This morning we got up early to get some work done, since we were planning to head over into B.C. today (~5 hour cruise). We stopped in at the Department of Homeland Security/Customs office at Cap Sante Marina and asked about (and got the form for) getting a new 2015 Customs decal (the one on our boat is a 2014 sticker). The customs agent was super helpful and nice. He even told us that when we come back to the U.S., if we come straight back to Cap Sante (without stopping anywhere else) just to give them a call when we get to the marina and they'll come clear us through customs from our slip. We can clear customs from our own slip at the marina. Could that BE any more convenient? No.
People are always talking about how rude the customs agents are when you come back into the U.S. via Roche Harbor or Friday Harbor (which we'll still try sometime, because it's hard to believe that if we are super nice and aren't trying to smuggle booze, they'd still be mean), but I think we'll usually aim to clear from our slip instead, because why not? This Department of Homeland Security office will totally get some good Yelp reviews from us, that's for sure!
Nice and calm crossing Haro Strait:
Zoomed WAY in on an eagle in flight. Not too bad, new camera/lens:
We arrived at the Port of Sidney marina and pulled up to the customs dock. There's a phone on a pole there for you to pick up and it automatically connects you with a Canadian customs agent somewhere in one of the eastern provinces I think. The agent asked me a couple questions (boat registration number, our names and dates of birth, how long we plan to be in Canada, whether we had any alcohol and how much, a couple questions about food items, etc.) and that was pretty much it. We got a clearance number and then called the marina office for a slip assignment, and now we're here.
Sporting our Canadian courtesy flag on the bow:
We went up to the moorage office, paid our slip fee, and then walked around town a bit. We picked up some eggs and a few things at the market, got sucked in to the bakery several people recommended (bought a small loaf of sourdough, two macaroons–Kevin loves macaroons–and a couple of thin lace cookie things with chocolate on 'em). We had a macaroon once back at the boat and OMG it was amazing. I'm not even a fan, but these were chewy and a little crusty on the outside and the texture and flavor was perfect.
Looking back toward the marina:
This fish market had very little fish to choose from, but it was the end of the day so maybe that was why. There was a guy hosing down the floor we were standing on (inside) with a big industrial hose and he seemed annoyed we were there, so between that and the sparse selection, we pretty quickly moved on.
When we got back from our walk, Kevin realized he'd left his wallet at the bakery so he walked back over to get it (with a "Hey, you could grab two more macaroons!" prompt from me). He came back with his wallet (yay!) and a bag looking suspiciously fuller than the space two macaroons should take up. I said "That bag looks like it's got more than two macaroons, honey" and he said "Ohhh. I thought you said to get half a dozen." Heh.
The only Wi-Fi we're getting from our many-headed set-up on Airship is the limited Verizon international data plan that we added before we left. We've got nothing from TMobile (the one we had high hopes for here) and just okay service on our AT&T iPhones (also with an international plan we added on the way over). If you're a Shaw cable subscriber, there's free Wi-Fi all over town, but we aren't, of course.
The marina has its own Wi-Fi we could use, but only IN the moorage office. That would have been fine, but after we gathered our laptops and gear and got all the way back up there, we found that the area with the nice cushy chairs (and laundry, and televisions showing sports) gets locked up at 5pm and doesn't reopen until 8am, and there's nowhere to sit besides the cold concrete floor — so we went and had a beer instead.
We're back at the boat working now.
Kingfisher digesting a worm it just shook the heck out of and then swallowed:
It's been rainy most of the day, but just about an hour ago the sky cleared up a little and the sun came out. It's turning out to be a beautiful sunset.
Today's route (37.5 nautical miles):