Sunday, October 13, 2013

Indonesia check in

While still in New Zealand back in August, we had hired an Indonesian agent located in Jakarta to handle all the paperwork required for checking into Indonesia. He was very highly recommended by sailor friends and we had even personally met him when he gave a presentation to all the sailors in Opua, New Zealand, who were planning to visit his country.

He very expediently handled our CAIT (cruising permit), sponsor letter, and VISA forms. All we had to do was take the paperwork with VISA forms to get our VISAs as processed and passports stamped at their embassy in Fiji. Simple. All handled by our agent very quickly with instant answers to any email questions that we had. Very efficient. No problems, right?

Our agent then emailed us the name of the town where we were to check in to the country, and the name of his helper who would complete the necessary steps.

After our joyous experience at our 1st Indonesian island, we arrived 7.5 hours later at the sprawling small city of Tual (S05°38.302' E132°44.367') on October 13th where we were to officially check in. Tual is on the island on Kei Kecil. There was only 1 other boat anchored, Veedon Fleece, out of Australia and they immediately invited us over for a welcoming happy hour cocktail.

Veedon Fleece was on their way back home after spending 3 years cruising the islands and countries in the area. They were so helpful with many hints of getting around Tual such as where to find what, etc. When they discovered that we were using the same agent's helper as they were using, they generously liaised with him with their cell phone.

Being a Sunday, we expected nothing to happen until the next morning. But our agent's helper arrived Sunday evening to Sea Turtle. He filled out some papers and said the Quarantine official would arrive the next morning so that we could then go ashore. Our helper left as we shooed away pesky no-see-ums!

Our evening ended with the constant mournful wailing drone from the various competing mosques' loudspeakers of the 'calling to prayer' dirge. This happens 5 times per day: 05:00, 13:00, 16:00, 19:00, and 20:00!

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