Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Mon 23 Sep 2019 14:56
position 10 09.380S 20 S 123 34.810E

A long day sorting out the paperwork with Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Port Captain. I met Ayub on the beach at 7am, took a Meto minibus to the customs office where we met up with Rob from Perth and Frank from Hamburg, also checking in (both also sailing solo). The customs have a web site that enables you to enter all the yacht and personal details on-line. I had entered my details but didn't  get manage to print out the completed form in Darwin before the web site crashed. It was still inaccessible at the customs office so that held things up and I had to use a biro to fill in a copy of Franks form which the officer was then going to re-enter on the web site if and when it recovers. Rob and Frank also had trouble with the web site but Franks form had at least a print out.

Then back to the boat to wait for customs, immigration and quarantine to visit me on board. Unfortunately the wind had freshened substantially causing a short chop that was uncomfortable on the boat and bordering the wrong side of dangerous in the dinghy. I phoned Ayub to suggest that the officers may prefer to delay untill the wind dropped but that didn't register and so the  4 officers arrived on the beach seemingly unphased by the state of the sea. Quarantine at least had life jackets and I took the 2 of them 1st, one a lady in her hijab. We were all soaked getting through the surf but I managed to get the engine started before we were dumped back on the beach and with more splashes from the chop and screams of fear from both officers we reached the boat and managed to get them aboard without injury. The 2nd trip with customs and immigration was less succesful as the painter caught in the prop as we cleared the surf so this time we did get dumped back on the beach, drenched but still in remarkably good humour. 2nd attempt at the 2nd trip went better and with 4 wet officers on board the form filling and stamping and swapping was  a bit like a roudy game of donkey. They were keen for me to stamp all the forms too and my Ocean Rival stamp that I had specially made had its first airing.  The quarantine officers had spotted my oranges hanging in a string bag, but unlike the Aussies, who took them away in a rubbish bag, werent bothered about disease but just loved oranges and wolfed down a couple while we form filled.

After 2 more wet journeys back to the beach Ayub arranged a taxi to take us back to the immigration office for my green book, (I think I am supposed to record all diseases in it while in Indonesia) then on to Customs for clearance papers. Unfortunately customs were out visiting Frank and  Rob and didn't get back to the office untill after 5.30pm looking bedraggled. Then on to the Port Captain. Ayub had warned me to wear trousers for the port captain who was clearly a step up in importance.

His office was much shabbier then  either customs or quarantine but he sat behind his large desk looking very superior and telling me off for pronuouncing Komodo like something that emerges from your backside than the home of dragons. Then he admitted that he couldn't sign me out and I spoke to a lady on his phone whose job it was to do the signing only she had left work but would come back at 7pm. So another long wait discussing politics with Ayub (no honest polititions in Indonesia) and his general lack of  faith in indonesians and total reliance on westerners.  When the lady arrived she had two children in tow just out of their Taekwondo class who greeted the port captain a kiss (he was laid out on the floor having a massage).  So it became clear that she was his wife and also the Port Captain and he was just keeping the seat warm for her.  The whole office had become a family outing- the other 3 officials joining in the messing about while the Port Captain sorted out the paperwork and let me go.

By then we had let the taxi go and the meto minibuses had stopped running out to the port but Ayub commandeered 2 motorbike riders to take us back to town. I am not  sure if the dinghy ride or the motorbike was the more stressful but I felt that the consequences of a motorbike capsize would have been more painful.

I paid Ayub his fee which leaves me a bit short of cash for fuel and food, and he pointed out the streetfood market so I grabbed a fish supper - choosing my fresh caught fish before having it bar-b-qued and served with rice and salad.