Saturday, January 24, 2015

We work 24/7 - That’s 24/7 Island Time!

We arrived in Mayaquez, Puerto Rico around 10:00 pm at night. We really were not sure whether we should attempt a night approach, but since this is also a port for big ships, we decided to chance it. After all we already spent 5 nights on the sea and really wanted to get some uninterrupted rest tonight. 
Also the forecast was that the nice weather window was closing fast and from the evening the winds were going to build up.

We anchored and knew we were somewhere else. A loud latin music was being echoed across the bay and every now and then an announcer would announce through a loud speaker something really good and the whole city would erupt in loud cheer. These people love to party! 
Take some caribbean flavor, mix in some Spanish, add some american economy, stir it up - and you get Puerto Ricans - I think I am going to like this island a lot.

In the morning I had to disembark my vessel and clear in to the country. Until then everyone has to stay on the boat. The town was dead. In a distance I found a small USCG patrol boat so I dinghied over and asked them where the Customs and Immigration office would be. They thought I best to call them on the phone, so I went back to the boat. I called the main station in San Jose, about 150 miles away on the other side of island. A nice guy answered it and would take my name and said “I have to start my computer I will call you right back”. OK. And so he would take a little bit of info, and then called me back. 4 times! No problem. 
He said that I have to see the customs in Mayaguez as he was not able to finish checking me in over the phone.
I asked him whether the office in Mayaguez would be opened today as it was Saturday, to which he replied. "Off course, we work 24/7, but let me call them and I will call you right back”.
Ok then, and again a few minutes later my phone rings. “The Mayaquez officer is far away, so it’s best I stop by the office on Monday morning”. I guess 24/7 has different meaning when it comes to island time. 
So we are stuck here for couple of days until the "always on duty" officer shows up in the office on Monday. At least we don’t have any schedule to follow.

Here are some more images from our passage down here.

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