We’re safely ensconced in our new slip at our old marina.
For having so few choices about places where we can fit, we have amazingly good luck. Our old spot had a beautiful view of the river and was very private, but it was an end-tie and the boat would grind against the fenders when the breeze picked up. We also had boats going around us which sometimes made me nervous. We were never hit, but the seawall was.
This new slip can’t be beat for convenience. It is the shortest distance to the pool, laundry, and where the packages are delivered – all the important stuff. Since we’re in a real slip the boat is secured away from the dock which cuts down on noise. We don't even have fenders out. We’re also backed in, instead of being sideways to the dock. This allows us to simply walk down the transoms and step onto the dock, which is great for those of us carrying a few extra pounds. We have a little more road noise, but a lot less privacy.
Re-entering the US was painless. They didn’t even know we were gone. For all our security and big federal agencies, the US is surprisingly lax in this regard.
Tanya and I have registered through the Local Boater Option program. We appeared before a Customs and Border Patrol officer before we left and were issued a 6-digit ID number. Upon return, we only had to give this number over the phone and we were done. Unfortunately, they don’t issue these numbers for kids under 14 so I had to read names, birth dates, and passport numbers for all of them. Then I was told the kids needed to be seen by a CBP officer. Can you guess how happy we all were about that? I called the airport to set up an appointment, but was told by the officer there that it wasn’t necessary. It took a few phone calls, but our arrival was processed without seeing anyone.
Tanya’s van situation was cleared up with similar ease. I could buy insurance online with a credit card in a matter of about 10 minutes and print out an insurance card. Unfortunately, the electronic processes that so efficiently communicate a lack of insurance to the DMV don’t work in the opposite direction. I had to go into a tax collector’s office and show proof of insurance in order to renew the tags, but that wasn’t too bad.
Right now our days are consumed with readjusting to shore life. It isn’t difficult, but there’s a lot to do. The boat needs to be unloaded, cleaned inside and out, and then reloaded with the stuff we *really* need. We need to select contractors for our upholstery and carpentry work and get those projects underway. Plus a hundred other things, large and small. And that’s just the boat list. The kids have their own, and it’s a doozy. And then there’s visiting with all the people we’ve missed. In short, we’re slammed.
But it’s all good. We’re really enjoying our time back. We’re going to my mother’s house tonight so she can see the kids and Tanya and I can get some downtime. Sam wanted to know how many miles and if we could sail, or if we’d have to motor.