Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Adventures in re-fueling

Our chart said this place (Port Morant/Bowden Harbour) had fuel. Of course, it also said that there was a resort/marina here. Our free cruising guide said that the coast guard had taken over the facilities of the now-defunct marina, but that we could tie to the dock for free. It didn't say anything about fuel, but it only mentioned fuel once in the whole document anyway.

So we came into the Coast Guard Station at Port Morant/Bowden very early yesterday morning. To us it was 6:40. In Jamaica time it was actually 5:40. The cruising guide said this is a port of entry, but that the officials have to be called. That is true. The Coast Guard also let us stay here for free, but they don't recommend it. The station is at the end of a dirt road at least a half hour by car from the town of Morant Bay, which is where the gas stations are. It does have good wireless Internet at a very inexpensive rate if you can get to town to get the pre-paid card. (One of the two places listed as a source for the cards has had a fire and is no longer open.)

The Coast Guard guys have been awesome in helping us. They called Immigration, Customs, and Quarantine for us and organized our re-fueling via pick-up truck taxi with a 200-liter barrel borrowed from the Coast Guard plus a couple of our jerry cans. And four or five guys to help. Before dark we had re-fueled and could enjoy our Internet.

Re-fueling crew. This station had a fuel hose filter clog while they were serving us, so our crew had to find other station to finish filling our containers.

Then this morning we discovered that the Quarantine officer had apparently walked off with our entry and exit document from Customs. We need that exit document to get into any other country except the U.S. So after a couple of phone calls, we're now waiting for the Quarantine guy to come back with our exit document. In his defense, I suspect we're the only sailboat he's ever had to deal with here, and the form probably wasn't familiar to him. He also kept our official boat document, but I noticed that one before he left the premises and traded him for a copy. I wish I'd noticed that we were also missing the exit document. Oh, well, it's all part of the adventure, and we still don't have much wind, so we aren't going anywhere quickly anyway.

1 comment:

Phil said...

Some people save their money up all year and take their vacation time just to be, "stuck" in a place like that!
On the other hand, it does also sound rather like the beginning of a, "Midnight Express", type movie… So you're doing good!
As usual, "wow", you guys live the life I dream about.