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Old 16-03-2012, 12:28   #1
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Sentence for Stupidity Complete

My 5 week sentence for being stupid enough to have mail sent to me in the Bahamas is complete. The USPS web site says that International Priority Mail takes 6-10 days to arrive in the Bahamas. They Lie. Mail sent to me February 13 by international priority mail finaly arrived today. This is the first time I have been out cruising long enough to worry about getting mail. The lesson has been learned. Despite a cost of $80-$120 to get the email sent by Fed-ex, UPS, or DHL it is much cheaper in the long run to pay it and be able to move on with ones journey. It will still take a week or two to get your mail as it will be inspected by customs and that can take a week or more. While Georgetown is a nice place to visit, I wasn't planning on taking up residency and after 5 weeks I have so much growth on my anchor chain I'm wondering if I'll actually be able to pull it up and leave in the morning. In any case the smell coming out of the anchor locker is likely to be special.

Speaking of anchoring, it was blowing 30+ last week with gusts to 40 and out of about 280 boats in Georgetown only two dragged (probably a new record). The funny part is that one was attached to one of the new government provided mooring balls. The mooring actually broke and provided a little excitement just after cruisers midnight.

Speaking of Red Tape, I came in at Bimini and they could only give me a 90 day entry permit. My original itinerary did not present a problem as I had planned to be back in civilization (at a Bahamian port of entry) in plenty of time to get an extension. The extra 3 weeks here has now put a bit of a crimp in that schedule, so I went Immigration here in Georgetown to get an extension before heading out into the boonedocks of the southern Bahamas. Sorry the man says you have too much time left on your current entry permit, we won't give you a new one until you have less than a week on your current one. I tried to explain that I would not be at a port of entry until after my current one expires. Too bad he says but you must get the new one before the current one expires. So I say well why don't you just give me the new one now. Sorry he says, can't be done.

Mr. Thompson Headf of Bahamas Immigration, was at the Georgetown regatta and promised to address and solve the issue of short entry permits for the people while allowing the boats in for a year. Maybe, the instructions are in the Mail?

Oh well I guess there are worse places to be stuck.

Bill
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Old 16-03-2012, 12:35   #2
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Re: Sentence for Stupidity Complete

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Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post

Oh well I guess there are worse places to be stuck.

Bill
Now the last part is the cruiser's attitude. Everything thing else sounded like a hurried "work schedule" attitude.

The worst delays while cruising are better than any delays doing the daily grind.
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Old 16-03-2012, 12:54   #3
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Re: Sentence for Stupidity Complete

Ha! We actually had different sets of friends experience both of those issues last year. The ones waiting on mail were heading further south and got stuck for about a month waiting on mail.

On the flip side if you are in the vicinity of Staniel Cay and need parts flown in, I have 2 words for you -- Watermakers Air. They have 2x daily flights direct from Ft. Lauderdale. I burned up a starter last year and had a new one in 2 days. It was remarkably painless and not that expensive. The folks at SCYC are very helpful and have the forms you need to fill out. Only about $10 in stamp tax and I think $35 in air freight. No duty for "yachts in transit".

Scott
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Old 16-03-2012, 13:08   #4
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Re: Sentence for Stupidity Complete

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Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
My 5 week sentence for being stupid enough to have mail sent to me in the Bahamas is complete. The USPS web site says that International Priority Mail takes 6-10 days to arrive in the Bahamas. They Lie. Mail sent to me February 13 by international priority mail finaly arrived today. ...The lesson has been learned. Despite a cost of $80-$120 to get the email sent by Fed-ex, UPS, or DHL it is much cheaper in the long run to pay it...
My experience in several developing countries is that the US based carriers are pretty clueless about how things work once the package gets to the destination country. The issue is usually the in-country delivery. For example, I've had people FEDEX me stuff in Belize, and pay the high rates, assuming I would have it in a few days -- not so -- it gets to Belize in a few days and then takes a week or two to find it's way to me!

Just like suggested by another poster, use the local import services -- they not only know how to get into the country, but how to get it to you.
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