The Prime Minister of the Bahamas closed the borders at 9 a.m. today and specifically stated that private boats would not be allowed to enter or transit until March 31. Why is that important to us? Our easiest route is through the Islands which gives us protection from winds and waves with plenty of anchorages. We immediately started calling the US embassy and Immigrations which, of course, were closed. A sleepless night ensued.
This morning we started calling anyone and everyone that we thought might help get us through. The US Embassy said they couldn’t help us. We called the Immigration office and a woman said that we could transit but she would not put it in writing in an e-mail. We then tried the US Coast Guard who said they couldn’t help us. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force said no and they are the ones on the water that enforce the law. The Customs office said that we could transit through without anchoring. Quite the conflicting mess.
I remember a song from Girl Scouts about, “Can’t go under it, can’t go over it, gotta go through it!” Well, if we can’t go through it, we’ll go around it! There is an option of going around the Bahamas in international waters. This route would take 3-4 days going non-stop in open water. This would not be our preferred method. However, it could be possible if we have good weather and that is exactly what our weather guru, Chris Parker, has forecasted. We’re going for it!
We cut ties with T & C by checking out and paying our marina bill. Only the Captain of the ship can visit with customs and immigration and we hated to send Scott out into the germs. He was loaded with disposable gloves, a gator for a mask, purell, and zip lock bags for anything that someone else touched like his credit card. His clothes went directly into the washing machine and he went straight into the shower.
We’ve never cruised more than 2 consecutive nights so this will be a challenge. What wimps we are…people cruise across oceans in much less sea-worthy boats than ours all the time and that journey can take weeks! My stress level has raised to the level of having a colon that is completely prepped for a colonoscopy if you know what I mean! Just having a plan does make me feel better and once underway I anticipate it will continue to abate somewhat. Since we eat Whole Food Plant Based we really don’t have junk on board for stress eating. Bingeing on fruit and grains just doesn’t appeal like homemade chocolate chip cookies!
While underway we will have radio, Sat phone and Sat e-mail. Feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org A positive note or something funny would be appreciated. Thank you for all of your supportive and kind comments. We certainly appreciate you taking the time to read our little blog and for your responses.