Sea Star 7

1998 Bayliner LeClercq

A mean customs agent

Today we had to make it back to Friday Harbor so that Jim and Margaret could catch the ferry home.  Given the weather, we would have preferred to wait, but Jim had a doctor’s appointment that he couldn’t miss.  The crossing from Victora was rainy, foggy, and filled with lots of lightening strikes in all directions.  Very nerve wracking for all of us – particularly the captain.  The windows kept fogging up and visibility was low.  When we finally made it across, Dave went through the new CBP Roam app to initiate our clearance.  We’ve used it once before and it seemed to work great.  But somehow with all the distractions, Dave accidentally answered a question about food aboard wrong.  When we got to the customs dock, they assigned us a slip literally one boat spot down from the official customs dock, so we pulled into our slip to await our clearance – because these days they just clear you on the phone anyway.  Alas Dave got the customs agent who was having a bad day.  He yelled at Dave about being on the wrong dock.  Then he yelled at Dave about what food we had aboard.  And he threatened to take our Nexus status away from us.  He made Dave pack up our eggs and lemons and walk them in the pouring rain – up to the office.  While Dave was gone, our friends both got notices that their Nexus applications had been rejected.  It was terrifying.  When Dave returned, even before he knew about our friend’s Nexus status, he was shaking.  Its such a horrible feeling – you are at the mercy of an irrational and angry person who has the power to harm you and there is little to nothing you can do about it.  It took days before Dave was back to normal.

Update: When Jim called a few weeks later, he was told that their Nexus applications were back in the “pending” state and the agent he spoke with could give no explanation for why they received the emails they did.  Best we can figure, the agent (or maybe a supervisor) un-did whatever happened that day – realizing it was completely out of line.

This photo of Jim standing in the rain waiting for the ferry says it all.


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