Arrived Pahngo Pahngo (that is how we have been told it is pronounced) at 07:30 local - we are now GMT - 11 hours
Exactly 9 days but we were due to arrive at midnight and slowed way down to get to the mouth of the harbor for first light. We did try anchoring at one of the islands about 60 miles away but the wind and waves were in the wrong direction.
1260 miles completed in total.
On arrival the Port Captain asked us to tie up next to a tug so that we could be processed faster. He then forgot all about us and didn't pass our arrival information on to the 5 departments required to clear us in. 2 hours after being tied up I reminded him again and we immediately had the Port Authority and Quarantine Authority at the boat. Another call an hour later and we had Immigration. Yet another hour and another call and we finally had the Customs and Health Authorities onboard. 5 copies of almost the identical document and all seems to be done and dusted except we are now told we have to pay a call to the Port Captain to get our permit to be in the harbor. After an hour of sailing stories regarding the various Rogue waves he has encountered, obviously brought on by the name of our boat, I sign the terms and agreement to pay the hefty anchorage charge of $0.50 per night. This agreement is in 4 copies, 3 to be retained by him and one copy for me. He then tells me we have to deliver two of his copies to his two departments on the other side of the building. We only intend staying 4 to 5 days so that is three departments in the harbor and 5 other governmental bodies involvement and the time to send a representative to our boat plus the time to process all the paperwork for the total anchoring fee of $2. I guess there has to be something to show for all the US $ that they are receiving. This done and we are free to leave the stiflingly hot side of the tug and go to anchorage. 5 hours in total. Every person we have met during this bureaucratic nightmare has been as polite and as friendly as you could possibly hope for. Everyone from the Customs Official to the security guard has wished us a pleasant stay and asked where we are from etc etc.
I trade one cold beer for the use of a water hose at the dock, fill the tanks and every bottle available onboard, Noi does a panic wash of the bed linen and off we go.
The anchorage is at the end of the bay and gets good wind which is good and bad. The good is that it is extremely hot and without the wind it would be hell. The bad is that one entire half of the harbor is taken up with a fish processing plant which chucks up a tad. I can put up with the smell but then I am used to being married to a Thai, not that Thai's smell that is, more that they tend to have fish smelling food stored somewhere or another almost constantly. Noi says it is a nice smell and makes her hungry!! It actually smells like kippers being cooked. I have read several reports of the bay being heavily polluted but it turns out to be cleaner than any commercial port I have been in. I would imagine yachties don't go to too many commercial ports so don't have much to compare it to. There is also one other slight draw back and that is the power generating plant for what has to be the entire island is half way down the bay. This obviously runs 24 hours and is fairly noisy. Luckily the wind has been strong enough to drown out the generator noise but I would imagine on a windless day this would be an extremely hot, noisy and smelly anchorage.
We are off to town, no mobile telephone signal here for some reason and my sat phone isn't working. There is however a very strong internet signal and if it is fast enough once I get signed up we should have Skype.
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