Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 26, 2016 "Town Day" chores in Marsh Harbor

We listened to the net this morning and I asked for information about the Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club.  At the end of the net, someone from the boat Double S answered my questions.  He was the commodore of the yacht club.  It is a social club with several events and discounts at several restaurants and marinas.  We had heard it was about $30 per year to be a member.  Well, it’s $150 to join and then $30/year.  We’ll have to think about that.  The social events are at Boat Harbor Marina in Marsh Harbor.  And we don’t plan to be here all winter.  But we’ll check out the website before we make a decision.

I also did some reading in our guide books about the area.  The general information for checking into customs and immigration just lists what cities have a Port of Entry, fees, what documentation you’ll need, etc.  The information about Marsh Harbor says to go to a marina and custom’s and immigration will come to the boat.  Opps!  Missed that part.  At some time, we will ask a marina if we would have to get a slip, or if we could tie up for a free or for a fee just to clear into the country. 

Late morning, we went to shore with a list of things to do.  First we took in 2 bags of garbage.  A dumpster was added right by the dinghy dock.  We used to have to walk about a block in the opposite direction of town.  Then we headed to a hardware store.  On the way, we saw Da Bes Yet bakery.  Dave had been there a couple times last year, but I hadn’t been there.  We stopped in and bought a coconut cinnamon roll and bread pudding to take back to the boat.

They had a sign to “Top Up”, which means you can put money on an account and add data to your phones.  We had put our old SIM card from last year in my phone, but hadn’t been able to activate it.  She told us we would have to go to the Bahamian Telephone Company-BTC- to do that.  We remember waiting forever in line at the BTC office last year.  So Dave went to the hardware store and I went to BTC, and he would join me there. 

At the BTC office, a very helpful woman helped me.  I told her that I had a SIM card from last year, wanted to activate it and put money on an account to add data.  She asked when I last used the phone, which was June 2015.  She informed me that if it has been inactive for 3 months, it is cancelled and I’d have to buy a new one.  That was the first time I had heard that, but that explained why we couldn’t activate the old one.

So I stood in the cashier line to buy the SIM card for $16 and put $100 on an account.  You can buy 2 gig of data for $33.  You have 30 days to use it or lose it.  If you want to purchase more data, you have to use all of the 2 gig first.  If you add data before the 2 gig is used, you will lose any remaining balance.  That can be frustrating.  If we need to update something, it may take more than 2 gig.  We know of a couple places where we can get free wifi or $5 for all day.  So that’s what we end up doing.  I also found out that phone calls and texts come out of the money we have on the account.  I can receive texts for free, even from the US, but it costs me to send one.  So we learned a few new things.  And I picked up a Bahamian telephone book.  Not sure how much we’ll use it, but it has some good general info in it, too.  The same helpful lady helped me put the new SIM card into my phone and activate it.  Dave was going to meet me here, so I sat in the only chairs, the customer service waiting area.  Of course, when he arrived, he thought I was still waiting to talk to someone.  He was pleasantly surprised to find out I was finished.  Before leaving, we decided to get a SIM card in Dave’s phone and add money just for phone use, no data.  There have been times when it would have been nice to be able to call each other.  So we went for the convenience.  The money on that account has to be used in 90 days or you lose it.  So he only put $30 on his account.

After finishing business at BTC, we went out for lunch.  We tried a different restaurant, Island Family Restaurant, in the same strip mall as the Kentucky Fried Chicken :(  We both had the daily special, coconut fish sandwich, which was very good.  They had sheep’s tongue souse on the breakfast specials menu, so Dave wanted to come back just for breakfast.  After our meal, he asked our waitress if that was a special only today.  She said, no they have it everyday for breakfast and lunch.  Now Dave wished he had ordered it for lunch.  I guess we’ll be back. 

We split tasks again.  I went to the grocery store to buy milk.  And Dave went to a second hardware store.  The first one didn’t have what he wanted.  The second one was on our way back to the boat.  And they have a picnic table outside where I usually wait for him. He needed about a foot of copper tubing, but had to buy 10 feet.  And he wanted a cord to attach our Honda generator to our 30 amp boat circuitry.  He thought he was going to have to build one, but they actually had that cord in stock.  He needed a saw blade to cut metal, but they had a variety of sizes.  So he would have to check that back at the boat and return later. 

We were back to the boat by about 2:30 and had our sweet treat and milk.  Boy, we used to stop at a bar for a drink.  Times have changed. 

Dave went to work with the parts he bought to connect our Honda generator to our boat’s electrical system.  After a few attempts and not connecting, he decided to head back to shore for the blade he needed and to get fuel before it got late.  He needed to fill our diesel jerry cans.  It’s best to keep the diesel tank full to avoid condensation in the tank.

At the fuel dock, the person working there told him our fuel cans are aging and deteriorating.  When they go, the handle breaks away from the top of the can and you have fuel everywhere.  So I guess we’ll be buying more cans while we’re here.  Maybe 2 now and 2 before we head back to the US. 

After doing a search online about Honda generators, Dave figured out what he needed to do to have the Honda generator run our electrical system through our boat’s 120 volt circuitry.   Initially, he was turning on the generator circuit breaker.  And he realized he needed to be turning on the shore power circuit breaker.  Because the source of the power would be similar to plugging into the power pedestal at a marina.  He tried it, and it worked for the 120 volt outlets.  It was after 8:00, so he didn’t want to run the noisy generator very long.  He’ll test more things tomorrow. 

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