After so many months away from the warmth of the Caribbean today was an exciting one marking the beginning of the return journey to the BVI and Zanshin. I'd been in Copenhagen, Denmark (or Kobenhavn, as the indigenous call it) for the past couple of weeks and had been enjoying some nice cold, rainy and windy winter weather with the occasional snow flake dusting the ground so I'm going to need a bit of adjustment when I get back aboard the boat!
I had rented a car during my stay and upon returning it in the garage I found all the slots full, so I parked close to the glass office, not really blocking anyone but certainly not in a marked spot. I decided to check in first before returning the keys and that took a bit of time, since the computer check in system wanted to know what the ZIP code and address of my first stay in the USA was and all I remembered was the hotel name and address. One of the friendly personnel told me that I could get in line at the information booth or perhaps use the free Wi-Fi at the airport so I fired up the notebook and proceeded to sign up - only to get a note stating that my password would be sent by e-mail& which wasn't particularly helpful since I need the Wi-Fi connectivity in order to read my e-mails...
I got the hotel address information at the booth, completed my check-in and stuffed my winter jacket into one of my 2 suitcases and dropped them off, remembering that I'd put the car keys into the jacket pocket as I saw it disappearing into the hole in the wall! I asked what I could do and they said that this happens a lot of the time, they took the luggage details, called it in and escorted me to the arrivals area where they told me that the case would arrive and then I could re-submit it at the customer service desk. While they warned me that it could take up to an hour, I had 2 1/2 hours before the flight and nothing better to do so I settled down with a coffee and my e-book to wait. It only took about 15 minutes and the conveyor belt fired up just for my one bag and I retrieved the key and resubmitted the bag.
From Copenhagen I flew to London, had a 2 hour layover in the comfy lounge and had settled down in my comfy seat when a harried-looking ground service lady asked me if I'd checked two bags through to Washington from Copenhagen - I knew that there was going to be a problem. She stated that one bag probably didn't make it on the flight and after she departed I realized the implications of that.
The bag contains only my old dirty clothes and a number of parts that I'd had special-deliveried to me in Denmark, these would replace the broken rudder parts on Zanshin when she is to be put into the water on Monday. If I miss that date then I can't sail the boat, would need to find a hotel somewhere in the BVI (which are booked out due to the high-season) and wait until January 2nd for the next possible rudder replacement date and then pay an additional $1K for the special haul. I'm writing this on the flight across the pond and really hope that both pieces of luggage have made it!
I cleared customs and immigration at the mid-field entry rather than the main entry and had nobody in front of me, it was a wonderful to not have to wait at all! In addition, it seem that the old I-94 form is passé since all I had to fill in upon entry to the USA was the customs document, so all in all it was a pleasant experience. Unfortunately the one bag had not made it, and that had not only the rudder parts inside but also my change of clothes and toiletry kit.
I re-checked my one bag and proceeded to the hotel, which was close enough to see but one couldn't walk there. I checked in and had one drink at the bar before turning in for the night, having set my alarm for 05:30am for an 08:30 departure (they actually recommend getting to the airport a full 3 hours before a flight these days!).

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