Sunday, February 27, 2011
Leaving Tarpon Springs
Customs Officers preparing to board Island Hopper
Departing Tarpon Springs
Main Street view
We left on Thursday morning after the fog cleared. Our next destination was the Pass a Grille clubhouse of St Pete Yacht Club about 35 miles. Because the weather prediction was excellent, sunny 70's winds south at 5 knots we decided to head back out into the Gulf for the passage to Pass a Grille inlet, just north of the entrance to Tampa Bay. This inlet is very reliable, well marked and with no shoaling so we gave it a shot, luckily no problems were encountered.
We were half way there, 3 miles offshore opposite Clearwater Beach, and we were stopped by a Customs Boat and boarded. The officers' checked the Ship's papers and our ID's, I presented my coast guard credentials as I have a Captain's License. They stayed for 15 minutes radioing back to their boat. I suspect checking our ID's through their computer. They asked if we had been in a foreign port, I responded, "No, unless you count Tarpon Springs as a foreign port with all the Greeks." They didn't chuckle. Nor did their checklist include Grey Poupon!
They went back to their vessel and departed. We continued our cruise to Pass a Grill.
Posted by Island Hopper at 4:18 PM