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Sailng on Windwanderer.
No Photos 4th Dec 2013
Wednesday 4th December 2013

Wednesday 4th December 2013

Well it’s really nice to wake up in Australian waters I tell you it’s a good feeling, and what a pretty spot this is even if we do feel like we are anchored in the middle of the ocean. We are still a Nautical mile off shore but in under 6meters of water crazy.

We took our time this morning as we know we only have about 3 hours motoring to go and to be honest we are just both so exhausted.

So after the final clean up she looks as good as we can get her and off we set, as we get closer to where we need to check in, we radio Coast Guard to get permission to enter into the Bay and they tell us that you have to go up the Brisbane River to Rivergate Marina to check in now, great that’s another 3-4 hours away and its almost 1pm already.

So we head off in another direction cursing for wasting time and get ourselves back in the channel to get into the harbour.

As we get closer to the entrance we are listening to all the big ships radios and watching them come and go.

Once again we radio Coast Guard at the entrance and they tell us after this next Cargo vessel coming out we have a free run in.

So we are motoring away when yeap the engine starts playing up again, well actually it’s the transmission, and it stops I look up to see the Cargo ship boring down on us, The captain races down stairs pulling up floor boards me radio in hand, ready to call someone as we are going nowhere.

This ship is heading straight for us, I’m in a major panic and relaying to The Captain that its getting closer, we had watched ships before them coming out and the channel sweeps around beside us and knew it would turn very soon, but man I was almost having a heart attack waiting for it to turn, it did in the end and talk about up close and personal man it passed close, I for one have had enough close calls in the last two days with these big guys to last a life time.

So that drama over The Captain gets it all working again and into the harbour we go, we still have a fair way to go and we are starting to panic as we don’t want to get there after hours as they charge a mental amount of overtime rates.

We make it by 4pm a guy from the Marina meets us at the wharf and helps tie us off, yay we are here safe.

Customs comes on board first man were we nervous but they were such a nice pair and we chatted like long lost friends, all went well at first with them and then quarantine come on, The Captain was still busy with customs so I went down with The quarantine guy and started with him doing all the paperwork.

Once again he was a really nice guy too, but man did they take a lot of food off the boat, some of what I never thought they would, he bundles all this into two huge plastic bags along with our rubbish bags and I ask him what they do with it now, he turns around and says we burn it.

Now don’t get me wrong but they take away all this food that is packaged in plastic bags put it in more plastic bags to stop bugs and diseases getting into the country, which is great, but then they burn all that plastic, that’s great for the environment how many times has it been drummed into us not to burn plastic it’s a real no no with all the toxic fumes it puts out. Good one Australia you really look after the environment, crazy.

Then back to Customs and the fun starts, they hand The Captain a email that we were suppose to get before we entered into Australia that was sent when we were in the middle of the ocean.

Stating that they have made a decision with us, we have to pay Stamp Duty and Tax up to around $20,000 or we are only allowed to stay in our own Country for 30 days and then be imported and also we are not allowed in those 30 days to leave Brisbane waters.

As you can imagine that do not go down well, for a start we are not paying them the money as we are not importing the boat into Australia and when the time comes to sell we will be selling overseas.

Any other foreign vessel coming into Australia is allowed to stay up to 12mths have the freedom to sail anywhere around Australia and pay nothing, but because we are Australian citizens on an Australian registered boat we have to pay this crazy money or be kicked out of our own country.

And to put icing on the cake, anywhere from here to sail out is putting us back into full blown cyclone weather, the only safe place we can go is New Zealand but not from here if they allow us to sail down to Sydney we may get a good weather window and sail across there and leave the boat and fly home for awhile.

We are not going down without a fight I tell you, there are emails and phone calls flying back and forth, so watch this space.

Well tomorrow is another day.

Next: Thursday 5th December 2013
Previous: Tuesday 3rd december 2013

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