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I woke up at sunrise and after a cup of coffee I got the boat ready for a downwind sail to Spanish Town and a visit to the customs & immigration offices at the ferry dock there. The sail down was very nice as the seas were still calm and the breezes had not picked up too much. Apart from the gusts coming off the beach at Savannah (as they always do) it was smooth sailing. Once I rounded the corner at Spanish Town and furled the sails I saw that the anchorage was rather full and ended up anchoring far outside. I wasn't going to get the dinghy off the deck and the engine from the dinghy garage and was a bit worried that I'd have to wait a long time for someone to come by in a dinghy but as soon as I was ready I had a dinghy from a workboat come by and the driver was kind enough to drop me off on the pier.
I entered the C&I offices and saw that they were rather busy. Monday morning rush, I guess. But the extent of the "business" and confusion wasn't immediately apparent. It took 3 hours to clear in! This was, by far, the worst experience I have had in clearing in anywhere. In order to clear in, one needs to fill out a form with 5 copies. But the form is only available at the customs counter, and they just don't hand them out. You wait in line, get a form, fill it in, and then go back to the end of the line and wait another 30 minutes. Immigration was worse, as I had a commercial agent ahead of me with 27 passports for clearing. I couldn't get the form until the officer had, with due deliberation, processed all those passports. Once I had the form and filled it out (5 minutes, at most) I had to join the line again. With another agent with two handfuls of passports ahead of me. And so it went.
Even though I'd just cleared out and explained that the conditions for St. Martin travel were too harsh, I still had to re-pay all the fees (120$) to clear in again. At least I wasn't charged $1100 like the boat with 4 visitors from Guadeloupe had to, as they were judged a "commercial" rather than a "private" vessel and had to pay cruising permit fees.
All the other cruisers in the office had to wait about the same amount of time and tempers weren't at their best. Once out of the building I was taken back to my boat by another disgruntled visitor and from there I had a great downwind sail to Nanny Cay, where I took a dock for a night while I sorted out my storage options.
Happy Hour at the beach bar was what the doctor had prescribed and I finished off the night by thawing out one of my frozen steaks.