Date: 25 May 2012
We finally made the passage from Bahamas back to the US. This was not one of our best passages. We left as the first named storm of the year was to the north of us and with a building tropical depression to the south. The tropical depression is now a 70% likely hood of becoming the years first hurricane. So it was squally, calm, light and variable, and far more bouncy with ocean swells that I would have preferred for a passage. Not dangerous but also not in the very comfortable category.
The important part is that we made it into Winyah Bay, Georgetown South Carolina, in the dark and anchored by 1:15AM. Anchoring in the dark with unknown circumstances is not my favorite but it was the simplest place to put the hood down for a few hours. We considered waiting off shore for dawn but the seas were already building when we came in.
This morning was the usual set of stuff to get us put back together. First we listened to NOAA weather radio and found out about the local conditions and the building likely hood of a Hurricane to the south. If a hurricane comes this way we still need to be aware of it and prepare in advance. Then we had to get our cell phone turned back on. That took a while. Then move to a dock and call customs. Customs was not thrilled that we came in at Georg Town as it is not an “international” port. However since we came in to hide from bad weather they made an exception and sent a customs official to us.
We got permission to get off of the boat before he came and get the children some lunch. Also we all took showers. That was really important! We had some difficulty with the pressure water system during the passage and nobody had a shower for 4 days. I think that without showers the customs and border protection people would have sent us back based on smell. I know that I could tell in the dark who I was down wind of at a 5 foot distance!
We also had to call our credit card companies and get them to turn our credit cards back on.
We called Grandma and told her that we had made the US. That made her feel better! She could not smell us through the phone.
A big part of retuning to the US is the culture shock. The cars drive so fast. There are green lawns. The bate-and-tackle shop at the marina is bigger than most grocery stores that we have seen for 6 months. Businesses have air conditioning. There are side walks! We have not had the Walmart shock yet – but it is coming.