Posts Tagged ‘Spanse’

Curacao: Immigration Two Thumbs Down

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Now understand Curacao is a unique country in that they have an active¬† hide from the hurricane boating community, a big tourist destination and a shipping industry. Yet in this country they have some of the weirdest laws and regulations I’ve found.

Instead of the usual Customs and Immigration they also have a Harbor Master. When we anchored in Spanse Waters we had to pay the Harbor Master 10 US and inform them which of 4 anchorages (in the same bay) we were in. To move to another anchorage would cost; you guessed it, another 10 US. The other anchorage may only be a 100 meters away but still, we were to pay.

We had been looking for a weather window to head to Aruba. It’s a longish trip to hand steer (we still don’t have the wind vane working) and we wanted to make a daylight crossing. The only written guide of the area suggests to head to the N End of Curacao and then in the am make the crossing. Otherwise the crossing would have to be an overnight. ūüôĀ Yuk.

We went to Customs and informed them of our desire and they gave us exit papers for two days from Monday making that Wednesday. Next we (IB and I) went to Immigration. One down two to go. We asked Immigration the same thing!¬† What! They were appalled. You must leave (MUST) within 24 hours of clearing out!¬† Ok, then we’ll clear out and we’ll leave this evening to Aruba. “No!” They said. Why not; you said we must leave within 24 hours so we’ll go tonight. “I don’t believe you.”¬† They said. We couldn’t believe this.¬† IB said that there must be a school of rude for immigration officers!¬† We were being detained in the country. Not for any wrong doing; simply, because the immigration officer “didn’t believe we would leave. So they made us stay. It was so frustrating that it was almost funny. Most countries would say “Leave!”¬† Not Curacao.¬† So,¬† frustrated we headed up to the Harbor Masters Office, since we had to stay anther day we would now go back to our original plans and stop in Marti.¬† Tomorrow we would then return as early as possible to Immigration and get our exit stamps. Damn Immigration!

At the Harbor Masters Office they wanted a copy of our Immigration papers. Now what’s funny is that had we actually been able to check out we may not have been able to get an anchoring permit for where we were going to go!¬† With the new anchoring permit in hand we set out to meet the girls and tell them what happened, have lunch and then do a couple of errands on the way to Spanse Harbor.

As it turned out; we were most likely one of the few if not only legal cruisers to go into this bay. We needed Immigration forms to get the Harbor Masters Anchoring Permit. Yet if we had checked out with Immigration we most likely couldn’t have gotten an anchoring permit.¬† What a conundrum.

Santa Marta, Curaco

Santa Marta, Curacao

Marti was a beautiful bay. We anchored in close to 3 meters in calm waters. There was once a thriving timeshare resort (Sunset Waters) there that had closed down 3 months prior. To me it looked like it had

No Tennis; Damn!

No Tennis; Damn!

been closed 3 years. Every window was broken, Slot Machines were laying about in ruins, tile had been removed some from bar tops and floors.  It would take more money to fix it back up than to bulldoze it and start anew. For W/ and I the non existent resort was a disappointment. They had a tennis court!

Sweet Water No More

Sweet Water No More

No net but I’m guessing that a few months prior we might have been able to play on it. The restaurant was rumored to have good food.

I find it odd, here is a good harbor and with the governments support (basically by¬† not making it so difficult¬† for cruisers to go and hang out there) they could have a viable economic community around the harbor. Why the government doesn’t support this area is any one’s guess.