Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Being boarded by Police!

Following the pilot boat around the fortress towards the Marina
Rabat, Morroco. Africa---We arrived in the morning as required to make it into this port. The only way to get in to the marina is to be escorted due to the shoals and sand bars that cannot be seen through the dirty water. After calling on the VHS, a dinghy came out to meet and us and motioned for us to follow. Passing a red walled fortress, we made our way to the customs dock.

There the Captain with docking papers and passports in hand, waited for the officials. After a bit, several men in suits came down the ramp, looked over his paperwork and asked him to follow them into the Police station.

The Kids, the Brit and I waited after being warned by the Captain that it could possibly take 1-2 hours. The next thing I knew, I saw two other men in uniforms head to our boat without the Captain. They requested to board and search the boat. We assisted them in opening tricky drawers and cabinets. Twice they asked me if we had firearms, because I guess, as Americans we all carry guns everywhere we go (World view).

The customs dock witht he Marina in the background
 Finally I saw the Captain leave the police station and go to customs. Soon after he returned to the boat and said we were cleared and the guide boat would show us our berth.

I was exhausted from my last watch and crawled up in the fore cabin and fell asleep. The next thing I remember is voices, looking up to see a man in uniform staring down at me and someone up top saying something about a drug dog coming on board. I fell back asleep and only when I woke did I found out that, yes, a dog was brought to the boat and no, he did not board us. I guess the Captain mentioned that we had not done laundry in a long time and he hoped all the smelly cloths would not bother the dog.

They moved on without inspection.

Good thing, the poor dog would have fallen over with paws straight up if he smelled our cloths from 36 hours of passage with no changing.

Here we are, in a marina, in Africa. It's worth exploring but so far, we are in for a very, very different experience.

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