Southbound, solo: the Americas - report by Adriaan

False Start


Charging the crate behind my house

"US Customs have blocked the entire container for security purposes", says an e-mail on the 27th of May from shipping-agent Damco. "This will lead to a delay in the arrival date. The shipping company expects the container to be cleared shortly and expects it to be shipped on the mv. St. Louis Express, ETA Miami Jun 9th.

Wednesday May 27th was the day the mv (motorvessel) Yorktown Express was supposed to moor in Miami. Which undoubtedly happened, but without my motorcycle! "Where's my crate now?, I ask my contact, the same one who asked me for my address in the USA because US customs had requested it. "I don't know - the vessel stops at various ports: Antwerp, Hamburg, New York - it's all possible."

I pose questions about the juridiction of the American authorities: "Can they block a crate in Antwerp?" "Well, no. But the can deny access to their territorial waters", she answers laconically. But I don't believe a word of it: I had already received permission from US customs. And why would a shipper risk loading a container, putting other containers on top of it, only to remove everything in another port because 'mine' needs to be unloaded?

Two weeks postponement?

I have very little choice: it'll be difficult travelling without motorcycle (and luggage), so there's no other way: my trip does NOT start May 31st. Also: I can throw my plane tickets away (because my low-fare ticket is not refundable.

It's a false start of a trip that has been postponed more than once already. "But: that's travelling", I exclaim cheerfully, "there are no long trips without problems". There will be more trouble: a (temporarily?) lost motorcycle is nothing serious, especially since I can wait for a solution in the comfort of my home.

I can probably depart June 14th. I'll buy my ticket after I have received some kind of acknowledgement that my motorcycle really is on (or across) the Atlantic.

To be continued...