Saturday, June 8, 2019

Key West Arrival

June 6
Key West, FL USA

We tied up at Key West Bight Marina at 0808 this morning and competed all the formalities for entering the United States effortlessly.

Last night the wind picked up from the south around 0230 and we sailed all the rest of the way to the Key West sea buoy on bumpy seas, arriving there at 0600. We were sailing so fast on a near beam reach that I had to furl the jib to slow the boat down to time our arrival for sunrise.

We followed the cruise ship Norwegian Sky through the narrow ship channel into Key West Harbor and then onto the marina where I had booked a slip for a couple of nights. We had to parallel park Intermezzo between two large motor yachts in a spot along the dock only 10 feet longer than the boat. We backed in with precision and the crew handled the lines well, a flawless performance, but with no audience to appreciate it.

The CBP Roam app made clearing into the US really easy. I entered data for for the boat and crew, including photos of our passports, and then reported our entry into the USA online via the app. After about a 20 minute wait, I received notice that a Customs and Border Patrol office was inviting me to a video conference. We connected, he asked me a few questions and then I passed my phone around so that he could speak with and confirm the identity of the rest of the crew. Everyone was legally admitted into the US in less than five minutes, even Lisa who couldn't resist hamming it up for the camera in her bikini for the officer, who appeared as a featureless, motionless white round head and torso icon, not unlike the symbol for a men's room. They might want to work on that aspect of the app for future versions.

Today we mostly cleaned up and rested after our overnight sail. Chris booked us on a wreck dive for tomorrow morning. Forrest will unload his bike from Intermezzo's hold, assemble it and ride off to Miami tomorrow morning. He's meeting a friend there who is going to ride with him up to Maine over the next couple of months. We'll set sail for our next port of call on Monday morning.