Thursday, June 30, 2011

Getting Sorted in Paradise

Its Wednesday over here, and another holiday for some reason that I haven't worked out, but then I suppose every day is a holiday for me! Yesterday I caught the Bus into the centre of Papeete which is a modern pretty big city. I had to check in with the Port Authority which monitors all boats coming and going, I had to check with Customs to pay my Bond, and I had a rough address for a sailmaker to find. I visited the supermarket first and bought pastries and a new hat and some juice. ( I VE cake and Pastries and sweet stuff like that) I visited the tourist bureau and then went looking for the sail maker. Something amazing happened - after trudging through various industrial waterfront streets in afternoon heat I couldn't find the sail maker so asked a bloke on a push bike - he didn't speak English so took me to a nearby wholesale supplier of marine equipment where he said there was a guy who spoke English. I met him and he didn't know where a sail maker might be so spoke in French to the woman at the computer - she looked on the internet and was then starting to give me instructions on where it was when a third person appeared - he was the Boss and enquired what was going on - but he spoke English and once he knew said in English to me, " I will take you there" - so he did - and this is the amazing bit - he was the brother of the Gendarme I met in Tubuai, a really friendly "Big Guy" with whom I had enjoyed quite a good chat when arriving there! So this guy whose name was Ramo, was a business man, struggling a bit it seemed from what he was telling me but an equally friendly and warm hearted man - and after the sailmaker he ran me into town and so we had a really nice chat. Such a small world - and walking along the docks what did I spy but "Tuhaa pae" the interisland freighter I had made way for in Tubuai!. I am feeling part of this place already! AND who wouldn't want to be - its fabulous. Ive noticed the combination of French style and Tahitian Polynesian beauty makes for some wondrous looking women!

The Harbormaster guy was straightforward, but Customs ! You speak to this guy through a window on the outside of the little shed his office is in by the waterfront, like buying a ticket to a movie - but he said first I had to pay the bond at the Bank. So I found a bank - wrong one - has to be Socredo - so I found that, queued for half an hour- - wrong Branch - has to be the Main One so found that, queued for an HOUR - wrong queue - queued for another 20 minutes - and they wouldn't accept my Credit Card unless I had a PIN and wouldn't accept signature even though I had my Passport with me - they wouldn't even accept Cash! So back to the man in the window - he gave me the card of an Agent - I rang three times,- after finding a shop to buy Phone Card then Public Phone- the Agent was on out, then on another call, then I was asked to ring the mobile - engaged! So by then I was a bit fed up, and of course the next day was a holiday so nothing was going to happen for a couple of days anyway - the Customs guy didn't seem distressed about that so I decided I would Phone my Bank in Australia - there's a number on the back of your Gold VISA for international help - and asked them to send me a PIN which they will but it will take a few days - whatever! Bugger the idea of paying an Agent to do paperwork for me because they don't accept my signature or even Cash! I am smiling about all this today - it seemed mad yesterday but that's just the way it happens here, what the hell I'm on Holiday!

Today, I woke early and took the main off the mast in readiness for it being picked up tomorrow at the marina - and then installed the Shade Awnings made for Sapphire in Opua. I will post photos when I get a chance but today it kept the intense heat of the sun off the boat much of the time and kept it a bit cooler inside. I also dived into the water a few times and a had a swim - the water is wonderfully clear and warm - it was very refreshing. I also have done my Laundry and right now I'm at one of the Marina Café Bars and having a Beer as I write in the late afternoon. I cooked some steak at breakfast time - it wouldn't have kept in the heat - and will have that with salad and crusty French bread and margarine when I head back to the boat shortly. So tomorrow, the Sailmaker comes and after that I shall start thinking about some Touristy things to do while waiting for the sail to get fixed. I don't plan on any other repairs in Papeete - the Prop shaft seal seems to have fixed itself and the leaks are not life threatening.

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

No comments:

Post a Comment