19 May 2010 | Indiantown, FL
17 May 2010 | Bahamas
02 May 2010 | Georgetown, Exuma
22 April 2010 | Elizabeth Harbor, Great Exuma
22 April 2010 | Georgetown, Exuma
08 April 2010 | Ocean World Marina, Puerto Plata
05 April 2010 | Ocean World Marina, Puerto Plata
02 April 2010 | Ocean World Marina, Puerto Plata
26 March 2010 | Ocean World Marina, Puerto Plata
19 March 2010 | Boqueron, PR
14 March 2010 | Ponce,P.R.
06 March 2010 | British Virgin Islands
06 March 2010 | British Virgin Islands
14 February 2010 | At sea
14 February 2010 | Nevis
05 February 2010 | Jolly Harbor, Antigua
27 January 2010 | Portsmouth, Dominica
22 January 2010 | Portsmouth, Dominica
08 January 2010 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
08 January 2010 | St. Lucia

Treading water

02 April 2010 | Ocean World Marina, Puerto Plata
Oh Boy!! We had such high hopes when I pulled the transmission on Monday afternoon. Our Customs broker (name withheld to protect the guilty) said it would leave that evening and should be at the destination by Thursday. Wow, great service. I tracked it by air bill number and sure enough it arrived in Miami at 01:10 am on Wednesday. So far, so good. Then it didn't move. I guessed it was in U.S. Customs so I called and then the tracking said "Customer notified of arrival" at 4:47 pm on Thursday. Wonderful. I called Legendary Marine in Destin on Friday morning and found out it was still in Miami. Many frustrating Skype calls later I got the story. The package was shipped only as far as Miami. The "broker" here ($150 US fee) thought Destin was a neighborhood in Miami. In other words any town in Florida is in Miami. Thanks to a very helpful man at Amerijet International (shipper from D.R. to Miami) in Ft. Lauderdale, we have a solution. I hire a U.S. Customs broker in Miami, pay the clearance fees and the FedEx freight bill to ship it to Destin overnight. IF (big if) it clears Customs early enough this afternoon it will ship out tonight and get to Destin on Saturday morning. Otherwise it will ship Monday for Tuesday delivery. All this adds up to more shipping/Customs transportation fees and extra days in the marina. All this is very frustration BUT, in the great scheme of things Bill and Sue have problems that are infinitesimal compared to many of our friends. To those of you out there reading this who have medical issues, job issues, mortgage issues or just emotional down times, please know that we are praying for many of you and we know how small our inconveniences are. They are still frustrating. UPDATE: It is 5 pm Friday evening and I just got word that the package did not clear U.S. Customs today. That means it should clear Monday for a Tuesday delivery in Destin, one week after it was shipped. The broker here assured me that her way was quicker and less expensive than FedEx, DHL or UPS. Sunday (3/28) We went to Palm Sunday services this morning in Puerto Plata. Unfortunately neither Sue nor I speak enough Spanish to understand but the message is clear. When we left the Ocean World compound we passed several security guards carrying shotguns. We kind of expected that. When we arrived at the church a nice young man opened the door of our taxi for us. He was carrying a shotgun. You know how the off duty police in the U.S. direct traffic around big churches on Sundays? Well, this was similar except for the heavy artillery. We have been killing time waiting on the return of our transmission by swimming in the beautiful pool here, walking to the small beach (no seashells) and doing chores on the boat. This is our chance to do minor repairs and fix-ups that need to be done before we list Unchained for sale. By the end of June we should have completed all the chores and have a cruise ready boat for sale. Update: 3/30 The transmission was received in Destin today at 1:07pm. We also found out that if by some miracle it gets repaired and shipped back by Miami it won't get to us till Tuesday because the flight to Santiago, D.R. is on Tuesday. Oh well, it's frustrating but still minor on the big scale. Picture is the mosaic work on the side of the Ocean World casino here.
Vessel Name: Unchained
Vessel Make/Model: 38' Beneteau
Hailing Port: Knoxville, TN
Crew: Bill & Sue Shafer
We have been sailing about ten years (lots of schools and bare boat charters in those years). Sue grew up in Midland, TX and Bill in Knoxville, TN where we have a home. We are members of Concord Yacht Club in Knoxville (Great people & very supportive). [...]
Extra: Unchained is a 1991 Beneteau Moorings 38 which was designed as a charter boat. We had to make many modifications to make her a reasonable long distance cruiser. She is light and small but very capable.