July 8, 2022

March 20-21, 2022 Green Turtle Cay Customs, friends and refueling

3-20 Sunday. We had considered sailing straight through to Green Turtle Cay yesterday.  But we would have arrived there on a Sunday and probably wouldn’t have been able to check in with Customs anyway.   We left at 8:00 and worked our way to Green Turtle Cay on the Sea of Abaco and anchored by 4:30.  We made ourselves drinks to go and took the dinghy to check our anchor.   After confirming that the anchor was secure, we checked out the harbor.  We can’t go to shore until we check in with Customs in the morning.  

that's a squall on the water.  luckily we we didn't cross paths
refueling while under way


We were actually looking for Donny’s marina.  We have friends from Canada on Modaki that keep their boat there in the summer, Yvonne and Joe.  It was damaged during Dorian in 2019.  They didn’t have long to work on it in 2020 before they had to evacuate and return to Canada because of COVID.  They returned in 2021 & had the boat back in the water this year.  
We found them!  They were in their cockpit with a few other friends.  They were actually leaving for Canada in the morning.  So lucky timing.  We just tied our dinghy to their boat and visited for awhile.  Always fun to visit with them.  



Yvonne and Joe are in the middle
we just tie up our dinghy when we visit other boats

3-21We listened to the Marine Weather Center/Chris Parker weather forecast on the SSB radio at 6:30am. After they go through the forecast, they let “subscribing vessels” call in for advice.  I called in to see when we should move south to Eleuthera.  He thought the weather would be unsettled until SATURDAY (it’s only Monday).  So even though our passage here was more rough than we prefer, we would have been waiting another week if we hadn’t crossed when we did.  That meant we were in no hurry to leave today.  
We were having trouble figuring out how to print our customs document, so we called a friend of our from Brunswick who was already over here and at Long Island, Bill and Margaret on Margareta.  They were very helpful and glad to hear we made it to the Bahamas safely.

it took several attempts, but we finally cleared the health visa
We had to put the dinghy in the water and mount a motor.  We mounted the 3.5hp motor because it is lighter and faster to mount.  The customs office is now in Green Turtle Cay club in a different bay.  About 11:00, we set off with all our paperwork and passports to find them.  They used to have an office in town near our anchorage, but moved after their office was damaged by hurricane Dorian in 2019.  

After tying up our dinghy and walking through the entire club to find the office (always pick the wrong door-or at least Dave did and didn’t want to listen to my suggestion), we were told that the customs agent was in town today at the government dock because the mail boat had come in with supplies.  If people have things shipped in, they have to pay customs the appropriate taxes. Well, that was right where we were anchored.  So we headed back to our anchorage, right past our boat, and tied up at the public dock in town. By now it was noon (slow going with the 3.5hp motor) and we were sure the customs agent was going to take a lunch hour.  Luckily, she didn’t.  We found her on the front porch of a house across the street from the government dock.  We had all our paperwork in order and finished in no time.  Yippee!!  Usually, your fishing license goes with your immigration and customs, but not with the new electronic system.  We had to apply for that online, but after waiting for our paperwork to clear.  
Something else that changed since we were last her is the fee for entering the Bahamas.  For our size boat, we would pay $300 for 12 months for our boat to be in the Bahamas.  That changed to $300 for 6 months or $600 for the year.  Since we arrived so late in the year, we decided on 3 months, actually 90 days.  By then it will be hurricane season again and time to leave.

raising the courtesy flag

Since we weren’t leaving today, we went back to the boat and exchanged the 3.5hp motor for the 20hp on the dingy.  Dave refilled our fuel tank from the jerry cans on the deck.  Then he loaded the empty cans in the dinghy and headed back to Green Turtle Cay club for fuel.  I took some time to do some cleaning and reorganizing after our passage.  

motor on the motor mount

lowering the motor to Dave on a pulley system

mounting it on the transom

and he's free!!

When Dave returned, he started our water maker.  It takes about 3 hours of running the noisy generator and water maker to fill our 90 gallon tank.  We usually refill this from the water maker and only use the 40 gallon tank as a back up.  We also like to do any type of water project while we are filling the tanks.  Dave washed our ropes/dock lines before storing them in the lazarette in the cockpit.  We both showered.  And we started a bucket of laundry in a 5 gallon bucket, back to washing clothes by hand.  We like to let it soak over night.  

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