After a good nights sleep, Brian had his driver take us to the Indonesian Consulate so we could begin the process of getting a long stay visa for Indonesia. The Indonesian government supposedly has made getting into the country on a sailboat easier in the last few years.... now a week later, we are still fighting to get their Yachters website to work so our visas can be issued. The people here are being as helpful as they can, but the problem seems to be one that will keep us here for a while until it gets fixed.
This last week on a dock has afforded us the opportunity to get a BUNCH of jobs done that are difficult to do when on the anchor, so this has not been a wasted week. We have repaired our mainsail, repaired the broken boom Vang, repaired the main sail bag, added the name of our boat to our bow (A HUGE THANK YOU to Shelley’s brother, Bob for making this up for us when we were home), and did a bunch of repairs to the dinghy and it’s cover.
While we have worked hard, we also had time to explore a little of this exciting country. We were warned that moving about in PNG was fraught with danger. We have found exactly the opposite to be true. Everywhere we have been we have felt safe and been greeted and treated with kindness and generousity.
We were invited to attend a local provincial dance competition... Life changing stuff!
|Bird of Paradise Headdress|
|Dancing with a live crocodile!|
|Our friend Brian with his grandson and his wife...|
Our real problem here has been the system that would allow us to register our boat for entry into Indonesia has been down for weeks, and there is no other way to register the boat in order to get the visa we need for a longer term stay... Catch 22! We have now hired an agent to manually do the boat paperwork and hopefully we can get our visas before the end of the week.
The boat is provisioned for another 8-10 day passage through the infamous Torres Straight. There are sections of this where the safe channel is less than 100 meters wide... we will be depending on our navigation equipment and our eyes to get through this tricky section. Our plan is to arrive in Tual, Indonesia later next week.
We will post another blog when we arrive.