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Waiting to hear from Jack and Ruth

We met Jack and Ruth Livingstone in Long Island in the Bahamas, an intrepid couple who crossed the Gulf Stream in their 25-foot sailboat and cruised around happily for the last six months. Sunday, they tried to cross back to the U.S., at least a 12-hour trip in their little boat. Half-way across, they were boarded by the Coast Guard and sent back to Bimini for an expired fire extinguisher. They explained that they had looked for one in the Bahamas and couldn’t find one. They also explained that, half-way across, it would be safer to let them sail on rather than go all the way back and have to cross again. However, the stupid Coast Guard would not listen to reason.

I thought I had a good story about bureaucracy dealing with Customs and Immigration in Ft. Lauderdale, but this one takes the cake. Ok, they should have had the proper fire extinguisher. But when U.S. citizens are half way between Bimini and Florida in a 25-foot boat, they should not be sent to Bimini to get in compliance. This is a case of endangering lives of U.S. citizens to make a point. Why not issue them a citation and send them home to get a fire extinguisher?

You can read about their experience here, and you can read about all their other experiences on their blog.

Anyway, they were supposed to try again Monday but I haven’t heard from them yet. They either got further delayed or crossed over and haven’t gotten to internet access yet. Keep checking their blog to see how the trip turned out.

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