New Caledonia to Australia (Bundaberg) - Arrived Safely 24 45.722S 152 23.176E

Mike and Liz Downing
Fri 19 Oct 2012 13:09
We're in Australia! Parakeets have replaced sparrows, Ibis are walking around gardens and a white headed eagle flew past. We're told that kangaroos are frequently seen across the road. It's all a bit different here!

The light winds of last night did continue and with both poled-out genoas set we ghosted along under sail through the night at around 3-4kts with no engine. That was more than enough to ensure an arrival just after 08.00, when Quarantine and Customs start work. Our mileage for the passage was 808.6 and it took 6 days. Had the winds of the first 4 days continued it would have been 5 days. We were the only boat leaving for Bundaberg when we did; others intending to make the same passage left 4 days later on Wednesday. They are having a good run, but the weather is due to deteriorate badly on Tuesday and so they're now under time pressure to get in on Monday before it arrives.

Having docked at the Quarantine/Custom's berth, Quarantine were the first to arrive and were very thorough. They take away a long list of foods that you cannot bring into the country, such as fruit, vegetables, meat and eggs. They even took away an unopened packet of banana chips! All flour, rice and pasta is inspected for bugs and taken away if any are evident. They take away any rubbish you have on board, including the contents of the vacuum cleaner. All lockers are inspected to check for insects (particularly termites) and even drawers are taken out to check the runners are okay. Although thorough, they were very courteous, explaining the whys and wherefores of all the restrictions. The inspection over, we were given a clean bill of health. Customs and immigration then followed and the whole process was over in a couple of hours and we were able to take our yellow Q flag down and move the boat into the marina. We now have to wash the boat down to get rid of all the salt and take off all the long-passage gear, such as the trysail and storm jib, and return the inside stowage arrangements from passage making to coastal cruising. That will keep us busy for a few days!

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