As I noted before, we had filed our eAPIS manifest for our return to the States before we ever left home. From numerous recommendations, we chose to clear through Fort Pierce, FL (KFPR). Just to be sure I had all my bases covered, I used the Blue Phone in the terminal building to call Fort Pierce Customs and notify them of our ETA anyway. The Blue Phones are great since you have a convenient, free way of contacting FSS and the various US Customs airport offices prior to departure.
As I headed out to pre-flight and load the plane, I talked to Demetrius, the same line guy from our arrival about getting some fuel. He immediately brought the truck to the plane, but let me know there was a small problem. The fuel truck's meter was broken. I have one of those graduated dipsticks so we agreed to take beginning and ending soundings of the tanks using my gauge to figure the amount. After the fuel was loaded, we had problem #2. The credit card machine was not working either and of course I didn't have enough cash left on me to cover the entire fuel load. Demetrius agreed to take all my card info and just charge it when the system was working again. It's nice to know people can still trust each other and yes, the charge went through fine a few days later.
With the family on board and the run-up complete, we back taxied on Runway 14 and departed to the southeast. We flew straight out and made it a slow climb while we checked out Treasure Cay from the air before turning west for the Fort Pierce. As we climbed through 7000' we contacted Miami Center and received our IFR clearance to KFPR via BR10L to ZFP (Freeport) then BR62V to ANGEE Int direct at 8000'. We enjoyed the beautiful views of the Bahamas below and were on the ground at KFPR in 1 h 30m.
We shut down in front the US Customs building and unloaded the plane in order to clear back into the USA. The customs agent was great and even though we didn't require stamps in our Passports for re-entry, he gave all us one anyway when he saw Abby was disappointed she didn't get another stamp in hers. Since we filed the eAPIS manifest, the only forms we had to submit was the US Customs Declaration Form. We cleared fairly quickly and I chatted with the agent about the eAPIS system. He gave me a card and asked me to provide feedback when I got home.
After we and the plane were cleared, the line personnel from Volo Aviation towed our plane to their ramp next door and fueled her up as we enjoyed a little lunch at the Airport Tiki. As we ate, I checked the weather for the leg home and it looked like we would have to do some weather routing, but we would be able to get home before thunderstorms arrived later in the afternoon and evening.
With tummies and tanks full, we departed for home. With the assistance of ATC, our stormscope, and onboard XM weather we made some minor deviations around weather near Melbourne and Orlando. Once we got to Daytona it was clear flying all the way home. As is the norm, we put our flying carpet back in its hangar, picked up the dog, and arrived home ready to go back to work and school. We better make this trip again sooner rather than later!