Saturday, November 3, 2007

Back in the U.S.A.

We got up at 4:30am and were at the airport at 5:30am. The Guatemala City airport has been recently upgraded and it looks pretty much like any other airport.

Security wasn't particularly stringent at the Guate airport. For example, we saw a bag left by itself up near the front of the line at the ticket counter for nearly an hour--this probably would have triggered a massive security incident in the U.S. And I got through the security checkpoint without any hassle or a close look at my stuff. I was carrying a laptop and a backpack with lots of wires and electronics. And nobody questioned my water bottle. (However, later, Spirit Air had their own bag search as we got on the plane, and they did confiscate my water bottle there.)

The Spirit flight was uneventful. Our tickets, booked online a couple of months ago on cost only $99 round trip, but then they added all the Government taxes on both ends, which brought the price up to about $210 pp (still VERY reasonable).

However, this price does not include any checked luggage. Checked luggage costs $5 per bag if reserved ahead and $10 per bag at the airport. They do no free snacks or beverages, but will sell you the average array of stuff for $3 a can (credit cards only).

Our bags arrived on schedule, unmolested. We'd taken the precaution of using a cable tie to tie the zippers together, so we could tell they had not been opened.

The trip through Customs and Immigration was no problem, and efficiently managed in fairly pleasant settings, and by 1:30pm we were in our rental car headed out of the airport.

Dave had planned a couple of stops in Ft. Lauderdale on our way out.... At the Sailrite store, his favorite sushi place for lunch, Sailorman, and the watermaker place. We struck out on the first two. Sailrite has closed their Ft. Lauderdale store (too expensive to operate, not enough true cruisers to support it). The sushi restaurant had been levelled and there was no indication that they'd relocated somewhere else. A large CVS pharmacy was under construction.

After finishing our business in Lauderdale, we hit the road headed for Dave's college roommate's in Clermont, where we'd stored Dave's car. We enjoyed a nice night a Jimmy's house and left for Dave's cousin's house in Largo in the morning.

We had one little wrinkle we forgot about. When we stored Dave's car, we had to turn in the license plate, so they didn't suspend our driver's licenses when we canceled the insurance. We'd forgotten the paperwork--left it on the boat. However, the county tax office in Clermont had it all on their computer, and in 5 minutes we had a new tag and we on our way. Dave had activated the insurance via phone on our way out of Ft. Lauderdale.

We dropped the rental car at the Clearwater Airport and made it to Bryan's (Dave's cousin) house in Largo by noon.

Our plans are to stay in the area here until Thursday (Nov 8) and then head for Melbourne, to attend the SSCA Gam. We'll make Melbourne our base for the next month.


  1. Sherry and Dave -- Just got through reading the entire blog site and I look forward to "living vicariously" as you traverse the globe. I will encourage all our FishKillers to read and participate with you as well.


  2. Hey you two -- welcome home - is the boat in the marina? Not on the hook I hope. Always worry about the boat don't ya know! Sherry, by now you must habla espanol muey bien - si? When are you going back ? Sorry if you said and I missed it. Was going to the Gam but pinched for time and about to be evicted from my (almost) free dockage - maybe will see you some time in future - already met Dave in Marathon - would like to meet the brains of the outfit LOL I am so funny - I just break myself up.
    stuck at the dock aboard s/v Geodesic2