Friday, August 03, 2012

Capricious customs

Our first concern upon arriving in Papeete Tahiti was checking in with our Agent. Next was to retrieve a package waiting for us. After a short bus ride and walk, she gave us instructions and directions on where to retrieve the package at the Customs Postal Depot. She had tried several times to pick it up for us but Customs would not release it to her. They stated that personal medical supplies or equipment (which this was) were not allowed to be sent to Tahiti.

The next day in a windless calm we motored out and around to the inner harbour where it would be much closer for us to retrieve our package. At the approach, we had to radio in to get clearance to pass under the airport runway approach off to our right. We took a berth at the City wharf (S17°32.395' W149°34.209') by Med-mooring - stern tying with the bow held off with an anchor line. We took advantage of the water faucet and cleansed Sea Turtle of salt.

Across the bay in the busy commercial sector of container ships and boat yards was our waiting package. So we launched the dinghy, and in only a short jaunt, tied up to a spot across the street from the Customs holding depot.

We approached with trepidation borne from past experiences of dealing with nightmarish experiences with Customs, but also because our Agent had been refused retrieval.

We walked in and handed them the same papers that our Agent had presented to them. The lady walked back into the compound, quickly returned with a box, called over another man who said Sign here, gave us the box, and we blurted Merci (Thank you). We glanced at each other and read in our faces Let's quickly get out of here before they change their mind. So go figure!

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