02 September 2015 | Lautoka
the monumental task of clearing in took most of the day. Questioned why we didn't clear in on Friday night and not happy about the Port Authority telling us to anchor til Monday. Started the process......please now take the health officer to your boat for spraying......now you need to go to the bio security office.....$89 plus $112 to dispose of your garbage ( 1 small bag )...... Now you have to get a cruising permit from in town......Oh! Please go with the health officer to the nearest ATM to get $279.50 and pay her in the car.....did they think we wouldn't pay? After the payment, back in the bio security office we could pay their exorbitant fee by credit card. Now how does 2 Government offices in the same building have such extreme methods of payment?
Now we headed for the cruising permit which had to be brought back to the customs/immigration. After a long wait in a queue, the question was....where are your immigration papers? This is all I have was the reply.....no immigration papers, no permit. So I showed our passports duly stamped with an immigration stamp.....half an hour later, please fill in this request and come back in 4 hours. This time we spent at the fruit/veg markets and supermarket plus travel agent for flights for Janelle and Darrell. Back for the permit. You have to sign your crew off at immigration. Armed with travel tickets and hoping to finish things off, after many sorts of directions I found the office to be told, you do this after they leave Fiji. Bit like Greece where each office does not know where others are located and exactly what they do and when. Back to customs and the lady was surprised I had the permit as she said it usually takes 3days. And was she surprised that immigration don't want to see us until the crew flys out...what a day, and to boot we are getting covered with black trash from the sugar mill. Better days ahead!!!