Tue 14 May 2019 08:11
On Sunday we had some great snorkeling before we left Seruto and set course for Pontianak where we will clear out of Indonesia.
At 5:07 on Monday morning we crossed the equator and King Neptune showed up to baptize a new member of his Kingdom. "Pelle the Buddha".
Closing on Pontianak river we saw many cargo ships anchored, transferring cargo to barges pulled by tugboats. The reason was soon clear when the water depth went very shallow going up river. Had 2,1m on the echo sounder for a while.
We anchored near the Harbour masters office. Our first visitors was two friendly police officers that asked us to move ea bit. After that the customs came aboard and wanted to do an inspection. While they inspected I moved the boat to just outside their jetty. They were very friendly and we left the dinghy tied up to one of their boats.
Next visit was to Immigration where we soon had our passports stamped for leaving the country next day. The papers they gave us we walked over to the Harbour masters office and asked for a port clearance to Kuching, Malaysia. Come back at 15.00 we were told and went shopping.
We found a Carrefour shop in the Mata Hari mall. Here we bought essentials and even found some Bintang beer. An expedition later hunting for a bottle of gin turned out fruitless.
Back to the Harbour masters office a long ordeal started that took hours. First nobody could find our papers from Immigration that we left a couple of hours earlier. Papers found I was asked by little boss to come with him to his office. He took me to big bosses office where we waited about 40 mins. to be let in.
Then followed a long lecture where I had to ltterally crawl on my knees. He among other things gave me shit for not having security clearance from the navy to sail in Indonesian waters ans especially in "his" river.
I managed to find some papers in Indonesian that talked about the new simplified system for cruising yachts that has been running for a year.
It turned out that we were the first yacht ever to come to Pontianak for clearance.
Another 45 mins. of paper pushing and I had my port clearance. Phuui!
After that ordeal we stayed on board the rest of the night. Our game of Mexican train was rudely interrupted by a thunder storm with torrential rain.