I had to take a picture. More than one picture in fact 😊. Our package had arrived!
Jack has lived and breathed this package for over a month. He’s talked about it to a lot of people. People who never knew that they were about to learn the vagaries of international UPS.
I enjoy watching their expressions. Sort of a combination of hostage-taken and dreadful fascination. Jack last told the story of the package to fellow cruiser Jorge off Taima. Jorge was in the process of ordering parts for his vessel. As well as his hostage-dread, you could see him mentally crossing his fingers.
Our delivery consisted of three dive computers, a pair of fins, a longer regulator hose and some spare mouthpieces. It went from California, across the States via Kentucky and Philadelphia. It went to Holland and back again to the States – at least twice. Then our parcel transited through Holland and Germany on a seemingly endless back and forth.
Jack’s hopes were constantly getting raised. Watching it on the tracker, he’d see it had moved. Hopes were unfortunately dashed 12 hours later when an error message appeared. Sorting problem. Customs issue. Stuck.
I wondered if the delivery people got to know this parcel. And Jack called UPS almost every morning. If they weren’t familiar with the package, they definitely got to know him. The Dutch office seemed bemused. The American offices ranged between completely lethargic to ultra-helpful. Helpfulness seemed to be based on who could access the information on the system. And we learned to our surprise that not everyone could.
It was like levels of security. Some people could see the package history and some people couldn’t. Still, if you work for a delivery company, what level of seniority do you need to have to see the parcel’s tracking history? Seems pretty standard need-to-know.
Our parcel disappeared for a number of days and then suddenly appeared in the adjacent island, Curaçao. It was just a case of getting it to Bonaire. For this bit, Jack inserted the final push.
He knew the right people to call by now. He could even estimate its departure. For example, Roxy at Curaçao called to say it would come on Monday. I took the call and told Jack when he came back. He squinted his eyes.
‘No way it’s coming.’
I stared at him. ‘How do you know?’
‘Because the ship it’s supposed to be on, the Don Andres is sitting in the port in Bonaire. I’ve been watching it on Marine Traffic.’
‘You’re watching the delivery now by AIS?’
And he had it. It didn’t arrive on Monday. It arrived yesterday – Thursday. And guess who made a whole new order yesterday?
Jack smiled. ‘This one is supposed to arrive next Tuesday. Fed Ex this time. Apparently they have their own planes. Remember Tom Hanks?’