Bad Medicine

After over two years of traveling by sailboat, half way around the world, I’ve learned a thing or two about the troubles of having things shipped out for delivery to our boat. I have just one medicine I take routinely, and I’ve sometimes had a challenge getting it delivered on time. So, I ordered my medicine in late- April, from the usual Canadian drug company I use, two months in advance of my usual 6-month supply running out. The last time, back in December, they delivered the medicine to me in Australia (from their New Zealand supplier) – and it arrived in only 1 week. So, I thought I was pretty safe ordering it two months in advance.

Three weeks later, I hadn’t heard anything, and the package had not arrived at the marina in Bundaberg. So, I called the Canadian company. They said: “Our New Zealand supplier won’t ship to Australia.” I asked them “Why not? They did just 6 months ago and you told me it wouldn’t be an issue when I placed the order three weeks ago.”. The said they would investigate while I wondered how long they would have waited before telling me it wasn’t going to be shipped. They came back a few days later, by E-mail, and said that the New Zealand pharmacist wouldn’t do it, and that they had to go with whatever the pharmacist said. They offered they could either send some other medicine (that was the wrong dose) from another supplier, or the New Zealand pharmacist could send it to the US. Oh, and by this time I was already in Australia. I ended up telling them: “Fine, send it to my daughter in North Carolina, just get it there before June 8th, I’ll pay for extra shipping.” They said “we’ll do our best, but no promises”.

Guess what? It arrived at my daughters address two days after she left (on June 10th) for Australia. So, the package arrived too late. I had to make arrangements through someone taking care of her pets to send it to us via international air. It was sent last Monday via UPS. UPS promised it would be delivered by Friday. All week I was tracking the package, and it was saying it would be delivered on Friday (today) by end of day.

Around 2PM today I called because there was no update on the tracking. UPS said, “It has arrived in Brisbane today and we will ship it via another carrier to Cairns and it will arrive on Monday.” I said: “That’s not what your tracking has been telling me all week. It said it would arrive today! I’m leaving Cairns today, can you get it to me today like you promised?” To which they had to go consult their manager. He came back and said: “We can put it on a plane and get it to you by tomorrow, but it will cost $200.”. I said: “1) that is a ridiculous price, what are you doing sending it first class? and 2) That’s not good enough I said I need it today like you promised.” Of course, they said that’s the best they can do, and we’re sorry the system was telling you today. I said fine, just let it be delivered here in Cairns on Monday.

Well, that left us with little choice. Weather coming this weekend forced us to leave today. I was able to get some medicine through a local pharmacy because it turns out a limited supply can be had for my medication. I was able to finagle enough to get me to Darwin. So, we will have the medicine (which will have been ordered three months earlier) to me in Darwin by mid-July. Meanwhile, I will have the supply arriving Monday forwarded to the Darwin marina to wait for our arrival there. Let’s hope it doesn’t get lost in transit or something!

So, despite all my experience, I still failed to get my medicine by ordering it two months in advance. I guess I hadn’t learned as much as I thought about having things shipped. Basically, Murphy’s Law operates no matter how hard you work against it.

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6 Responses to Bad Medicine

  1. Kerry Mettert says:

    Frank I have just started reading your blog and checking out your pictures, which I must say are just fantastic and the 360 photos make it feel as if I am right there. I am at the point where I just read about the Christchurch earthquake. Wow! I jumped ahead to today because I wanted to let you know I am reading up on your travels. I especially loved the South Pacific pictures.
    The first cirmcumnativation blog I ever read was from s/v Billabong (Chris and KT) and I have been hooked ever since. The second blog I started following was from s/v Bumfuzzle (Pat and Ali). I found it interesting that you mentioned both of them in your blog. Now I am following the Tahina Expedition!

    • Frank Taylor says:

      Thanks Kerry, glad you are enjoying the blog. Billabong and Bumfuzzle are two of my favorite sailing blogs.

  2. Kerry Mettert says:

    What ever happened to the VideoRay, “Rover“ you took on the trip? I haven’t heard you mention it or its use in your travels yet.

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