Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Georgetown, Grand Cayman

Our previous record number of cruise ships sighted at anchor in one port (five in Ketchikan, Alaska) has been broken. There were six here yesterday. Port Security stopped by in the morning to tell us that we wouldn't be able to clear in until afternoon. No problem. John had a good wireless connection, and we didn't mind taking it easy.

It was fairly late in the afternoon when Port Security led us to the clearance wall. (I can't call it a dock because it's really just a concrete wall. We used all of our fenders to protect us.) The authorities were very nice, but it was the most thorough inspection we've had since the US. There was a delay due to Märzen because they had to call an inspector from the Department of Agriculture to look at her. In the end, she isn't allowed ashore because we didn't get an import permit for her, but we don't like to take her ashore in strange places anyway. She doesn't enjoy it, and it's a hassle.

The customs agents told us that the mooring buoys were available through Port Security and that the location was more convenient for provisioning than the other anchorage we had been considering. So we called Port Security, and they told us we can stay on a buoy for as long as we like for free! Clear-in and clear-out are also free if we do it during their regular hours. We're planning to stay until Friday or Saturday morning before heading for Isla Mujeres. John has already been snorkeling here and says there are some nice coral heads around the boat. We'll go exploring later.

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