Posted by: suliere | April 6, 2013

Checked Out At Last

I have been in the USA almost 6 months ….. 6 months is the limit of my visa. Suliere has been in the USA 11 months, 12 months is the limit for her to stay ……… so we needed to check out today to be met with a bit of a surprise.

Walked into there main Everglades office for the check out and they said we should just go, no  paperwork, not even removed the cards from our passports that were issued when we flew in …. in fact just go!!! So i told them we were UK citizens and needed to check out us and the boat to prove we had complied with all the regs……. same advice – just go but when you get somewhere you can post back the passport cards! I still persisted so they removed the passport cards and had us fill in the departure details on the back and they kept them. I asked how we prove the boat has left but she simply said there was no need…. I pointed out the 12 month cruising permit and she said well go next door but is not open until Monday! Next door was locked with a sign saying all private boats to check out next door which is where we had just come from!

So we have no check out proof for Bahamas, not required for USA citizens but is for us!

I am struggling to see how the USA authorities monitor sailors/permits.  In reporting from state to state we were having to explain the rules to each state because they did not know them and all they said was if anyone questions you just tell them that Fred (or whoever the name of the official was) said it was OK.

Cooker broke down with a shorting, burnt out relay yesterday but Just Catamarans came to the rescue in the last few hours of the day with a partial fix that allows us to use it. The relays have to come from Italy hence that will be done on our return to the USA end of June.

Otherwise all is OK as I amuse myself with some great apps on the iPad. RealTidesHD is a great app – tidal curves at any point not just primary or secondary ports. So you can see what happening in a small cut – when it best to pass through/swim etc.

Another cruiser (who we had helped with lithium battery advice and who has them installed with massive 260 amp alternators that can deliver a minimum of 400 amps charge rate) gave us a very handy device – its a sim card cutter. Its like a stapler but cuts sim cards for phones/ipads down to any size. In then islands local cards vary in size and this device solves the problem. I had never heard of them. they cost a few dollars – just put sim card cutter into Google to find.

Just a few off jobs remaining today before a civilised departure about 9 am in the morning.

 


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