So I read several people’s experiences with the Check in procedures, good and bad, but I think I win! Yah me!
Now I sort of expected to wait a long time and for nobody to answer my required hails to the marina office, but when the doctor finally arrived 3 hours later I thought I was golden.
I had a mild rash, probably a reaction to the rubber bladder bag I was leaning on for the passage, So what does that mean ? I have Zika! More on that later…
The drug dog scratched 2 of my floor mats up, what does that mean? I have drugs onboard someplace, or did at some time. Dogs cannot make errors so 9 guys spend the rest of the day taking my boat apart, asking me the same questions over and over. Their conclusion? One of my friends that I stored the boat with had stored drugs in it, again, because dogs don’t make mistakes. Another form to sign, 2 copies.
I thought it was resolved finally, but they came back to take a rusty can of stew to send away for chemical testing, because, again, dogs don’t make mistakes.
The next morning, I’m still quarantined to the boat, because, again, I have Zika., 5 guys and two dogs come to the boat, this time with a diver. Obviously I glued the drugs to the bottom…nope. Now they want my trash, one more pass with the dogs, nada, one more form to sign.
Now the doctors want to see me, and I say doctors because now there are 3. My original rash is nearly gone today, because it was just a rash, doesn’t matter. I will need to spend 7 days in the hospital…to meet the rules and be on the safe side…WTF!?!
After doing the math on returning to the Bahamas or playing along, I find out the cost of the hospital ($50/day) and decide to play along.
Now to be fair, the doctors don’t make a penny from any of this, it’s just strict rules to battle Zika, understandable. The doctors were friendly and professional, but the rules…
So I ride the ambulance to the hospital, but I get to look out the window because I opted not be strapped into the gurney and I like the look of Cuba. People are growing things, horse drawn carts mix with 1950’s vintage classic cars, wait, was that a fruit stand!
At the hospital I play another long waiting game, (which I win!). I think I was in about 7 different waiting rooms or offices, had maybe 10 different doctors examine me, blood is taken, the final expert to see me says I don’t have Zika. I’m cured, it’s a miracle…after only one full day in the hospital.
Now it’s 7pm, the banks are closed, I have zero local currency, they get another ambulance to drive me back to the marina. I get to have a Cuban hospital meal! Win!
Day two in Cuba sucks ass almost as bad as day one. But after seeing the countryside and interacting with many real Cubans I’m having a feeling that it’s going to get way better, and it does…