casual - i had that experience this summer. we crossed west palm, memory rock, great sale
, spanish cay, then cleared in at green turtle. i wanted to avoid west end and i didn't want to check in at spanish because they have a $100 dock
fee just to tie up and clear in. at green turtle you can anchor
or moor in black sound and then walk to the customs
we anchored overnight at memory rock, then anchored the next day behind great sale. we were stuck there for three days with a dozen other boats while we all waited for the weather to settle down. then we went on and anchored off spanish. the next day we picked up anchor to sail the remaining seventeen miles to clear in at green turtle. of course, all this time i'm flying 'Q' flag.
i'm sailing out of the anchorage, heading for the coast of abaco
island and the turn south, when my wife informs me that theres a 'big boat' coming up behind me. i don't even turn around, just assume it's a yacht coming out of spanish cay and he's got me on his eyeballs. then she tells me the boat
is getting 'real close'. i'm about to turn around to look when a voice comes over the handheld vhf
and this conversation ensues...
'one step, p49'. (i'm 'one step', 'p49' is bahamas defence force patrol boat
'p49, one step'.
'one step, go to 14'.
'one step going to 14'. i switch to 14.
'p49, one step standing by on 14'.
'one step, what was your last port of call?'
'p49, last port of call was west palm beach florida'.
'one step, what is your destination
'p49, my destination
is green turtle cay'.
'one step, you must clear at your nearest port of entry. in your case you should have cleared at west end'.
'p49, i came by way of memory rock, great sale, spanish cay'.
'one step, next time clear at west end'.
'p49, understand clear at west end'.
p49 then backed off, then pulled away to my far left and headed south.
a couple of hours later i cleared at green turtle. a very pretty young customs
agent had me fill out the forms and pay my $300, cash only. a few days later i met up with another cruiser who told me he got to the customs office around 4 pm to clear and the girl asked him if he would come back the next day as she had to catch the ferry
. all very casual....