Sunday, November 28, 2010

Getting Home Was More Challenging Than Sailing Down!

Belated Happy Thanksgiving to you!

We were scheduled to be home Thanksgiving night with a flight from St. Thomas, VI to Detroit on American Airlines. Not a challenging route: St. Thomas, Miami, Detroit. Leave at 3:20 pm and arrive in DTW at 10:00 pm. Not!

The boat was scheduled to be taken out of the water at 8 am on Wednesday giving us plenty of time to get from Tortorla, BVI to St. Thomas, VI and through Customs and Immigration. Not again!

It seems a large catamaran crashed on a reef and had been brought to Nanny Cay for repairs so it delayed us. We were still in good shape time-wise until some idiot (not to be found for over an hour) parked his truck in the middle of the road where Trillium was being hauled. So we had to sit and wait for the guy to show up. As it was we left the boat sitting in the middle of the road in front of the truck with the marina in charge of finishing the job. We had to catch the taxi.

Customs and Immigration closes at 5 pm so we had to be on the 2:30 pm ferry - which never left the dock until 3:15 pm. And then it made a stop at Soper's Hole before heading to St. Thomas. I was getting rather concerned about making it through Customs on time. All was fine in the end.

We spent the night in St. Thomas with dinner at Hook, Line and Sinker, a favorite spot. Thursday morning gave us time to wander around the hundreds of shops before heading to the airport. This is where the real "fun" began!

The plane was being loaded when suddenly there was a problem. So everyone deplaned. Problem: a loose screw in the baggage compartment that apparently set off an alarm. The REAL Problem: they had to fly in a mechanic from Puerto Rico to replace the screw. That flight wasn't coming in for another 45 minutes. Of course, everyone is concerned about their connecting flights ...

Boarding began again and all was right with the world. Only a few people were going to miss their connections; we were okay. We taxied out the runway and were ready to take off when the Captain informed us that we had to return to the terminal and deplane! I thought there was going to be a small riot on that plane!

It turns out that a heavy person needed a seat belt extension! Fortunately, we did not have to deplane, but we had to get in line on the runway again. This delay now created many, many missed connections including ours. So we spent the night in Miami. Oh, sure, they gave us a hotel room and food vouchers. Sort of: dinner $20 TOTAL for two of us! And $10 total for breakfast! Have you ever seen an entree on a Marriott Hotel dinner menu for less than $20 - for one? So we had a very expensive Thanksgiving dinner. At least it was good - and I didn't have to cook or do the dishes.

When we finally boarded the plane on Friday morning, there were only 37 people going to Detroit. I had to laugh when the gate agent informed us that we could only take one bag of any kind aboard and would have to check all others. Now, I was carrying a backpack full of boat electronics plus my computer bag. I didn't even have purse. I can assure you that there was no way either of those bags were leaving my grimy hands!
Then to find only 37 people on the plane! How ridiculous!

The other frustration was losing our rum!We purchase gifts of flavored rum at the Duty Free Shop - five bottles. When we missed our connection, we had the rum with us. Unfortunately, we could not take it through security on our Friday morning flight so we gave it away! That really ticked me off!

Basically, the sail down was less exhausting and frustrating than the trip home! So much dealing with the airlines and enjoyable travel. Too many hassles! I can't wait for my flight down in February. Not!

1 comment:

  1. Welcome home. Sorry about your frustrating trip home. Merry Christmas!


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