we cleared in at green turtle cay this summer, on a weekday. we were cleared in quickly and courteously with no mention at all of boarding for inspection
. later that week we met a sailor who had arrived at the office near closing time; the agent asked if he would come back the next day, which he did and was also cleared in with no problems.
we had crossed west palm beach to memory rock to great sale
cay to spanish cay to green turtle cay. we anchored off spanish cay for the night before going on to green turtle to clear in, so we were still flying 'q' flag. in the morning we left spanish, motoring the dozen miles to green turtle. i'm watching the compass
, the chart, and the sand banks on both sides of the channel as we leave spanish. the admiral says 'there's a big boat coming up behind you'. no problem i think, without looking back, there's a marina at spanish cay and he's probably headed for the channel. 'he's getting real close' she says. then i get a call on the handheld vhf
'one step, this is p49'. i immediately recognize p49 as a bahamas defense force boat.
'p49, one step'.
'one step, go to channel 14'.
'p49, one step going to 14'.
i switch over to 14 and annouce 'one step standing by on 14'.
'one step, what is your destination'.
'p49, my destination
is green turtle cay'.
'one step, what was your last port of call'.
'p49, west palm beach florida'.
'one step, you must check in at your closest port on arrival, which in your case is west end'.
'p49, my course was west palm, memory rock, great sale
, spanish cay, green turtle'.
'one step, next time check in at west end'.
'p49, thank you for that information'.
'p49 going back to 16'.
'one step going back to 16'.
we continued on our course for green turtle cay. did i mention that at west end - and at spanish cay which is also an arrival port - you have to pay $100 extra to tie up and check in?