Thursday, July 2, 2009

Transatlantic Crossing

Well, my trip to the Steller's Sea Eagle began with a Air France trans-atlantic crossing. Despite the company's recent track record the journey was more or less successful. Interesting details to mention were:
H1N1 virus phycosis. In the plane we were given some forms where we have to state the seat number and relative's address. The form was designed for those whose destination is Paris. For those who are making transit flight the form was confusing, and flight attendants were not helpful. The arriving public was greated by medical control in the St. Petersburg by hi-tech IR imaging devise pointed at faces of the passengers. I guess that if the face temperature was a bit elevated then there was a firing squard was at hand. This reminds me my experience with SARS adventures in China. The world (of airlines) never learns....
A strip search at Charles de Gaulle International Airpor, Paris. Well, the 'security' guys were very interested in my cameras. I have had similar experience only in Mongolia, where 'security' guys simply wanted to steal my binoculars. French 'security' went to a new horizons of 'security' by scanning my passport (placed in a separate plastic container!) twice. I thought that was a diversion and watched my smaller items scattered in 5 (!) containers at different sides of the 'security' machine. Interesting to know when harassing of passengers will eventually kill the air companies.
At Charles de Gualle I saw a pilot at the cockpit reading the plane's manual. Scary.
And usual stuff. Typically, TSA ('security' again) was very interested in the outboard jet kit parts in my checked luggage. They put in their card, but failed to pack the parts in the same order. I guess that the 'security' folks cannot identify outboard propeller's in x-ray machine. Seemingly we need 'security' against such 'security'.

Travel continues

Eugene (the Siberian)


  1. I have a number of (bad)experiences with security in France or with AirFrance... The most relevant was that security made my sister-in-law, who has lost a leg, send her prosthesis through the machine (this was years before 9-11). She shook it at them and threatened to bash their heads with it!

  2. The TSA search of my luggage had several important consequences. Since the contents of my water-resistant toolbox was misplaced and the position of the main bearing of the jet kit for my outboard was changed, and the coat which was wrapping the bearing was removed. The tossing of the bag in airport caused 2 major cracks in the toolbox.

    I was not aware of the cracks and used the toolbox in the same manner as I did for the last 3 years. It was the place where I kept my cameras and documents while in the boat, and this was the place which was dry regardess to the sea conditions.

    This time I put my video camera (c. 4k $US), Nikon with VR lens (c. $1,5 k), my vallet with cash and credit cards, GPS and boat documents. I was delivering the cameraman to the Steller's Sea Eagle nest at the Zavialova island. The surf was severe, and I had to keep my boat at the surfline while the cameraman was shooting. We did get a significant amount of water, but did get to the ship without major problems. It was half an hour later after the boat was loaded on the deck, when I discovered that my dry box had few cm of water. Luckily the cameras survived, but my valet was soaked together with my internal passport. For next 12 hr I was drying my troubles inside the ship under a flood of jokes....

  3. But in the end all of this will be worth it right? What an adventure.