I was so excited to get back to John and Topanga, I barely concerned myself with hurricane Arthur, until of course I got to Toronto and my flight was cancelled. They put me on another one, and I asked many people if there was a chance that would be cancelled, they assured me it wouldn't-it indeed was, only once I went through customs and security again of course.
Going through US customs however was the worst part. You first insert your passport into a machine and it asks you questions and takes your picture and prints it out for you to hand to the customs agent, mine had a giant X through my face, hmmm, that can't be good I thought, but I assumed it was just because I had a dog and would have to go to someone to show his papers.
The first agent I went to asked me what I did, rather than tell him I was unemployed, living on a boat etc, I thought I'd go the simpler route of telling him I'm a student (which is true, as I'm starting a masters program in 2 months). He replied with "how old are you?", I said "28" which he then said "you're 28 and you're still a student?!"-how ruuuuuuude! Before I could start crying I was ushered into a separate private room with two other customs agents and no one else, and they kept said "it's a code 718!". I'm thinking, did I really violate something by being a student at 28? I can't be the only one, c'mon! After standing there with no one talking to me for what felt like forever, they motioned for me to come forward. They asked me a bunch of questions, and I was trying to give simple answers so as not to have to go into the whole travelling on a boat thing, but finally I had to go into it. They were asking me about every date and location I had entered the US, testing me and checking if the dates were correct with my passport. To them it appeared that I had been in the US for 9 consecutive months, which as a Canadian, is illegal. I had to explain to them about my travels, in detail, to the point where I even had to give them our boat card and show them my blog so they would believe me. I said I was worried I would miss my flight (if it hadn't been cancelled altogether I would have since I was in there for a good 45 mins), he replied that "he was a lot more worried about letting me into his country, so how about we forget my flight and worry about that", so much fun. He asked what we did, how we could possibly afford doing something like that, that he was a lawyer and he couldn't afford it, so how could I?! How ruuuuuuude! Also-you're a lawyer?! What are you doing working as a customs agent then...after a lot more explaining, him surfing my blog, more questions, he finally stamped my passport and let me through-not even asking me for Dexter's papers. I went through security, again, to find out my new flight was cancelled, again. My arms were killing from carrying Dexter everywhere, since the Toronto airport doesn't allow me to walk him.
Luckily, my friend Dominique was coming to visit us on Topanga, and her flight was the same day, also through Toronto, and was also cancelled. Also lucky is that she flew Air Canada and got a hotel, since West Jet wouldn't give me any accommodations. So we spent the night together in a hotel, eating pizza in bed, and both luckily got on flights for the next morning.
Jump to the next morning, the airport is absolutely crazy after 2 days of cancelled flights. I had to go through US customs again, but they said I should go right through since they stamped my boarding pass and passport the day before. WRONG. I had another giant X through my face, had to go in the private room again, and had to answer all these questions again. There was obviously a note on my file since the new agent said "you're delivering a boat in New York?!", sure, whatever. Dexter was scratching at his crate, trying to get out and the guy asks "what the hell is that?", I say, "my dog", he doesn't even ask for his papers-what the hell?! Anyways, I just make it in time to board my flight, and I've never been happier when it leaves the ground. I went through customs 4 times in 2 days!
We spent a couple days in Long Island, spent our first 4th of July in the USA, provisioned and spent time with Alison, Matt and Josie, before sailing to NYC. It was our last time on the ocean, and Dominique's first time aboard Topanga,she even took a turn at the helm! She's our first guest to travel with us on Topanga this trip, New York City here we come!
|Josie loving the beautiful old carousel|
|Dominique, Alison Josie and I riding together|
|After almost 2 weeks apart we finally remembered what it felt like to miss each other again!|
|Listening to the ocean|
|Dexter also loves the Gruffalo|
|The evil swans had ugly duckling|
|Out for dinner on the nautical mile|