03 March 2008 | Willemstad
We had a big list to cover today prior to clearing out tomorrow. We had to get Roq and exam, pick up our mail from the US and do some last minute shopping.
The Vet we called was Dr. Geus. We met him at Sarifundy and he did the full exam and helth cert while we sat around and had colas. It was really wonderful and reasonably priced.
Poor Roq has had so many of these exams. Unfortunately many countries post requirements for a proper health certificate minted within the last 30 or 14 days or even from the last port in some cases. We have been advised that Roq (13) never needs another rabies shot, they simply will do no good anymore. Not that he can get Rabies, the contrary, he has had 13 years of vaccinations and can in no way come down with the disease at this point short of a fluke and the shots are making no difference.
This is all irrelevant to the bureaucrats passing legislation however. Oddly, in practice, no one has ever given Roq a second look or asked for any of our pet papers except Nevis and Kitts (who were maniacal about it). We have always declared him at customs but they just stamp the forms and that's that. We don't look for trouble in this department but we do keep Roq in the highest state of health and inoculation possible regardless. From what I hear Australia and Europe will be Nevis and Kitts all over again and then some.
After visiting with the doc we attempted to secure our mail. As I suspected the free ports of the ABCs are not so free of hassle when receiving one's mail. We always have a DVD or two in our mail and this really seems to confound the customs folks. After quite a go round I convinced them that the invoice Saint Brenden's Isle put on the box was all that we had and informed them that they could go through the packages one by one assessing their taxes as suited as long as we had our mail by tomorrow. They threatened to charge the video game fee on the DVDs if I didn't produce the invoice. I told them again that I had no invoice, that this was simply my mail, like any other American would get in their mail box and that if it meant getting my mail they were more than welcome to charge me the Video Game import rate (11% or something). That seemed to stump them, left with no other threats they agreed to charge me the max rate and have the mail ready by tomorrow afternoon.
In retrospect the only place we have ever been able to forward our mail with a few things from Amazon in tow without hassle has been the BVI. We haven't tried everywhere but the mail in the BVI was delivered right to our boat at Leverick Bay no fees and no questions asked. As crowded as it is the BVI has much to recommend it.
We shopped a bit in the area of the FedEx outlet back behind the main port of Willemstad and discovered a Sushi restaurant. It was alright by Japanese standards but quite a welcome treat for us.