Sat 3 Dec 2011 12:14
After a swim and breakfast, we dinghy to shore, a mile back south, the dinghy dock to be precise. We get unrequested direction from 1 of the many local drunks, and also from the port authority officer. After we safely tied the dibghy to the dock, he instructs us to move the dinghy 1 meter to the left..
He escorts us to his office, without responding to a's many question about Nevis, but then abruptly he changes course to customs, and mumbles something about coming back to him thereafter.
The customs officer does not respond to A's many questions, eventually prints something and ha A sign it. We pay the immigration fee of 27$. He states that if we go to st kitts, same country, next island about 10 miles away, anchor there in basse terre, he can give us a cruising permit, but only if we promise to leave the next day before 10am. He then tells us to go to the police office, four blocks away and return thereafter.
At the police office, we are first in line. After we ask for immigration, we are invited to join the agent going outside, while he instructs us to go to immigration next door, up the stairs.
At the next building upstairs, we walk in to a dormitory, where each bed has several rifles readily available to it. This must not be immigration, no one to ask, we try another hall.
At immigration a very nice woman officer gives us a form to sign, and explains we are allowed to stay 4 days.
We go back to customs. He tells us to go to the port authority and then come back.
The port authority is closed. We search and find the officer who escorted us previously. He is instructing another couple in another dinghy at the dinghy dock. He tells them after they have tied off the dinghy, to move the dinghy a meter to the left. The woman gets out while the man and dinghy suddenly disappear underneath the dinghy dock due to the current. The woman panics. The officer says that it is all fine. And indeed, the man, in his late 60's we guess, eventually is able to climb out of his tricky situation. The officer then turns to us and escorts us again to his office.
He knocks on the door, as it is locked. No response. This is conform what I told him when I found him at the dinghy dock. He says he will call the other officer and he walks away.
Some time later, suddenly a woman appears from the giftshop next door, and signals us to join her, while she unlocks the office door. We fill in the same info as at customs, and pay another $27.
We return to the customs office, and show the receipt from the port authority. After 15 minutes silence he prints something and tells A to sign it. A asks about the cruising permit. Now the officer is standing up. He tells A that cruising is not possible anymore, as he just checked us out already! We should leave the country. A kindly refers back to the previous session with him in person, whereby he suggested the cruising permit. This is not possible anymore, says the customs agent. It is a computersystem and it cannot be changed. A asks if we can sail to the other island and anchor at basse terre and stay overnight. He says it is not allowed, however, if we still do that and get caught we are in big problems. We ask again if he cannot void the emigration event, he says the only thing we can do, is do the whole process again, including payments, as we are cleared out of the country. Hahaha, what a joke. But no, he is very serious. A gives the guy a mean look, if there is really really really nothing else he can do. No answer. Then, after about a full minute silence and no movement on either party, he suddenly grabs a form, scribbles something on it, stamps it, and has us sign it. We cannot believe it, a cruising permit, we can stay another night...
Time for lunch since this took the whole morning.