Customs, Kindness and an
Adventure in America
looking fine this morning
Up we jumped at seven thirty, the
dock master told us "No fuel. Bent pipe." He allotted us a slip, told us
not to rush and the Berk behind us (clanking all night) was given time to nip
off to the airport to log in. Berk was back in half an hour whining about the
$100 taxi fare. Justice served.
We on the other hand, moved Beez,
settled her and wandered over to Clinton and Raina on Karma. Happy Birthday Rai.
Clinton very kindly took us to the airport
where we had a wonderful experience with Customs and Immigration. Our last log
in was in St Croix, we both had a roughish ride with Mr L. He lectured us on NOT
exceeding our six months visiting rights by "Keep nipping in and out of the
country and claiming our boat needing major engine work to extend her one year".
We assured him our maximum time was ten months to explore the east coast as
Cuba, then Panama is already in planning. (As a result of this encounter we have
formally written our plan to Australia, emailing a Cuban Marina to have the date
in our inbox, showing intent to move on). "Well it won't be up to me,
you'll have to see each and every Homeland Security Officer as they occur". We
left that office with a bit of a bad taste in the mouth and some worries.
This time Mr G was a sweetheart,
welcoming us, very helpful and in no way suspicious that we could have been on a
mission to stay in America forever. A pleasant and fast encounter. Clinton took
us back to the marina, said he was off to spend time with his wife on her
special day and promptly gave us his car keys, a map he had asked Rai to produce
of where we needed to go and a cheery wave. Well here we are in the USA with
people we only met last night handing over their car. What utter kindness and a
welcome to this land we will NEVER forget. THANK YOU.
I say car with tongue in cheek,
it was a sexy beast. Bear enjoyed driving after the
tiny hire cars we are usually trotting about in. Some number
plates from the car park.
Over the rails,
past water features in this vast landscape
We found the tree lined Australian Highway and took it to find a
shop for a SIM card to use here in the States, then on to West Marine
We got our SIM in T Mobile and our
local number is 561 290 3984. We found very helpful people in
West Marine - seeking new hot water tank, still washing VERY quickly in cold
water...... After all the successes of the morning we went to celebrate in a
real 1950's style Diner next to where we had parked.
These boys were also
Nick's. Lovely ladies serving, four of us together had
birthdays on the 26th, 27th, 28th (me) and 29th of June - a bunch of ol' crabs
together. Great music, great ambience, refills of lemonade and Bear got roast beef on this particular Sunday, what more could we want than to get back to the girl for a few
games and a restful afternoon.
ALL IN ALL THE BEST WELCOME
WE COULD WISH FOR