Longest clearance ever?
The sail up from Deshaies in Guadeloupe went to plan – plenty of fish biting our hook, followed by a breezy if variable easterly to reach up to Antigua. Arriving in the natural harbour used by the British for over 200 years, we effected a smooth stern-to berthing using our anchor for the first time in the eponymous marina that’s now taken over the historic site once governed by Lord Nelson himself.
Spirits were high but the edge of an otherwise brilliant day was taken off by the clearance process. We thought Rodney Bay (St. Lucia) was impressive for being unable to keep up with demand but Antigua’s English Harbour takes it to another level. Despite their vaunted e-clearance system it seemed to take forever as we move from one desk to another and then back again.
All that notwithstanding that the legal status of our children (crew or passengers, adults or children) also seems to vary based on how much money they can squeeze out of us. And clearance, customs and port authority all have a different view on what the corresponding age limit is! It’s a far cry from the ease of Martinique and Guadeloupe where the whole process amounts to a single electronic form, €4 and a stamp – what a contrast.
Feeling ready to be plucked …! But still, what a beautiful place.