Chapter 30. Overtime.
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Turk and Caicos is a place we had to wait for a weather window to cross to Dominican Republic. The weather windows are getting scarce and the wind north the coast of D.R. blows strong and steadily.
-Sam. Remember that weather window that was way to short to cross the 20 hours up to DR?
-Yeah. What about it?
-It got longer. It is stalling.
-Sam. What I mean, is maybe this window is what we need to cross. It is tomorrow though.
-Cass, it’s 23:45. Can’t you just come in bed and we look at that tomorrow.
-Not at all! Listen. If we don’t want to be stuck on an island where it costs 11$ to buy some hot dog buns, we have to jump on the first weather window.
-At this time of the year, there is gonna be a few a month Cass.
-Wrong!!! That was true a month and a half ago when we were in the Bahamas, winter. Now it is springs and the winds are getting stronger and steadier. It will be weeks before there is another weather window arrives.
(And that was true, because our friends already in DR waited more than a month to get a window. So much that we caught up on them and waited ourselves with them an extra 2 weeks!)
-Ok. So let’s move tomorrow afternoaaaawwwwww…. Sam yawns. Exhausted and happy to close the conversation and hit the bed.
-Sam…we have to clear the customs tomorrow before leaving around noon.
-It’s Sunday Cass, there will be no one in line. It will take 1 hour and I’ll be back.
-Ok, I’m reassured then. We will be able to leave before one o’clock, plus 20 hours, that makes for a landfall around, ehhh…
-Before 9am in D.R.
-Yeah, enough light to arrive. And just before the day wind peaks up at 11h00 am. That is perfect Sam.
-Good night Cass.
-Good night Sam.
Snore…. Snore…. O_O
-Eeehhh, what? What, who? what the heck Cass? He mumbles half awake.
-It’s Sunday tomorrow. Custom will be closed!!! We won’t be able to take the window!
-We can pay overtime Cass. Like, giving an extra 15$ and they are fine wit it. You are negative. What can go wrong?
-Murphy’s law. If something can go wrong, it will go wrong.
-Pfff. Let me sleep now. Don’t bring your negativity in my dream. Good night.
The next morning, we try to find the custom’s office to be there sharp at the opening;
-It’s there! Said the kind taxi driver who brought us there for free.
-Thank you sir, say Sam.
-But there won’t be someone. There is a big funeral on the island, pretty much everyone is out there.
-Why didn’t you say that before… Any way of reaching the custom’s office. There must be someone? We are willing to pay overtime, we heard it can be done.
-Let me call my friend Dana;
“Dana? Dana! Do you know someone who works at the customs? Brigitte? You have her number? Ok.”
-She says the owner of the general store have the number of Brigitte.
-I don’t know but she might help you.
At the general store the owner calls;
“Dany? Dany, Brigitte doesn’t answer. You know someone she is with? Ah. Ah. Ok.”
-We have to text Doug. He might be with her.
-Ok…you have that Doug text number.
-Wait. My uncle knows him, I’ll call him.
It goes like that a while. Until we are told a lady, Brigitte I guess, might be able to show up after the ceremony, before the reception of the funeral.
We wait. I get passive agressive, because of the stress I guess, and because I keep looking at the price in the store. Peanut butter, small pot for 12.45 USD$. Comb from 1978 still in original package, 28 USD$. Pot of strawberry jam, 17 USD$. We gotta get out of T&C before we’re ruined!
-What can go wrong!? Hein Sam!
-Cass. Don’t get upset at me! It’s not my fault the weather window is this afternoon.
The owner interrupts us :
-She waits for you.
-At the custom’s office!? That is great.
-No boy! She’s THERE, in the parking. See the truck. GO SEE HER.
Sam runs and jumps on the passenger seat of the Brigitte’s pick up truck. It is 12h45.
-Mommy, are we going to the custom’s office now? asks Salty.
-No sweety. I mean, yes. I mean, the pick up truck IS the custom’s office for today. I guess that is called overtime.
She looks outside;
-WOOOOOoowww the lady is all pretty in her dress.
-There is a big ceremony this morning. And she might want to go back real quick…
-I’m hungry Mommy, pests Mateo tired of waiting. It’s long.
-Well, as I said to Salty, I cannot imagine that takin very long, when you clear out of a country signing paper on the dash of the lady’s truck.
Sam comes back 4 minutes after.
-Let’s roll guys. We’re out of here… See Cass, nothing went wrong!
We left T&C at 13h30. And I still believe in Murphy’s law.
Featured image: a non-retouched photo of the T&C waters. Yes, it was that blue!