06 October 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Wednesday 4 October 2017
Observed a first for Darwin. Online purchase arrived on projected date. Of course it took 6 days after departing Auspost depot near Sydney to arrive Darwin and another 2 days for delivery, but they nailed it. Alert the media.
I have large, fat hands. While somewhat inconsequential to a broad cross-section of humanity it has made my fingering of chords on the 3/4 Yamaha C40 guitar (purchased in Auckland awhile ago) more fretful (a little guitar humor). Nut width (a little guitar lingo) is 48 mm while a full-size C40 measures 52. The big one was the above referenced acquisition. Unlike the presumably long departed and unlamented Chesterfield 101 cigarettes "a silly millimeter longer" a bit more in this case makes a real difference. Just to clarify, I do not actually play the instrument. With more than a bit of spare time (between contemplating and even, when avoidance is absolutely impossible, doing boat work) have begun taking lessons, improving from not at all to terrible. Hoping for improvement by next July to poor. Anybody with smaller fingers looking for a 3/4?
Not only does Australia make entering the country in a foreign yacht expensive and difficult (US friends just arrived in Bundaberg from SoPac had their boat torn apart over a week at great expense to them), but now they're jerking their own cruisers around as well. Flogging through the Byzantine rules and getting conflicting answers from Border Force (the name gives you a hint) agents when several people contacted her about their difficulties, Rosemary Jilderts from Oz-based Mysailing.com finally determined, maybe, that one must export his boat when going offshore, reimport upon return, pay for a pest inspection that can run to many hundreds of dollars if the boat is considered "high risk" and show proof that no work has been done to improve its value to avoid assessment of duty. This information and sundry forms are difficult or impossible to get from the website (or from officials). It was a long article and detailed much officious bureaucratic crap, but the bottom line is seemingly to discourage Aussies from cruising out of country. They're stuck, but foreigners coming across the Pacific might consider giving the the Australian nanny state a miss. If you have to see the place leave your boat in lovely New Zealand and fly over. Bring lots of cash.