Swingin' on a Star

Ship's log for the circumnavigating Saint Francis 50 catamaran, "Swingin on a Star".

01 April 2010 | Palau
13 July 2009 | Palau
05 July 2009 | Yacht Harbor
03 July 2009 | Peleliu
02 July 2009 | Palau
01 July 2009 | Two Dog Beach
30 June 2009 | Mecharchar
29 June 2009 | Mecharchar
28 June 2009 | Ulong
27 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
17 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
16 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
15 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
14 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
13 June 2009 | Ngerutable
25 May 2009 | Yacht Harbor
30 April 2009 | Malakal
29 April 2009 | Koror
28 April 2009 | Malakal
27 April 2009 | Malakal

Clearing into Curacao

28 February 2008 | Williamstad
We dinghied over to the Fisherman's marina this morning to look for transport into town. We ended up taking a bus from the circle a short walk away. The locals here are amazing, much as in Bonaire, they speak Papiamento, Dutch, Spanish and often English. With a little help from the locals we ended up in Punda, the south bank of Williamstad.

Our first order of business today was to clear into Curacao. While we always try to respect the laws of the countries we visit I must admit that we have found very few countries that care if you, or even give you the ability to, comply with the strict nature of the clearance procedures set forth. In fact the customs and immigration requirements often conflict. Only the captain can come ashore but the entire crew must be present types of things.

I know cruisers who press the officials for proper procedures, paperwork and promptness, these generally get hammered. There are also those who never clear in, these almost never have problems. We have found that making clearance the first thing you do ashore and bringing the entire crew along seems to be a practical approach acceptable to all parties. If they ask you to come back after lunch, go have lunch. If they are closed, enjoy your day and come back tomorrow. The bigger the boat the more detail oriented you need to be and if you are commercial (i.e. 120 foot motor yacht on charter) you should follow things to the letter. Most places just want to get the little pleasure boats out of their hair as quickly as possible. Exceptions would be the USA, back water bureaucracies, and island groups that make a living off of the small yachts.

The folks in Curacao were very nice but you do have to run around a bit to hit all of the stops. First is customs, a large corner building right on the waterfront with CUSTOMS written in huge letters across the top of the building. Stinky in there for some reason, but folks were great and services was fast. Next is Immigration, located on the other shore inside the inner harbor cruise ship docking area, back under the Queen Juliana Bridge (the really high one). You cross the innovative opening/floating Queen Emma poontoon bridge to get to the other side of town.

You have to get a pass to go down into the cruise ship port but service is good. After immigration you head across to the upstairs Port Captain's office. Like Bonaire everything is free. The hassle in Curacao is that yachts are really only welcome in Spanish Water. If you want to anchor out and about you have to clear your itinerary with the Port Captain. You also need to take care about timing your clearance out because immigration keeps shorter hours than the other two offices.

Hideko and Em shopped and looked around the town while I handled the paperwork. Once complete we had a nice meal in the impressive traditional surroundings of the Governor across from the cruise ship forum entrance. We had a fun day exploring town and took a cab back to the Fisherman's marina at the end of the day.
Vessel Name: Swingin on a Star
Vessel Make/Model: Saint Francis 50
Hailing Port: Las Vegas, NV
Crew: Randy & Hideko Abernethy
About: Randy, Hideko and Roq
Home Page: http://swinginonastar.com
Swingin on a Star's Photos - Swingin on a Star (Main)
Selected photos of Swingin' on a Star at anchor.
7 Photos
Created 18 September 2007
31 Photos
Created 15 September 2007
copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Randy & Hideko Abernethy, all rights reserved