Sunrise with Coast Guard Cutter

Our sloop sailed all night across the Bermuda Triangle. At dawn we crossed the Gulf Stream.

We had maneuvered into position to enter the Lake Worth cut into West Palm when a voice crackled over our ship-to-shore radio: “Westbound sloop at 26.50 by 79.13, prepare to be boarded.” The voice was from a U.S. Coast Guard cutter sitting a quarter mile off our starboard bow. When I heard the radio, I emerged topside. Simultaneously three Coast Guardsmen arrived in a red rubber runabout.

Two boarded. They were very professional and courteous. Of course, we were five white guys and one gigantic Samoan. The ranking officer asked to speak to the captain. Scurvy stepped forward and gave them his military ID. They asked to see life vests, fire extinguisher, flares and boat certificate. We produced them pronto. They gave us a “Good As Gold” certificate, an inspection sheet to keep with our registration. They wished us good sailing and motored back to the cutter, a quarter mile away.

No questions about drugs or guns. Even before the team boarded they probably knew more about our new boat than we did. Very courteous and professional.

–From the upcoming book Sailing With The Scotch Brothers by J.D. Robinson

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