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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Saltydog finds a new home

Early this morning, we can see Antigua come into view.  We are only a few hours away!  Antigua is a picture perfect little Caribbean Island.  The water is clear and turquoise, and there are more sailboats around than we've seen since Puerto Vallarta or California.

We made it to the customs dock around 11am.  Customs in Antigua is laid back.  There are three 8 foot x 10 foot offices in a row.  The first is customs where you fill out your paperwork on the computer.  The second one is immigration where you get your passport stamped.  The third is the port captain’s office where you fill out all the information you already put into the computer at customs onto carbon paper forms and paid $12 to use the port.  Then you go back to customs to get everything stamped.  In total it took about an hour.  Most countries upon exit issue you a document called a Zarpe – which tells the next country you land in when you departed the previous location.  Problem is that the USA doesn’t issue Zarpe’s.  So when Saltydog passed through Puerto Rico, they didn’t get a Zarpe which can lead to confusion upon arrival.  So the gang decided to hand the immigration officials the Panama Zarpe and keep their mouths shut about the stopover in Puerto Rico.  Yeah, someone could have searched their passports and found the stamp, but that involves effort.  Oh and since they cleared on the phone, they didn't even get the stamp in their passports for anyone to find.  Afterwards it was time to move Saltydog to Steve and Joan’s dock.  It’s a very tight fit.  Coming through the two pilings you see in this picture at the aft of the boat gave a clearance of only inches either side of the widest part of the boat.  It was a fitting end to a challenging journey that the final landing at the dock was tricky too.  But the crew eased it in to its new home without any trouble.

Time to break out the champagne!

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