so the new system is much better.
Anchored at the Q buoy and called up Yachting World. They called customs and in 15 minutes Simon was on board processing the paper work. 10 minutes later, all done and he's off. He said we could move to a mooring, just don't go ashore and keep the yellow flag up until cleared by Biosecurity. We had tied up to a mooring (more about that later)and there was a call on the VHF from Customs, Simon said he was bringing the Biosecurity man (he doesn't have a boat, we do) to do the clearance. Again, very efficient, went away with some garlic, ginger and a few onions..and we're done !
Dinghy in to see Yachting world and get signed up...back to Elyse and a quiet night ...a whole nights sleep on a bed that's not moving !!
Next morning the guy from YW is coming towards us in a yellow boat...you're on a private3 mooring he says, you need to move. OK, so we untied and went to another mooring and then I realised that all the YW mooring buoys are yellow cans with numbers on them , the one we tied up to had nothing on it.....oh well.
Tied up on mooring #14, went to town to immigration, but they're not where they were in the old building on the waterfront, they've moved. A frindly woman in the office that used to be immigration said I'll show you and led us off back down the stairs to the street. By the way I'm Becky and introductions all round, where you from, where are going...shew took us to where we could see a black gate...in there she said..ok thanks.
No signs anywhere...on the ground floor is the cashier section with three windows...middle one is immigration, but there's a sign, cashier closed due to meeting. reopen after lunch at 2pm...ok...so where is the office, must be upstairs. Up the stairs, still no signs...went into one door, but it was a travel agent...other side she said...so OK, down a corridor lined with filing cabinets, there's another door, is this it ?..through the door there's two choices left or right, I choose left, wrong, it's the other way. There's other people in front of us so we have to wait..not long. Then its form filling...again...and an invoice for 4800 vatu (AUD60)...but the cashier is closed ... you van pay me, she says, but i can't give you a receipt and I have no change...well that's no good, we'll come back after lunch time....
So back to the boat via the Nambawan cafe...
After lunch we head back in to town to pay the immigration....but it's closed !
Upstairs to see the immigration lady ... yes cashier closes 2.30pm....oh dear...ok, when are they open in the morning? 8.30 to 12...OK, we have to come back tomorrow.
so.....back to the boat and prepare to go up the hill to the French supermarket Au Bon Marche.
Standing in the dinghy just about to leave when a tin boat comes up...you were on our mooring last night a big dark voice says...yes nobody told us it was a private mooring...well it is an there's a fee 1500vatu... what ??? I get my nickers in a knot about it until reason prevails (Gunilla) .I come to the realisation that of course we pay him for that night and pay YW one less night, so what's the difference..I pay him and we part in good humour.
Off to Au Bon Marche, and the best supermarket we have seen for a long time...they have everything, fresh Vanuatu sirloin steak 1995 vatu/kg (~AUD25) and it's beautiful meat, quite unlike Fiji where the meat is generally hard frozen and terrible.
And of course, lots of French products, a great deli, and wonderful wine selection.
So manhandled the shopping with the trolley down the "footpath" (looks like its been in a war) to the marina and onto the boat.
Next day we go to the market which is wonderful, much better than I remember and certainly a lot better than the market in Lautoka. An abundance of fresh vegetables, almost everything you could want, except potatoes. Lots of kumala(sweet potato) and casava, yams etc but no potatoes. Never mind we got a lot of good stuff to keep the scurvy at bay.
So today we have the cruising permit and will leave Port Vila tomorrow morning for Port Havannah and then points north.