Thursday 22 June

Breakfast was less good. Well, the bagels were ok, but the coffee – well let’s not talk about that. The important bit is that the submarine is at the airport needs rescuing from the clutches of the US Customs and Border Patrol. A quick email and a phone call to our broker gets that process moving, and some more internet surfing lines up a UHaul truck. Some minor patience is required in traffic, but then we’re off to the airport.

Some juggling of rental cars (to cancel that $1500 silliness) and trucks, and three of us are rummaging through hardware stores looking for supplies and a few tools (where do you buy a ¼ NPT tapping tool in a city you don’t really know? Even the biennial pilgrimage to Home Depot didn’t produce one. Which really had us stumped. Used to be you asked a sales(wo)man in one store for a recommendation to another if (s)he couldn’t sell you what you needed. Free WiFi is apparently the Millenial equivalent. Lowes’ near the airport have the tool you need…

This was the simplest Customs Clearance in my submarine racing history. Dave the broker at JS Connor had the paperwork all waiting for me when we arrived, and we could pop over to KLM to collect the submarine. That was also unsettlingly easy. Five minutes of forklift dance (by the second driver), and the crate was loaded in the back of the UHaul, whose suspension groaned approvingly.

To the campsite and unpack. There had indeed been some shifting of contents during flight, but nothing injured irreparably. Another few hours’ work and Camp Rivershark was set up in a forest on the banks of the mighty Potomac River (Swimming verboten. “Accidentally falling in” = legal grey area).