Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVI
All that is left is to stow the dinghy, droop the mooring line, and we are off. We checked out of the British Virgin Islands yesterday afternoon, and paid the customs officer our $10 departure tax. In a great example of the “logic” of bureaucracies everywhere, we start at the Customs desk. Pay our money, and get a form stamped–in triplicate. Whenever you deal with Customs in smaller countries there is always LOTS of stamping! Peter Sellers could have made a great comedy scene in a Customs office with the proper stamp.
We are told we have to take our paperwork to Immigration to finish. Where is Immigration? The next desk over, of course. What does Immigration do? He takes the form Customs just stamped, and wishes us a nice day. That’s it. I am sure this makes sense to someone, but in a country with virtually no unemployment it can’t be justified by a make-work rationale.
A last minute check of the weather, shows a great forecast. No significant issues predicted all the way north. The only decision we have to make is how far west of the straight line course between here and New Jersey do we sail. Directly between us and our destination is the “Bermuda High” a semi-permenent fixture of the weather in this part of the Atlantic in the summer. A large area of dry, clear, weather with bright sunny skies, and NO wind. Many people chose to just point the boat into the middle of it and use the engine if they stop moving. We’d prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, and sail around it. If we enjoyed motoring, we would have bought a motorboat!
The further west we sail, the more likely we are to keep favorable winds, but at the cost of a longer route. This is a decision we will be reevaluating pretty much every day as we get updated weather information.