Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Update From Bermuda

We’ve already been here a week! We’ve been visiting our Bermudian friends and watching our tans fade. The cloudy sky and cool breezes have forced me into wearing pants most days and giving my captain reason to pause regarding our departure further north.

We continue to hear horror stories from people who used the bank in Antigua. The theory is that the phone lines used for doing bank transactions were tapped because the crooks also got pin numbers – they print new ATM cards using the real (stolen) account numbers with another name that matches their id and because they also know the pin number, they can get cash. I though I was so smart draining my account but earlier this week I noticed it was nearly $2000 overdrawn. I purposefully do not have an overdraft service, but according to my bank they sometimes have a “cushion” for accounts considered to be in “good standing”. Lucky me. The two biggest transactions were $1000 cash from a Post Office and a $500 ATM withdraw both on the same day in a town in Illinois. I never withdraw that much, never mind on the same day. Lucky for me I was out at sea and have paperwork to prove it. However I still must deal with claim papers to clear up the mess, which I have to sign before they can be processed! Never did like this bank… Apparently the US banks have deferred making some security changes to keep up with the times (relative to other parts of the world) because it is so expensive. No wonder our banking fees keep going up - we’re covering people’s fraud claims.

We’ve been asked to deliver a Bermuda based racing boat, a Swan Club 42, to Newport. We set sail shortly. This will be a unique experience because this boat, while new, is a very light weight boat and it lacks many of the modern conveniences I have grown so accustomed to such as heat, a real galley and other basic living comforts. We also won’t have single sideband radio but I will attempt to post a blog via satellite phone for the first time. We have two additional crew making the passage and no doubt their helping hands will make things easier for me. It should take us less than 5 days to reach Newport.

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