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We wish you all a great new year.  Thanks so much for your friendship and support.

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We anchored in Lake Worth, Palm Beach, Florida, last Sunday and stayed until early Wednesday.  Here are some of the fireworks we saw from our anchorage.

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We actually stayed up until midnight to greet the new year.  A great year so far.

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We’d arrived in Lake Worth/Palm Beach on Sunday night, having made the trip down from Vero Beach in three days.  We left Vero late – had to wait until the marina mail arrived with a part we needed, so we barely got to Fort Pierce when we lost daylight.  Just as the sun was setting, we literally inched our way into an anchorage, (Causeway Island), that reportedly had a shoal at its entrance that would have put us aground.  But we were fine and it was a very suitable place to spend the night – if you like looking at condos.  We’d tried another anchorage nearby and found 5.5’ before we aborted – we need at least 5’.

Saturday afternoon, we anchored in Peck Lake, a lovely anchorage just north of Jupiter Inlet in Stuart, FL.  You can dinghy to shore for a short walk to a beach.  Here is Goldwin relaxing.

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Here is Nancy relaxing.

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And we are enjoying holiday cookies which were half price at the Publix on the day after Christmas.

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We arrived at Lake Worth/Palm Beach on Sunday after negotiating our way through seven bridges, with six cranky bridge tenders and one just plain incompetent.  We anchored south of the inlet, which was pretty rolly in strong NE winds, which became strong SE winds.

Our mission on Monday was to go to US Customs and have our “interview” as part of the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS), a voluntary program that supposedly allows boaters to clear back into the US via phone instead of hiring a taxi to take them to the Customs office which is typically far from any water. (Except in West Palm, but you leave from here, you arrive back farther north.)   I had spent some time online trying to fill out the forms; I made an appointment in advance; and we dinghied across the harbor to a marina where we paid $10.00 to tie the dinghy and walk to Customs.  It turns out that we EACH needed an appointment and I’d only made one.  We pleaded and begged through the 5’” plexiglass window, but were told there were no open appointment times that day – maybe Thursday. The Customs officer shook her finger at Goldwin and said:  “You’re done here.”   Crap.  And it was irritating because Goldwin’s “appointment” was handled completely through the thick plexiglass, (he was not interviewed or fingerprinted), and it took about 5 minutes.

Anyway,  I went into the hallway – actually, they made everyone wait in the hallway, sitting on the floor – and filled out the online forms, using my IPhone.  We kind of hung around and then one of the Customs persons asked if anyone was still “out there.”  No one was, so I requested an appointment again.  This time, it was allowed and I was printed, photographed and given my SVRS card.

Here’s the thing about it.  It you don’t do it, and you have to get a taxi to an inland office, it costs about $15 and takes about an hour.  We spent a lot more time than that.  And US Customs doesn’t guarantee that participation in the SVRS program will result in a waiver of the otherwise mandatory in-person interview when you re-enter.

Our government sometimes works in mysterious ways.

Anyway, these pirates were pretty friendly:

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You can always count on pirates.

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3 thoughts on “Happy New Year

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