This morning 8:45 we dropped anchor in Academy Bay on the south side of Isla
Santa Cruz. There are 18 sailboats in the bay, about 10 dive/day-cruise
boats, and two megayachts. Three of the sailboats we know already from
France, Colombia, and Panama.
Shortly after arrival our friend Andre came over with his dinghy and our
immigration agent Irene on board. Irene collected some documents then left
to return an hour later with the Navy official who inspected the boat and
didn't believe me when I said we have 5 GPS, 4 VHF radios, and 2 satphones
on board. Which of course isn't true, counting the phones, tablets, cameras
there are 15 GPS units on board. It's vital, so you gotta have spares,
I remember when I bought a GPS for my brother in 1994 for his Africa
motorbike trip, how something special it was then. And how he lost it when
he fell off the bike in a sand dune and only noticed it two hours later and
drove back all the way to dig the thing out of the sand :-). So while my
brother is perfectly fine crossing a desert without a GPS and find a little
sand hole, I wouldn't be able to find an island in the Pacific without one.
A continent, ok. A little island, no way. Maybe I should practice that ...
Back to the naval officer. He also told us in his gravest voice and most
serious face that we can only stay a maximum of 21 days. If we stay any
longer we are in big trouble. And that we cannot move the boat out of the
anchorage. We can tae any trip, but the boat has to stay here until we
leave. Which has to be before 21 days are up or we're in big trouble. He
repeated that just to make sure we got it. Yessir.
We hope to finish all immigration procedures today, which also includes a
"selective fumigation" of the boat so that we don't import any bugs. We'll
know more in the afternoon. Overall we paid USD 610 in park-, immigration-,
and agent fees for two people.
Then I would like to organize some dive- and photo-tours, and edit the
photos and video of the trip. The boat needs a little maintenance as well,
but nothing that should keep us more than three days. So we're thinking that
maybe in 10, 14 days we're out of here. If there's wind ...
Yesterday a french single-hander who left 6 days ago drifted back into the
bay after he ran out of wind on the first day of his trip to the Marquesas.
Then he ran out of diesel. Then the currents brought him back.