On Monday I received confirmation that my SNAP-R application to “export” Pandora to Cuba had been approved. Oddly, when I opened it I sort of expected to hear trumpets blare or swelling strings. Alas, no such luck. What greeted me was this.
WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING
USE OF THIS SYSTEM IS RESTRICTED AND MONITORED !!!
The document was encrypted behind a login that took me nearly half an hour to figure out. So much for my careful record keeping on login procedures. Well, I finally was able to open it. My login and password were the same. Go figure.
So, I opened the document and learned that I had gotten approval. I was excited. Very good news but approval came with a “however”… Sort of like when I was a new driver and my parents said, yes, you can take the car but you can’t have any friends in the car with you. Ugh…
Anyway, I opened the document and I have to say that my heart rate was a bit elevated. I was excited to learn.. Are we going to Cuba?
Yes, we got approval! I was excited. Well, only for a moment until I read the first of eight “conditions” that my approval included.
#1 The vessel must sail directly to Cuba.
Oops! I didn’t mention that we would need to explore Cuba from east to west given the strong Christmas Winds and easterly trades that keep wind blowing “briskly” from the east down the coast of Cuba and everywhere else in the Caribbean for that matter which means that we will have to head to Cuba from the Bahamas and round the eastern tip of Cuba. I assumed that EVERYONE knows that “gentlemen never beat to weather”. I guess not…
After all of the discussion about Cuba I thought that I had considered every option and just expected to receive a simple yes/no in answer to my application.
So, what’s a cruiser to do? I tried my contact in the Commerce Department and learned that he is on vacation this week . Not to be deterred, I called the help line on my approval document and asked if I could get that restriction removed. The answer…NOPE as there had been no reference to my desire to cruise from east to west in my application. So that wasn’t possible under the terms of my approval and I’d have to start the process all over again and resubmit a new application. NOOOOOOOOO!, not again.
It just didn’t occur to me that they’d include that restriction before I made the application. Besides, the Q&A document on their website states that the requirement of “must depart and return to a US port” restriction is no longer in force. Who knew?
Feel sorry for me? I do. No rest for the cruiser… I guess I am beginning to agree with my cousin Sue who told me “Bob, your retirement is exhausting me”. Well, I will get over it.
Perhaps I’ll have to drink regular coffee, well only one cup or Brenda will push me overboard. No, better stick with the decaf.
I am sure I’ll feel fine by next Monday when my buddy Mark in the Commerce Department returns from vacation. I hope he’s feeling rested by then too.
Of course, no post is complete without a sunset. Now, it’s looking like I might see one like this from Cuba. Now, how to find a way to do so from the south shore. Like Brenda says, with a smirk. “You and the dog. Ever hopeful”