Hoppy which ever way you go you will throughly enjoy the trip until your arrival in Oz as my return has left a bitter taste in my mouth , I arrived in broome in February. I gave plenty of notice of my arrival back in Oz to all the authorities but I ended up arriving of broome on a Saturday so I decide just sail up coast a bit and arrive on a Monday ( cost of clearing in on a a weekend is double) .
When I did arrive in port customs/immigration directed me to drop anchor
in port .
They came out to yacht , I had some food
left but no more than a small plastic shopping
bag which I placed in 2 black bin bags . They spent over 2 hrs searching yacht , I had prepared a complete inventory of everything on yacht , then they questioned me on refrigeration
gas I said it was removed in South Africa
provided certificate , they didn't believe I had it done there showed my time line of clearance in and out .
Next going through my yacht papers and the big question why I had a British flag and registered vessel , ( by this time I was quietly getting pissed of with there attitude )
I just said please read the papers correctly and you will see the yacht is registered to a British company ( my company ) of which I said was legal
and all above board ,
They instructed me then to wait on yacht they went of to check things .
2 hrs later got a call to come ashore so go ashore In dingy , they stamp my passport and issue temporary 18 month import
yacht certificate and hand me a bill of $2345.67
I protested at this they state as it took 5 hrs to clear me in etc that is the bill and its final they where pissed off because they figured on collecting about $68000 in vat and stamp duty .
So go and buy some food
from market damm expensive in that part of world , and head
back to yacht .
15mins after arriving back on yacht I here moto boat pulling up along side
The police officer on board asks me if I have a boat licence I reply I have yachtmaster tickets he says no power boat
licence I say no . He replies that it is law that I must have one for this dingy. Because it's of a certain size and kW rating I said your f%}%^*+ joking How am I to have one when I have been abroad for 25 yrs and not need one he says it's a $500 fine he starts writing ticket and wants my ID driving licence etc handed him my valid UK driving licence he says what's this your an Aussie expletive followed by more expletives because that's where I have lived for past 25 yrs and then asks for my address so I gave him my current
postal address which is a friends UK address ( he is my accouant collecting all my mail ) officer not impressed and hands me the fine 6 weeks to pay then just as leaving tells me if I come ashore in dingy again he will confiscate dingy , been here now 6 months in Oz and yes a lot has changed after 25 yrs away do I like it NO oh how I miss the beautiful idiosyncratic system of Greece Turkey
, and Italy
You bet ya I do
To all those coming here please do it is a beautiful country and great sailing and I especially think the cruising area of Western Australia and Northern Territory is some of the best in the world and that's coming from a ex Victorian