Deprived of sleep and sense, I get to the Canadian border at 10pm with 17 packages filling a rented SUV to the brim, spilled into my lap and tucked under my arms, with 12 box wines and 18 pounds of chocolate from Trader Joe’s sloshing around in the back, and tidings of a newly purchased research vessel to share with the customs officer. I try to simplify my charge, because I’m not even sure I understand what I’m doing yet. I mention the boat, and the trip with my dad, but side step my research intentions. I am fully permitted, but I have no idea where my documents are in my car full of packages. Not a good excuse, it turns out.
My stupid, “this-is-going-to-be-easy” smile was wiped off early on in the 2-hour interrogation, thorough search of the car, and repeated threats to exclude me from their country for at least a year. “Won’t be able to do much research sitting on your butt back in San Diego, boat-poor and without a PhD project, will you, eh?” Eventually they accept that I am merely an idiot, and let me pass.
In their search, and unbeknownst to me, border patrol opened every box in the rental. I get to the boat in West Vancouver at 1:30am, stumbling along the docks in a downpour to pile the boxes into the cockpit as quickly as possible. A slip and a splash, and a box spills its contents — all of my legal, financial, and study design documentation, funny enough — into the waters of Mosquito Creek Marina. A new low.
Luckily, only partial submersion was needed to rescue the lot. The Bangarang suddenly becomes a drying rack for over 500 pages of maps, receipts, Coast Guard documentation, schematics, research articles, and data sheets. This is, I suppose, an adventure.