Thursday 14 May, CY day 61: Today, our focus is on departure. It has given us a new burst of energy. First job is food shopping. We need fresh produce to last us the next 10 days, as we really don’t want to food shop in Florida, where we briefly stop on the way to The Chesapeake. We’ll miss the wonderful Kirk supermarket here (especially its carrot cake!) but we certainly won’t miss their prices.
Next trip is to fill up the spare dinghy fuel tank. Very likely we won’t need too much dinghy fuel, but you never know. Talking of fuel, we really should top up on diesel before we depart. But while we only have 1/2 tank left, a) the price here is double USA and b) we don’t fancy docking the boat on the rough harbour walls to get fuel. It feels a bit of a gamble but I think we will head off with only half a tank. We should be able to motor for 2-3 days with that. Fingers crossed we don’t regret it!
In the afternoon we head ashore to check out from immigration and customs. Today is the last day of our 2 months visas and we really don’t want to pay for another month. So we will checkout today and depart within 24 hours, per the rules.
First off, we get into an argument with customs. They refuse to do the checkout until we show proof that we are allowed to enter the USA. We plead we have made 3 different calls to the CBP and all confirm we are allowed to enter, but have nothing in writing. But the officer is not budging, until I say, “well, no problem, we will just leave anyway, we don’t need Cayman checkout papers to enter the USA anyway”. At that, he calls his supervisor who promptly tells him to do the checkout! What is it about customs and immigration officers? They always seems to be unaware of basic rules, or apply them in an unexpected way – it’s almost like the individuals have to show you authority for some reason. Maybe it’s their training to be slightly obstructive?
Upstairs, at immigration, we spot a notice saying “if you are planning to depart after 7am, you must clear out on that day”. So we tell them we are departing crack of dawn tomorrow! You gotta know how to handle these people! Especially when it comes to good old British bureaucracy!!
Back on Cloudy Bay, I oil and pack away the sewing machine, but not before one last task: few stitches on the spray top. Then I run the spinnaker lines on deck while Oana finalises and posts the first Jamaica video. All sorts of small jobs to be done. Seems ages since we actually moved, let alone sailed!
In the evening our jobs continue as we sit inside in the air conditioning. Mostly taking our last fill of internet doing banking, emails, and some minor online shopping (a new GoPro and batteries for the drone).
One thing I’ll be very glad of when we leave here is cool evening air without having to hide from mosquitoes!