Another year has gone by and Jack and I celebrate the anniversary of our wedding under sail in the Chesapeake Bay. As we stood on the bow of the chartered yacht Franya we both envisioned sailing our own boat toward the setting sun. It took us many years to achieve escape velocity and make our dream come true, and we still haven’t turned our bow westward. But we’re proud of the life we built together, the adventures we’ve shared so far, the challenges we’ve overcome and the ever-evolving dreams we have for the future.
Marriage isn’t easy but it helps to pick the right partner and we both know we did. Happy anniversary to my husband, my friend, my skipper. I love you to pieces!
Drew helped in our continuing struggle with failing computers by mailing us a package of backup drives and a USB connector kit that will allow me to copy the data off the hard drive in our dead laptop before I send it to the electronics recycler. You’ll remember our odyssey springing our replacement Spot from the clutches of Grenadian Customs at the airport. This time would be different because Drew sent the package via the Post Office instead of United Parcel Service. It’s supposed to be easier.
We arrived at the Grenada General Post Office by mid morning and noticed a sign posted to the door that the Post Office would close at noon for the rest of the day so the staff could attend the funeral of a colleague. That gave us two hours to get this done. The parcel desk found our package easily and handed us a box cutter and asked that we open the box at the counter. I pulled out the items and showed my receipts. When I asked to accept the package as a Yacht in Transit so I could save the VAT tax, they told us once again that we needed an agent. Why? Why? Why? I’m standing there with my package but I can’t have it!
We were directed to the back of the building to the agent. We picked our way through debris in the alley to a lean-to that served as the office for the agent. He was all smiles. Of course he was. He gets to charge for doing nothing.
He wanted the usual $150 EC, which I refused to pay, but he said we would talk about that “later” as he sent my paperwork off with another fellow. We watched as the time ticked by, and I kept going over to the lean-to to get an update but mostly the agent wasn’t there.
Finally I was presented with the stamped customs form and had to once again negotiate the agent fee to something more reasonable. This whole system makes me furious and must deter some cruisers from spending time here, or at the very least encourages some fancy dancing to get around the fees and costs. It’s not a good way to treat people who are spending all their cost-of-living dollars in your country.
We were happy to finally get the new backup drives and by the end of the day I had rescued all of our data, photos and music from the hard drive on the dead laptop. Thanks to Drew for the package, but no thanks to Grenada for their Byzantine customs regulations.