The Clutches of Customs

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 17 May 2014 12:17

Alongside Fukuoka
Weather: sunny, mild

I was thinking that the US visa application was going to be the thing that would hold up our departure, but today I was very pleasantly surprised to receive my passport complete with visa back from the US consulate.  So now it is only a matter of finishing off the repairs to Sylph and obtaining a cruising permit and we will be ready to leave.

But, of course, there always has to be hitch of some description. The windvane arrived in Japan yesterday and it was looking promising for it to be delivered today, but last night I checked the tracking status and found that Japan Customs in Osaka have their clutches on it and have put in the bond store to await some paperwork from the receiver, i.e. me. Unfortunately Customs have shut up shop for the weekend so there is nothing I can do about getting the windvane released an on its way until Monday.  Meanwhile, I have mostly finished fitting the old brackets and have started painting the transom. Once the paint dries I will be able to do the final bolting on and tightening up of the brackets so that when the windvane does arrive it should be a very simple matter of shipping it directly into the brackets. With luck, once the windvane is here, fitting it should only take a day. Then I trust it will be ready to take Sylph and her crew across the oceans for at least as many miles as its faithful predecessor.

And the shiny new pushpit was delivered late today. Fitting it will be tomorrow's main task. My goal will be to have it bolted down and the solar panels remounted by sunset. One of the pushpit's spray cloths needs repairing but I figured that I would wait until the pushpit was fitted before sewing it up, in case it needed any modifications to fit the new pushpit. It shouldn't, but one never knows, and I certainly have plenty of things to keep me busy.

Next weeks “to do” list:

Sunday: fit pushpit and remount solar panels.
Monday: sort out customs. I suspect this is going to take a day, then if all goes well the windvane might be delivered on Tuesday. Submit application for visiting closed ports (depending on when the windvane will be released from customs).
Tuesday: rain forecast. Repair and fit pushpit spray cloths. Design new name for transom – I cannot get any stick on letters here, so will have to try to make some of my own or, God forbid, I might have to paint the name on. Purchase new HF radio receiver.
Wednesday: Fit windvane (probably best case scenario).
Finish fitting wind vane. Apply name to transom. Prepare for sea.
Friday: Depart Fukuoka???

It will be interesting to see how it all pans out. And somewhere in there I need to either repair or replace the lower stern light, as well as completing the final essay for my metaphysics course.

All is well.