Saturday, October 13, 2012

Too many officials

Most of today was spent checking out from Vava'u Island of the Kingdom of Tonga. We had to go to Immigration, the Port Authority, and Customs. This was strange as we weren't leaving the Kingdom of Tonga, we were only leaving this Island.

The walk to Immigration was at the middle of town where we had to wait for about an hour for people ahead of us. Then the official was upset with us as we did not go to Immigration when we checked in. We had been told previously by officials that we only had to check in with Customs as we had already checked into the Kingdom of Tonga at Niuatoputapu, but he disagreed.

Next was the Port Authority. This tiny hole-in-the-wall office was several long blocks from the town center and nowhere near the water. Very strange.

Jordan filling in the paperwork

Finally, was Customs with more papers to fill out - almost identical to the ones we filled out when we checked in. Hmmm, is this not already stored in their computers? He also said we were not allowed to stop at any islands in the Vava'u Group but had to go directly to the Ha'pai Group. We said we definitely wanted to stop in the Vava'u Group so he agreed to give us a few days grace. This was an issue we had never encountered before in our travels but smiled and said goodbye.

We were expecting company for dinner on Sea Turtle but it was late and our dinghy's motor was out of operation as the shear pin had broken once again. So we called our guests-to-be on VHF and had them meet us at a restaurant instead where we treated them for helping us with our computer. They then towed us back in our dinghy to Sea Turtle.

A nice end to a long and frustrating day.

Sea Turtle at Vava'u Island

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where are you Now? If I may ask(12-22-12).