We had an entirely different perspective on Nevis today when we dinghied in to the dock. Last night it was kind of deserted and it didn’t feel very safe. We didn’t like the dinghy dock at all and the town seemed lifeless. Today when we pulled up we were greeted at the dock by a very nice, friendly Nevis dockmaster, who immediately welcomed us to the island, offered to take our garbage for us, and told us exactly where to go to start the check in procedures for transient yachts. We figured out how the dinghy dock worked – you need to set an anchor off the stern of the dinghy or it will bump underneath the big wooden dock, and break your engine.
We came prepared and all went well. The dockmaster then walked us over the the customs office. He said it was a very busy day because a couple of cruise ships had just pulled in. They had a guy playing steel drums on the dock, and everyone was so friendly and helpful. Of course, once we reached the customs office, things changed a bit. There is something about bureaucracy in every country that is particularly annoying, but in the Caribbean it really is something to grin and bear. Totally unsmiling and severe,the guy in the customs office read and re-read our documentation before collecting the required $13 and approving our stay. From there we had to walk to the police station, where a relatively friendly officer requested the same information (this time, however, we didn’t have to pay), and then finally to the third and final office required for check-in – the port master. This poor guy was sitting in a little cubicle office,
just 100 feet from the beautiful bay, but his office had no windows at all and was barely big enough for his desk and paper-work. At least it was air-conditioned. Poor guy – he collected another fee from us – had us fill out the same papers again!- and then we were officially registered to stay in Nevis for 6 days.
We wandered around the town – now full of life and people. We found a great little internet cafe – run by Shelly – and were appalled to find that our last few blogs had been coming through with all sorts of odd characters in the text. We can’t see our web site when we are on the boat, so we were just assuming it was ok. We will try to get that all fixed by tomorrow if possible. We got a phone card and tried to make some calls – a lot of the phones here don’t work right, so we called Shirley and left a message (which I don’t think worked), called Ben and Hannah in Israel ( which didn’t work either), and then finally reached Kitty’s house ( but she was sleeping). Oh well, we will try again tomorrow.
Then we tried to get into the Alexander Hamilton museum – apparently he was born here -but the museum was inexplicably locked up. After a nice lunch at a restaurant that clearly catered to the cruise boat crowd, we retired to the boat to get out of the hot sun. An evening stroll on the beautiful beach, and an hour or so on deck watching the sun set reflected on the volcano Mt.Nevis capped off the day.Dinner consisted of one very large avocado, mashed into guacamole, and some great Gouda cheese and crackers- nice not to have to prepare regular dinners here like at home.
Now we are both sitting at our computers on the boat, swaying back and forth in the slight swell of the waves, listening to some good music while our water maker is making a hundred liters or so of fresh water.
By the way, Ben and Hannah, Dad made an awesome mix for his nano. It is classic dad music – you will have to hear it when you come out.
Love to all