September 11, 2008

Deported from :)

Catchy title eh? We made it to England!!! You have to read through all my stories to get to the deported part.

So the trusty I-touch got us into Sunny England where we found red carpet and never ending hospitality(I don't want there to be any confusion, England was wet and grey, the only reason I would ever go back is because there are people from New Zealand there.) Jon, Smarti, Jas, and Nae (All Quiwis)gave us a roof over our head, transportation passes for our pockets and a cell phone for our social lives. It was great, they invited us to parties and one social event to the next for our entire stay.

We had some adventures to note:
:)Twenty miles off the coast of the Isle of Wight the back-stay from Noche landed in a nice coiled pile on deck, disrupting my movie and waking up Glory. This could have ruined the entire day, but the mast stayed up and we were able to reinforce it with two spare halyards and motor the rest of the way into Brighton.
:)Jon and I caught wind of a wedding happening some three and a half hours drive away so we got our dancing shoes and a tent and fully crashed it. We got to see some really good friends from Habitat for Humanity Ireland, all the bar peanuts we wanted and a full half days worth of dancing. We were the last men standing, in fact it was so chaotic, I woke up in a field with some tee-pees and a Gypsy caravan next to Jon, and there was only one shoe between the two of us with our car keys in it. Smiles were glued to our faces the whole time.

:)Jon brought a life raft to the River Thames,(the river that runs through London) and set it off. He Smarti, and Jas jumped in and floated away... for about twenty minutes till it sank!!!! Life rafts provide too much piece of mind and in fact this one was worthless. It was the best possible use of one. The whole stunt was awesome and would probably have made the news if three people hadn't parked their cars below the tide level for the Thames to take away on the same day.

So good times and here is the chase. We entered England by boat and with out a conventional set of answers for the bureaucratic block heads at the gate, we were turned away. We had no return tickets, so "no plans to leave".Well we don't print tickets for passages on the sail boat, I never thought about it. They didn't seem to understand why an American couple would sail to England. We tried to explain that for us, when crossing the Atlantic, England happens to be on the other side. Its an English speaking country and London being progressively vibrant and the transportation hub of the western world, is an ideal place to land and leave ones boat. Nothing got through. They didn't believe a word of what I said. In our experience the immigration officers were not well trained, lacking continuity in the information they provided us, and carelessly un-thorough. In the end during our third meeting they were so shifty and un-professional that when they tried to finger print us and take our photos, we thought they were being abusive and stepping out of protocol. Morning Glory lead the march right out the door. On the day of my departure they delivered my passport to the boat with a two stamps in it. One with a subtle hand scribed "+" across it and one with a larger hand scribed "+" across it. What daunting technology.

Morning Glory flew back to Colorado, and I sailed to France with an old friend from England. The food is once again inspiring, and the French immigration welcomed us upon arrival, saying "thanks for having all your paper work in order and in 18 months if your still in EU waters, send us a check for the tax on your vessel". The greatest part about all of this is the great ideas that come out of it. Now I am going to drop the mast and cruise through the French canal system across France to the Mediterranean.

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