Customs officers and Palm Cay Marina Manager Demaro Demeritte welcome Mike Fish and Martha Garczynski aboard Layla, the first vessel to clear Customs at Palm Cay following its being named an official port of entry.
SEASONED sailors Mike Fish and Martha Garczynski have made the crossing from Fort Lauderdale to The Bahamas aboard Layla four times but their most recent trip came with a particular welcome.
Layla became the first vessel to clear Customs and Immigration at the Palm Cay Marina in eastern New Providence.
“It was a milestone for the marina and Mike and Martha were so pleased that they could sail directly into Palm Cay without having to clear at another destination or marina first,” said Demaro Demeritte, Manager of the 194-slip marina.
Palm Cay Marina was named an official port of entry on December 18.
For Garczynski, it wasn’t just about being first or what she could enter into the log book aboard their 47-foot boat. It was getting to where they wanted to go without putting in elsewhere in The Bahamas for all the formalities.
“It was a straight shot from Fort Lauderdale and every time we come in, the marina and Palm Cay get better and better,” she said. “When we first came, the first restaurant was not even open yet. Now there is the main clubhouse and restaurant and the dockside café for casual breakfast and lunch.
“You can refuel, walk that beautiful beach, swim in the pool or ocean, enjoy the Friday night jazz, the Sunday beach barbecue. It’s like its own little world but you are at home on your boat. It’s fabulous. We will stay here for one week and then head to Exuma, another straight shot from Palm Cay so this is great that we can now clear Customs and Immigration right here.”
The marina, which opened in 2013, has attracted vessels from as far away as Australia and serves as the base for the busy NavTours charter fleet of some 24 sailboats. It is the largest marina serving mid-size boats and sportsfish on New Providence.