Monday, January 25, 2010

In the Caribbean again! Smuggling!

I have been ashore for months, but this blog is not about that.

Dana and I are visiting our cruising friends Dawn and Lauri Corbett on Cat Tails. Cat Tails is a Fountaine Pajot 35 catamaran (it is obligatory to have a feline reference in your name if you have a cat), one of my favorites is Feline Good).

The flight down was somewhat less dramatic than our last passage, there were no mutineys on USAIR flight 1969, no aviary pirates, no flare sightings. In fact, we were bumped to first class, and spent the time doing Sudoku puzzles and napping.

There was some intrigue to keep us occupied, we were smuggling in a whole beef tenderloin in the middle of our luggage. Good beef is very hard to find down here, even the French offer a poor substitute. Dana and I rehearsed our lines; she packed that bag, and I filled out the customs forms not knowing that she had included the illicit beef...

When our time in the breech came, the customs officer had just opened and searched the baggage of the person ahead of us, and it was looking dangerous. As we put our bags up on the counter, I started acting like I did not want him to search the very large kiteboard bag (marked pro golf, so the airlines won't charge board fees). The bag was our saving grace, it was large and strange enough that it distracted him from the contraband, and he insisted on searching it instead of discovering the bovine infraction right under his nose.

In truth, we would not have felt bad at all if he had confiscated it, as we sspected strongly that it would have introduced the locals to a very good quality of beef at one of their cookouts, and they might open their borders to USDA Filet Mignon.

The flight from San Juan to St Vincent was more interesting, flying over the Spanish, US and Brititsh Virgins, then Saba, Statia, St Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat. As we flew over each, I was pasted to the window, remebering passages and tours associated with each spot.
then it was on to Terra Incognita - Guadeloupe, the Saints, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, and into St Vincents.

When we got to the docks via cab, we could see Cat tails right there at a mooring, and right next to it, Unabated, the sister ship to Madness belonging to Alan, who crewed with me to Bermuda.