I was checked by Finnish Customs
today -- the third contact I've had with Finnish officialdom in less than a month in these waters. They are remarkably active for some reason.
The officers were very young, not unfriendly, but focused on trying to find a problem, and it seemed to me, rather stupid.
They asked me: "Do you have any customs
documents for this vessel?"
I said -- "For the time being, the UK is STILL in the EU, so no." They didn't know what to make of this answer, and discussed it among themselves for a long time in Finnish, while looking at my Red Ensign and pointing at my transom, saying something like "Southampton!" "Europi!" "Europi, ja!" "Southampton!". I think despite the highly rated Finnish educational system, we were dealing here with some challenges in geography knowledge. My American passport was probably adding to the confusion by generating a powerful wave of cognitive dissonance.
Eventually I was told in a surprised voice, that "I think there are no problems here." But not before they even checked my O.N. & registered tonnage plaque, and my H.I.N. stamped (thank you Moody) conveniently in the transom.
There was no argo, I was not nervous, it wasn't actually unpleasant, but jeeze . . .
Moral of the story: Always keep your documents in absolutely perfect order!