At Madison airport a couple hours early for the flight back to Horta. Why you might ask. In my carry on I have one alternator, a glue gun, a Poly planar speaker, a mast head circuit board, four tubes of stainless steel carbon adhesive, ten feet of mast tape – an al Queda checkers dream. We were in a deep discussion on the rules of liquids and tubes and . . . it is seven am or more locally known at the airport as “shift change”. Bingo the glue tubes are a go and my friendly checker is off! Sixty pounds of carry on boat parts are thru the checking process.
I now am one qualified boat guy. Passed the first part of my VHF licensing process (yes in international waters one person on the boat must have a USA FCC Section 80 VHF license. I now know more radio acronyms then you can possibly imagine) and I took the section 7R license test for radiotelephony in international waters. Passed my offshore, cruising boat and bareboat tests and on the water training (thanks to Matt). US Sail awarded me my international proficiency passport for offshore European waters (should be an international competency passport but those dirty dogs in the US senate refuse to sign the UN resolution on offshore water requirements). Previously I thought the only requirement for offshore water driving was plenty of rum but no there are many more requirements. Leaving the sixth and final license – the well known CEVNI test – to be still passed. The CEVNI is needed supposedly to navigate inland European waterways – like for instance canals. The test takes thirty minutes and is given in English only in the very convenient country of England. Since the CEVNI is an acronym for four French words and the French love only two things – wine and bureaucracy – I best obtain my own CEVNI license before entering French inland waters. England is now on my return itinerary.
Hopefully the six legs of my frequent flier ticket will go smoothly and I will be Horta at Pete’s bar by noon tomorrow. The plan is to leave one beer after Matt the last of the crew to arrive in Horta. Next update will be from the water!