Sunday, February 1, 2009

Underway and the last unknown...U.S. CUSTOMS!

Jesse and I spent last night onboard Typhoon. The heater on the boat rocks- very comfy! We stocked up on some last-minute provisions i.e. beer (we had brought all the other food items with us) and had an early night. Patrick was to meet us at 9 am to get "Typhoon" out of their dock, but he was a little late. Brad had a party the night before. :)

We got underway at 10 am and set sail for Point Roberts for Formal Entry into the U.S. It was a beautiful day, with little wind and only small swells from the west-northwest. I can't believe how great the weather has been for us so far. We reached a cruising speed of around 8.5 knots, and doing the math knew we'd get to Point Roberts by 3 pm. They closed at 4 pm, so we didn't want to mess around with going any slower. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery pulling away from Vancouver and under the 1st Narrows bridge. Lunch consisted of ham sandwiches, and there was plenty of time for some OJT on the operation of the chart plotter. As we crossed the discharge point for theFrasier River, the freshwater made our depthgage give false readings of 10-12 ft instead of the 250-400 ft depths it should have been. Thanks to JP for the head's up on this before we left!

Around 2 pm I called US Customs in advance of our entry just to give them a head's up to our arrival, only to find out they had not received any paperwork from our customs broker! Damn it!! What the hell am I paying these ya-hoos for? If the paperwork doesn't come in, will we be quarantined all night? Or should we just stay at sea? So if I didn't call I would have shown up holding nothing but my.....??? Anyway, after some hammer-dropping on my part over the phone to get the customs broker on the ball all the paperwork quickly became in order and was faxed over to Customs. Whew.

We arrived at Point Roberts with no difficulty around 3:30 pm (due to having to sort out the paperwork fiasco). It was low tide when we came in, and the depth alarm went off as we went through 8.9 ft of water. That's plenty of room where I grew up in N.C., but very shallow around these parts! I guess everything's relative. We docked at the Customs dock, and made our formal entry into the U.S. It actually was pretty easy (now that they had all the paperwork), and I must say the Customs agents we dealt with were professional and courteous. Our work was done, now we could relax a little!

After firing up the grill on the stern and cooking some burgers for dinner, we went to TJ's for a few beers. TJ's was interesting, and I imagine it didn't help that it was the off-season. We drank a few beers and watched some MMA fights on TV, while all the locals were cheering for Vancouver to win the hockey game. Is this the U.S. or Canada? We left at 9:30 pm and the bartender told us he'd probably be closing soon anyway. So much excitement for a Saturday night! :)

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