position N00 59.500 W79 38.902
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Wed 25 Jan 2017 17:58
I was still waiting at 10am for the navy/agent to appear with my documents getting worried that I had been scammed and lost my passport and papers when an old chap came over in a dug out and offered to take me to see the port captain. After a short, wobbly canoe trip and just as we got ashore (which involved a tricky climb up a rip rap rock bank) the rain came down and we sheltered under a canopy where the Esmeralda Port social scene appears to centre. There were games of cards with stones and money and a very animated game of Ludo. Three large jolly ladies (one slightly the mad side of jolly) were cooking fish, chicken and plantains on half a steel oil barrel.
Eventually the rain eased and my elderly guide led me to the port office where I found someone with a little english and managed to explain my problem. Then a phone call to the boss who was on holiday but spoke very good english and eventually they traced the original navy officer who had boarded me the previous afternoon and sure enough he had my papers and passport. No excuse offered for failure to return but my relief was such that I didn't really care. I was asked to return to the office at 4pm for departure in the evening (with yet another $25!). I suppose there are an awful lot of paid officials to supportand very few yachts to bleed. There is actualy another yacht anchored nearby- I little (25 ft?) trimaran that looks in quite good shape. Goodness knows what that story is.
My guide was keen to take me into town -so we took a caro (unofficial taxi) into the centre of Esmeraldas. The main focal point appears to be a new sparkling shopping mall with kfc and amazinly well stocked supermarket. Otherwise the universal half finished concrete buildings gave no clue that the town had a centre at all. I bought some fresh veg and fruit and we taxied back to the port. I settled up with my guide and took a passing Launch back to OR as his dug out appeared to have disappeared. I would like to explore a bit more on my own so may try and make a bid for freedom shortly.
The navy officer has just re-appeared wanting to see the boat registration and know my call sign. He seems to think that I won't be able to leave untill the morning- not sure why. I think I am still down for a 4pm appointment at the port office.