Friday, October 23, 2009

Underway Visit from the Coast Guard

Since the weather was fine but going to get worse at the end of the week I decided to leave Elizabeth City a day early.  So did everyone else.  By the time I got up almost every other southbound boat had already departed.  Elizabeth City is the home of the largest Coast Guard Air Base so it did not come as a great surprise to see USCG Helicopters and small boats driving around in the Elizabeth River.  I was also not surprised when I heard a Coast Guard small boat hailing several of the sailboats that had been at the dock on the previous night.  In fact, there was a certain level of relief when they boarded the sailboat that had left right before me.  I figured that they would be tied up with her and I would just ease on down the river.

 

I am sure you have anticipated the punch line. They were more than happy to zoom on down to where I was and invite themselves aboard.  The visit was short, friendly and professional.   It was also obvious that the Elizabeth River is a great training aid for the Coasties.  I would bet they are out every day.

 

I passed with “no violation.”  I also got a document commemorating the visit.  This is apparently useful as they do ask when you were last boarded underway and if you have the paperwork aboard.  I presume that if it was recent they will leave you alone and head on to the next vessel.

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