09 August 2020 | Anacortes
Mark Ward | Clear
Today we arrived at Cap Sante Marina at about 3:00 pm in bright sunshine and tied up at a slip we have secured for 4 days. Since we traveled through Canada, and even though we didn't actually set foot on Canadian soil, we still had to clear into the US. Instead of US Customs agents coming to our boat, which they told us just yesterday they would do, we were requested to leave the boat and go to their office to clear in. While filling out our paperwork and without any prior notice or permission, they sent a customs agent to search our boat without us onboard. In all our travels around the pacific, no other country has done such a thing. The closest thing was in New Zealand, where they very cordially asked us a few questions and looked around with us onboard. In New Zealand we had to forfeit a few food items, but it was all very respectful, pleasant and understandable. Today, I was reminded once again that I've only been overly hassled when returning to the US - as a US Citizen. After the agent searched our boat, they returned to the office and had confiscated our remaining (USA-purchased) citrus fruit consisting of exactly 1 lemon, one orange and 1 lime. As the portrait of the idiot-in-chief smirked on the wall of the customs office, I found it hard to believe I am still a citizen of these divided states of America - once a shining example of hope to the world. After just travelling through Canada, I was reminded how a country that has its act together operates. There is prosperity. There is commerce. There is order. All the white and red lighthouses which dot the coastline of British Columbia are impeccably maintained. The Canadian Coast Guard is on the ball and based on the radio chatter, actually helps mariners in distress instead of just pawning that function off to other boaters. Their ships, helicopters and reconnaissance aircraft were shiny and ever present, but they didn't hassle us. Instead, they just kept a close eye on our progress through the country and made sure we were doing exactly what we had told them.
It is with sadness that I have been unable to bring myself to fly the American flag on Radiance since 2016. I hope one day I will be compelled to fly it again. I hope. Welcome home to 'merca....