April 21-22, 2017
With reluctance, we left Man O War Bay for the 2.5 hr trip back to Victoria Bay. We need to clear out of the Bahamas, and actually get our customs and immigration exit paperwork. Usually, you do not clear out. You just send the immigration cards back, if you think about it. This works for returning to the USA, but not if you are continuing on to another country. Most governments like their paperwork nice and tidy and we need to show proof of actually checking out.
Angie was in passage making food prep mode. She made cabbage rolls, picadillo for over rice or quinoa, potato salad, bean salad, turkey curry salad, pumpkin cranberry almond muffins, and chocolate walnut brownies. She also had to work on making a courtesy flag for when we check in at Bonaire.
We finally found a narrow sandy landing area for the dinghy amongst all of the rock on shore and walked to Customs and Immigration. They are in the same building, but in different offices, along the main road, not too far from our anchorage. We were able to pre-check out with customs (for the boat), but had to return to deal with immigration (for the people). We still had $70 in Bahamian currency we were trying to get rid of, so we walked into town again, hoping to find some fresh veggies at the grocery store. It looked like another supply ship had arrived. Again, we left the store without purchasing anything except a soda.
We went to the local bank, hoping to exchange the Bahamian money into US or Antillean coin. It must have been pay day on the construction jobsite. Haitian workers were in the bank, wiring money back to their homes. We didn’t see Oscar. Unfortunately, we were unable to exchange our money into anything else. So, we decided to hit the liquor store and pick up a bottle of something we probably would never buy (Hennessey White cognac). This may be our new exiting a country strategy when we cannot do anything with the excess local currency.
Back at immigration, we talked with someone who had maintenance clothing on, versus the official white and black uniforms we were used to seeing. The guy told us to come back the day we were departing. He would not take our forms, nor would he post-date an exit form for us. Since we would be leaving from MOW Bay, 2.5 hrs North, around 1 am on Sunday, there was no feasible way for us to check out with his terms.
Angie did not feel confident with this person’s authority, and would have preferred to wait until the official uniforms showed up. However, Mark was anxious to get back to Uno Mas and start the trek back to Man O War Bay for the night (our new favorite anchorage). He still had a few projects to complete before our departure, checking oils, scrubbing fuel, checking engines and saildrives, and strapping down the dink. Angie finished up the food prep and Bonaire Flag.
Here’s to the next part of our journey!