Saturday, 3 September 2011

Not Plane Simple

I'm trying to sort out how we're going to get home from North America. We've got a deadline for getting home on the 2nd March, when our granny celebrates her 100th birthday. But this definitely isn't as simple as going on the airtransat website.

Firstly, we want to go across the Atlantic in February. Thinking about it February is probably one of the roughest months of the year on the Atlantic. The looks I get from people when I tell them we're planning on crossing in February does nothing to raise my confidence. Barry, who was one of the volunteers at Cathedral lakes and used to work in the Dutch navy, told me tales of being seasick on the Atlantic and how some people would rather die than endure their seasickness. It doesn't help either that Fred, from one of the freighter travel agencies just wrote the following to me: 'some [freighter lines] will not accept passengers in winter fearing injuries in north Atlantic storms'. Crossing the Pacific with just one day of feeling mildly seasick will probably feel like a dream if we cross the Atlantic in the middle of winter for 11 days!

Second problem is that there aren't actually any passenger freighters that leave Canada anymore. My excitement a few days ago was short-lived. This means that we'll have to go to either Philadelphia or Charleston, South Carolina, where we can get a freighter to Antwerpen. And seeing as we're not even sure if they'll let us back into the States on our visas (because you have to leave North America before reentry) this might be a big problem. If we're not allowed back in the States then we'll really have no other option but to take a plane. And the giving up flying and going around the world without flying will have failed. Unfortunately there seems no way for us to know whether we'll be allowed back into the US or not, so by the looks of things we'll just have to turn up at the border with our freighter documents, details of our bank accounts and some good luck.

The question now for us is whether we should try to go home before the worst of the winter storms hit and therefore for me to give up on visiting the farms around Vancouver Island that look so interesting, or just to hope that we'll be able to find our sealegs in February. Dilemmas and decisions....

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