I’m proud of that because when the anchor is set, I get to sit back with a glass of wine, cuddle my happy wife, and smile. I get to bask in her accolades of my captaining prowess while enjoying one of her excellent passage cookies.
I can do this because I prepare! I study, I plan, I check and double check. And yes, I fret. As Captain I see this as my job and enjoy it in a love/hate sort of way. So, when it came time to head back to the states, I started early and took copious notes.
We were going to run the Canadian/US border. It’s closed of course. The world is in turmoil from covid, global warming, and all sorts of nasty crap not the least of which is the upcoming Presidential elections.
We were going to leave Canada’s quiet sanity and cross the closed border into the US, which is not a happy place right now.
Yes, we are Americans, but we have been away a long time. I called the US border office in Anacortes to get a feel for the situation. It went something like this:
Me: “Hi, we will be crossing from Canada back into the States on our boat and wonder if there is anything we should know. Can we use Nexus?”
Officer: “From Canada? You are American citizens?”
Officer: “The border is closed, how long have you been in Canada?”
Sarah and I both agreed the best approach here was honesty.
Me: “About 14 months.”
Officer: “14 months? What have you been doing there?”
Me: “We’ve been on vacation.”
I really don’t think he wanted to give me a hard time, he was just having trouble with the whole ‘sailing in Canada for the last year or so during a worldwide pandemic’ thing. I’m sure he knew that Canada only allows visitors to stay for 6 months at a time, but he also knew that wasn’t his concern, being US customs. After a moment he went on.
Officer: “Nexus is working fine, just check in like you are supposed to.”
Before I could say thank you, he asked about the sticker.
Damn. Honesty, remember?
Me: “No, we don’t.”
I think he was really happy to find something to correct us on.
Officer: “You need to get a sticker.”
I had no idea how to do that while in Canada, but be sure I was going to figure it out.
Me: “Thank you, I will.”
He seemed quite satisfied.
Officer: “Ok, have a good day.”
Me: “Thank you.”
The sticker was ordered and on it’s way that day.
And how did the crossing go?
When we were given the all clear by customs I wanted a glass of wine and I mean right now, but I was still driving the boat. Instead I got a kiss and hug from my understanding wife, two passage cookies, and a promise of wine when we docked in Friday Harbor. A great ending to an otherwise stressful situation.