First Time in Our Home USA - Bridge Opening
07 May 2018 | East Coast USA
From other cruisers, we heard about a new entry procedure into the USA with an app, called “ROAM” . We downloaded the app while we were in the Bahamas, and completed the information, including photos of our passports. Then as we were approaching Fort Pierce, FL, within cell phone range, we completed the Trip section of the app and within 5 minutes we received a confirming email that we were cleared by Customs and Border Protection and “welcome home”.
While we have been cruising since 2012, this entry into Florida was the first time that we were cruising in the USA. We love exploring other countries and learning new places and cultures, however, there is something quite comforting about “being home”. Same language. Same money. Cell phone coverage with our own phones. Familiar shopping. Amazon. Etc.
Surprisingly, even though we had been cleared by CBP on the ROAM app, a CBP patrol boat came up along side Frisky as we motored into the Fort Pierce channel. Two of the officers boarded our boat, checked our documents and looked around. Friendly and courteous. We showed them our email approval from the ROAM app and they were interested to see that it was working well. Good encounter.
We motored 12 miles up the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) from Fort Pierce to Vero Beach, crossing under several bridges which cleared our mast by 2-3 feet and going through a bascule bridge (drawbridge) which opened when we called the bridge tender on the radio. Another new experience -- but the first of MANY bridges we were to encounter on the East Coast.