Sunday, June 10, 2007

Grenada charges 37% duty if you have something shipped here!

June 10, 2007  Sunday
Prickly Bay, Grenada

BEBE was splashed at the boatyard on Friday afternoon as scheduled.  Spice Island Marine Service did a great job; what a difference from our “haul-out from hell” at Independent Boat Yard in St. Thomas last year.  This time everything was done exactly right and on schedule.  Pleasure doing business at SIMS and we would recommend them to anyone contemplating a haul-out in the West Indies

The only “problem” that we encountered had nothing to do with the boatyard.  We purchased another 80 feet of high-tension anchor chain.  We plan to use this to extend our current chain to a total of just over 300 feet because we will be anchoring in deeper waters if we go to the South Pacific next year.  ACCO makes a single chain link that connects two sections of anchor chain.  It has 2 little rivets that you pound in with a hammer to secure the connection.  We needed one 10mm single chain link connector, but there is not one to be found on Grenada.  Every chandlery is out of stock on this particular size.  They have the 8mm and the 12mm, but no 10mm.  We cannot substitute a 12mm connector link because that would jam in the anchor windlass gypsy.  Budget Marine showed that they were supposed to have received 10 of these connectors in their container shipment received last week.  But after searching through all the boxes received, it was decided that these were backordered with no definite delivery date provided.  So, for now we have stored the new 80-ft section of chain in the deck locker near the bow where we store our 2 secondary anchors and rodes.  Maybe we can find the correct chain connector link in Isla Margarita (doubt it) or in Cartagena (doubt that too) or in Panama (probably).

Yesterday we took the bus to the Lagoon Road and did more boat-stuff shopping.  Found a wonderful 24V oscillating fan, which we will use to replace the stainless steel 24V trucker’s fan we brought down from Houston last year.  The original fan is making noise and is expected to die at any time.  This new fan puts out so much air that we will try to go back and buy a couple more to have for spares.  BEBE has 9 fans built-in.  We had mounted the trucker’s fan onto an old cutting board and attached a long electrical cord.  We can move this fan all over the boat and down into the engine room to provide extra ventilation whenever working in the heat.  We also sometimes use it in our aft cabin when the weather is exceptionally hot or if it is raining and we cannot open the hatch or ports.  This new little oscillating fan puts out much more air than any of the Hella fans or the old trucker’s fan.  This little thing is a keeper.

Ed and Linda on DREAMTIME have lucked into a sweet deal.  They are anchored in front of a resort here at Prickly Bay, and they became friends with the owner of the resort.  The owner went home to the states for the month of June, and Ed and Linda are dog-sitting for him.  They have been given a hotel room at the resort (although they prefer to sleep on their own boat instead).  They are hosting a pool party for a select group of their cruiser friends this afternoon and we are invited.  This should be fun.  I have missed lounging around a swimming pool. 

We invited another guy over for dinner tonight.  His wife has gone back to the states for a month to visit the kids and grandkids, so he is on his boat alone doing the bachelor thing.  Thought he might enjoy a home cooked meal. 

We are waiting for a FedEx shipment of Bill’s prescription medication that should arrive in Grenada early this week, so we should be able to pick it up by Wednesday – hopefully.  Receiving packages in a foreign country is much different than back in the states.  FedEx will deliver a waybill and a copy of the invoice covering the contents of the package.  This will be delivered to the boatyard since it was the only land address that we could utilize in Grenada.  Then we will pick up this paperwork from the boatyard office and take it to the nearest Customs office which happens to be on the opposite side of Prickly Bay from the boatyard.  Customs will verify our boat documentation and our clearance papers into Grenada.  I will complete a form stating that the contents of the FedEx package will be coming aboard our boat and will be leaving Grenada bound for Venezuela.  We get the paperwork stamped by the Customs officer and take another dinghy ride back across Prickly Bay to the boatyard.  We tie off our dinghy and walk about ½ mile to catch a bus to the FedEx office in downtown St. George’s.  There we will spend at least an hour (if we are lucky—could be a lot longer) collecting our package and paying Customs fees for it.   Then catch another bus back, walk a ½ mile to the boatyard and collect our dinghy.  And all this time the FedEx website will show that our package was delivered on the day and time that they delivered the waybill to the boatyard office.  Tracking international packages online is a joke; you cannot believe anything. 

BTW, Grenada charges duty of 37%!!!!  The Customs officers both at the Prickly Bay location and at the FedEx office both told us that the duty will not be collected on Bill’s scripts but that we will have to pay some customs fee----supposedly it won’t be much, but neither Customs officer could tell us how much “not much” will be.  So we arrange for the invoice accompanying the FedEx package to state a lower value than the $2200 that this script actually costs.  Unfortunately, the medication that Bill takes daily to control his ulcers is not available down here.  We have not found it anywhere except in the USA.  The same drug is available in tablet form everywhere that we have visited, but Bill’s doctor wants him to take this drug in capsule form.  So we are stuck with getting a 6-month supply shipped to us twice a year.  Thanks to John, Helene, Trey and Aaron back in Texas for dealing with this for us.  Don’t know what we would do without their help.

Once we receive this FedEx shipment there will be no reason for us to remain in Grenada.  It should be a nice overnight sail to Los Testigos from Grenada.

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