I've been waiting for this day since placing my order for the new Zanshin in February; although it has been just under 10 months it certainly feels like a lot longer! This is a big travel day, starting off in the wee hours of the morning from Hannover in northern Germany and driving my rental midget car to Frankfurt via a circuitous route including Dortmund, where I'm storing all the nonessential bits and pieces that I've collected over the year (including all the formal work clothing which won't be of much use to me in the Caribbean).

I've got a generous baggage allowance of 3 bags weighing up to 32Kg each and am only using two of those, but the bags are pretty full and close to their maximum weight. I only purchased those things which I cannot get in the USA - but those include WMF silverware, WMF pots & pans and some glassware made by Schott which isn't available in the USA. I've also got the 220V Nespresso coffee machine packed away. The only clothing that has gone into the bags is for padding purposes, I'll stock up on T-Shirts once in Annapolis or in the Caribbean.

The morning temps were -3° Celsius at 8am and the drive to Frankfurt (via Dortmund, a bit of detour) and 3/4 of the drive were in heavy fog with visibility quite low and speed limits of 60/80/100 Km/H on the Autobahn system. Despite the occasional slow traffic and one 20km detour where they put traffic on back-country roads because the highway was closed down due to road works I made good time and arrived at the airport with 3 hours to kill - which is why this post made it to the site before I actually departed Frankfurt.

Written from Flight Level 380 doing around Mach .87
Although I'm comfortably ensconced in a big seat and being wined and dined aboard this Boeing 777, I'd much rather be at the destination; I'm quite excited about getting my first glimpse of Zanshin and being able to move aboard and sail her! The fates have been kind so far, even the jet streams are being helpful and the last word from the captain are that we are going arrive 30 minutes early (that's certainly be a novel experience).

Written after arrival
Unfortunately we arrived just after a Korean Airlines flight filled to the brim with visitors to the USA who spoke no English and who, almost without exception, had trouble with the immigration agents. Despite the line not being particularly long, it took an hour and half to clear immigration and then I managed to take the long route from Washington to Annapolis but arrived close to midnight, just in time for a quick snack at a local restaurant and bar before they closed for the night.

 

Bags are packed 2 bags at 32Kg apiece have been packed and weighed and I'm ready to head off on vacation.
(2011-11-12 18:54:38 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/60s] ISO 800 Focus 1.68m)
Bags are packed
Hannover frost in the morning It was -3 Celsius when I left Hannover for Frankfurt airport (via Dortmund) and I had to scratch away the frost before departing.
[52°26'16.8"N 9°45'11.97"E (facing SW)]
Hannover frost in the morning
Storage in Dortmund All of my junk piled up in the storage garage so that it can rest until such time as I make it back after sailing Zanshin around for a while.
(2011-11-13 10:50:38 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/60s] ISO 800 Focus 3.76m)
Storage in Dortmund
Flying in comfort Comfortably ensconced in my seat while flying at 34,000 over Ireland towards the USA.
(2011-11-14 00:53:46 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/10s] ISO 1000 Focus 0.71m)
Flying in comfort
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