CLOSING IN ON AUSTRALIA - IM HIDING THE CHOCOLATE!
21 September 2010 | Approximately 180 miles from Bundaberg
As I close in on Australia, I change mode from underway to preparing for arrival. The first issue concerns the time of arrival. Being that it is a port I dont know, I must enter it in daylight. Hence, upon awakening this morning, my calculations put me at the port entrance in the middle of the night, tomorrow night(Wednesday). So rather than try to 'tread water' so to speak,at the port entrance until daylight and in the middle of a whole bunch of traffic and in much shallower water, I have slowed Shearwater down. At this present rate I will arrive about 50 miles from the port entrance at about 5 tomorrow afternoon(Wednesday). That will then put me at the port entrance at about 5-6 the next morning(Thursday)....just about where I need to be.
Good chart study ...a general familiarization with what Im going to find at the Marina.... how the docking works...can be tricky in a current - I hear it can be 4 knots... anchor/mooring lines at the ready...quarantine flag up!
Speaking of quarantine flags, the other issue that concerns me is customs/immigration. The australian customs are famous for their thoroughness and the overtime(I pay!) clock is quick to start. So I need to get the boat easy to look through and fast! That goes for all documentation. I already know that they will take virtually all food off the boat! That's a pity! And, if not all in place...big fines! Im hiding the chocolate... ONLY KIDDING!
So, on to Australia!