An Unexpected Change of Direction

Direction – unless you’re walking backwards, you’re always going forward. Even if you are walking in circles, your direction is still forward. Your route could be north, south – still forward.

Today our direction was to head west – a licensed Captain arrived to take Gaviidae across the St. Clair River from Sarnia, Ontario to Port Huron, Michigan. The proper paperwork was completed to satisfy customs on both sides of the border, the boat was in its staging position near the fuel dock and we were in process of closing hatches and vacating the boat. While the hired Captain took the boat across, we would take the RV and the cargo trailer over the border via the Blue Water Bridge.

Official Escorts

The CBSA arrived along with the C-Tow Captain and chase boat crew – everything was on schedule and according to plan. Plans change. It started with the lead CBSA Officer expressing surprise that we were still on Canadian soil. She had thought we were in Port Huron when she and I talked a couple days earlier. I commented that both Dan and I were okay to stay in Canada; it was Gaviidae that was being evicted.

Her immediate response took both of us by surprise – she simply stated the boat did not need to leave Canada!


After we picked our jaws up from the cockpit floor, she explained. We fell into a unique loophole (of sorts) because we had been allowed into Canada because of my Canadian citizenship, had done our quarantine, and the boat was also still in Canada. She could issue a new CBSA document allowing us to stay through October.

Decision Time

Official E99
The ‘Official E99’ number

Of course, we still had the option to cross the border – and with six people standing there waiting for us to decide, the decision to stay in Canada was made in less than two minutes. Decision made, the CBSA Officer trotted back to her SUV to get us a fully approved E99 form – permission to keep the boat (and cruise) in Canadian waters for the summer!

With the “new” paperwork completed, the Customs Officers and the Sea-Tow captain and crew moved on to the next boat assignment and we moved Gaviidae back into the courtesy slip at Bridgeview Marina.

What Now?

Adult beverages in celebration!
Adult beverages in celebration!

When you make decisions quickly, you don’t always have time to think through the various details that the decision impacts. Little things like which direction to head when we set sail? North Channel, Georgian Bay, Lake Superior?

And where can we store the RV and cargo trailer for the summer? We had made arrangements to leave the rig and trailer in Port Huron but weren’t sure about options to leave them in Ontario for three or four months. We had also rented a storage unit in Port Huron, short-term – just to get some of the stuff we didn’t need in the RV. Things like our folding bikes and camp chairs are locked up there.

Oh, and I had ordered a bunch of stuff, all shipping to Port Huron. Some of it we can live without, but one item was a refill prescription. I also ordered new “marriage saver” headsets as mine had broken. Yeah, yeah – you’ll all say use hand signals to communicate. And my response will be that hand signals put us on the rocks at Old Dave’s Harbour – a very remote area of Lake Superior. Hand signals can quickly devolve into single-digit gestures if things don’t go smoothly.

Direction – Forward

Direction: we’re heading North, somewhere. In the land of good cookies, butter tarts, clean water, and a Head of State with exceptionally good hair. Timeline: as soon as we sort out the new logistic issues that arose from our quick decision.

June 19th, 2021 Sarnia Ontario 42°59.435’ N  82°25.081’ W 57NM


  1. Hi Julie and Dan, Ginger wanted us to let you know that Stargazer will be on her own for the next 24 hours. We were able to rent a car from the collision
    place. It took some sweet talking but we’re on our way to Collingwood to celebrate my parents 52nd anniversary. We will be back tomorrow afternoon and so we’ll see you then or hopefully later on, on the hook at Cove Island.

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