Clearing in told by Kenneth

Do it by the book, or by the book, that was the question we asked urselves when we woke up in the shadow of the perfect vulcano, mt. Mayon just by the city of Tabaco, which by the way, it appered doesn't,cater for a pipe smoker like myself.
Well, when the others eventually got up, we took the dinghy to the port and landed in the shadow of a 50.000 ton chinaman unloading gypsum for the local cement factory. Theese guys here even import the sand for their cement.
After a bit of wandering around we eventually found a person who had an idea about what clearing in was and kindly informed us it was not possible i Tabaco but we have to go to Legazpi, an hour busride or 45 minutes by taxi

Well, we packed Lotta and Jontte and their gear in the dinghy and went back to the harbour and walked up to town in order to find an atm as we didn't have any local pengo.
Asking a policeman at the corner of the main street he pointed across the street at a sign! After some queueing Lars got in and out again, without any pengo, pesos that is!
In again with a guard equipped with a twelwe bore! Well he did the magic and suddenly we had tens of tousands - it takes 50 to get a dollar!
Off to the busstation and soon we found ourselves on a 2018 model super acd thing with Bruce Willis and half a dozen nice looking girls killing, exploding etc around half the world on a widescreen, well almost.

Off we went and at a speed that would have made a Finnish policeman's, not day, but month. Honk honk and one more jeepney was passed. Despite the overtaking etc we arrived all in one piece at the busterminal that seemed miles away from anything. The only thing there was in abundance was jepneys, the Philippines answer to any mass transport, that is over a dozen people, less ride a tricycle.

The best way to find customs etc. seemed to be to get to the harbour so we grabbed a motorized tricycle, that is two. Lars and I sqeezed into one and Lotta and Jonathan and their monstersize backpack into another. Five minutes and we arrived and the guy wants 40 money. I tell him get lost, you have a fare list on your window and it says 8 plus one per kilometre, so you get 20 and even that is robbery. The other guy wanted even more, but I told them forget it, give him 20 and that's it.

In we went to a super acd and ultra modern harbour master's office, she was a she by the way, and she tells us that customs is up the road that way. Ok so we walk, and walk, and ask and ask and, believe it or not find the place.

A vey nice and knowledgable lady looks at the papers we have left since PNG, copies them and attacs her computer. After about 37 seconds the thing is done an she gives us five copies as you are supposed to clear in in all different districts you call, as we would know which is which, it sometimes seeming difficult to know which country you are in!
Anyway, Lars was sent nex door to pay the horrendous fee, 230 local, i.e. 4,6 usd, and that was it.

Ok so we ask for directions to immigration and the lady draws me a " map", that is four lines on an a4, but I got the idea and off we went. It was supposed to be quite close, well, as my namesake the more intelligent Albert said, everything is relative.
However, after may be 20 minutes I just happen to look up on a building, and there, sqeezed between a hughe ad for an insurance compay and a bit more modest one for an hotel of very dubious class is a small sign, Ministry of Interior, Immigration office, Legazpi.

You may imagine my pride when I stop and point at the door. What an orienteering champion my poor country lost in me when I fell for the horse world!
Ok, in we go and my faithful companion an ecodrive citizen diver's watch shows 10.30 filippino horas. We state our business and everything goes smoothly untill there's talk about j and L leaving and wanting to return to the boat in the north Philippines having gone abroad in the meantime. Ups, this was something even newer than having the first yacht ever clearing in in Tabaco / Legazpi!

Ok, we contact Manila and ding ding ding goes the fax! machine and the boss of all, at least four bosses, tells us it will take a while, because we have to contact Manila. Ok we wait. Once in a while one of the five people on our "case" comes and asks something, tells that they have to contact Manila, or just chats. After about two hours I feel a personal dilemma, it's too cold inside and it's too hot outside, So I jump out for five minutes and when I start boiling get in again.

Eventually Manila had spoken and Lars is to send a very polite, complicated and long mail to some high fiscal somewhere. How does that work, well you get access to our top secret encrypted NSA secure wifi, but first yu have to sign the document and photograph it. Ok said and done, of it goes, but that's not enough. Jonathan has a pow wow with one of the chiefs and a new document is decided to be issued. A very nice, and good looking, lady, who is not a chief starts filling in said document in triplicate, not with carbon paper in between, but three originals. This done the biggest chif disqalifies them and writes them himself. In the meantime J has run next door half a dozen times to get xeroxes as above mentioned ministry hasn't supplied it's Legazpi office with one. Also in the meantime the remaining indians (two) have served about a dozen alians who wanted their visa prologned, their company proving why.

While the chief of all chiefs concentrates on getting our names spelled at least somwhere in the direction of correctly a lady chief informs me she wants to come and visit our ship!
Ok I say, when, we will pick you up at the jetty and take you to the boat. With what kind of boat she goes, a dinghy say I and explain what it means. Well may be I take a colleague whit me she says. Ok, when will you come? Tomorrow morning. Ok, I say and wonder why she is so keen, untill I realize that they have stamped a passport without actually seeing him, Darryl that is, who is guarding the boat in Tabaco.

Meanwhile the chief of all chiefs has finnished his writing and proudly presents the final document of salvation for L and J. After ample farewell ceremonies with a lot of bowing and hand shaking we leave, cross the street into the first available local joint and order four ice cold beers. It is 2.30 in the afternoon! The upside is naturally that the whole rigmarole didn't cost a cent!

We had a nice lunch, and a beer, and started walking towards a place where we could get some local sim cards. Lotta and Jonathan went their way in order to find a bus for Manila and Lars and I orientated through some very picturesque streets towards the jeepney terminal. On the way we found a store selling phones and other geek stuff, but no sim cards. Where can you get them I ask? Out in the street says the girl and shows a girl with a tray full of the much wanted stuff. We buy some for ediculous money, i.e. cheap and soon find ourselves in the middle of about 576 jeepneys of all colours.

In we jump and when the usher / cashier has squeezed 22 people in a vehicle that according to Finnish law would never even roll a meter, let alone carry passangers, off we go. People get off and new ones on, the craziest a longhaired guy with a beautiful white fighting cock under his arm.

Eventually we get down to the port and start wondering how to contact Darryl. Well I walk up on one of the moored ferries and ask if I may use their vhf. Of course says the guy on the bridge, come on up. Up I climb and start calling but get no reply. After a minut or so the guy says that the dinghy has left the boat and is coming this way. Ok thanks a bunch and soon we find ourseoves on board with a very well deserved Red Rooster.
As you may imagine we had a quiet evening on board.

I got up at my normal six and the others somewhat latet. Their quiet evening had been a bit longer than mine.

Just after eight we get attacked by a huge outrigger, one of those licensed for carrying 30 passangers, and see lady chief immigrations filming us on her pad.
The boat comes alongside and the chief and a serious looking guy with the official port authority shirt on comes aboard. The ladychief dissapears downstairs with Lars and wants to see "this guy" showing a copy of Darryl's passport. She gets to see him and even takes a selfie with him in the picture as well. Thorough, if you ask me

Meanwhile the guy with the official shirt digs out a paper the size of a pack of smokes and tells me we owe him 3765 or something dineros. I ask him why and he says portdues and all that bull. I tell him he wan't get a cent without showing me some documents as I know you don't have to pay ziltch for a boat like our's.
Ok he gulps, you come and see me at my office in the port authority. Deal I say, we have to go to town anyway, we come later.

Then we had the business of paying the boat man, as the chief naturally would not. Lars asked him and the man banged 1000, that is 20 usd for a five minute ride! No way I said, you get 500. 800 says the man and I say ok you get 650, that's in the middle. 650  it was. You can't blame a man for trying, though.

Later we go, after having parked our dinghy under, litterally, a jetfoli ferry cat and gotten the crew to promise not to tow it away in 35 knots, escorted by an armed guard to the shirt guy's very nicely cool office. The guy digs out his paper again and says we owe him 3000 + money. I say no way, show me the paperwork, so he gives me a tariff for commercial shipping which states you have to pay about 20 us cents per metric ton gross. Well, Dawnbreaker is about 35 grt so that ends up to, what, 7 usd, but as we have no cargo the fee is just half! But, but,but he goes,  there is this pilotage.... We don't use a pilot we navigate ourselves, I tell him.

The poor guy gets so confused he has to call the main office, and dissapears. After a while he is back and yes, no pilotage, but we have to pay the mooring fee, at anchorage only half. When did you arrive, yesterday morning I say. Ok so it's two days and scrabble scrabble and rattle rattle go the pen and calculator. You owe me 186,37 or what not, pesos, that is. That turns in to about 4 us dollars

Well, if you have bothered to get this far, the moral of all this is three fold. Firstly don't believe the crusing guides when it comes to remote places and the possibility to clear in.
Secondly, don't let any of your crew jump ship to return to the same country they junped in the first place. That Is
if they not are willing to have a return flight ticket on their return to the boat.
Thirdly, don't let all kind of semi officials try to scam you. Demand tariffs, papers, stamps, and most importantly official reciepts (we got one)

One more, or actually quite a few, experience richer we started towards Donsol and the whalesharks, but that's another story.

Kenneth

.Skickat från min Xperia™-surfplatta