Customs go on strike

Clearing customs

What a mess, nothing is going to plan. We anchored out off Scarborough for the night expecting to clear out first thing this morning but what do you know, Australian border security goes on strike till lunchtime. They tell us they can clear us out at 2:30pm. At midday we get a call from them saying they can’t clear us out until the next day but if we get to Rivergate marina by 5pm they can clear us out of there today. It’s 30 nautical miles away through the bay and up the river, we will never make it. We up anchor and unfurl all the sails hoping we can make it on time. Along the way a crazy grandma in a little sailing boat plays chicken with us weaving in and out around our boat, forcing us to change course and swerve around her. Crazy, crazy lady. I dropped her the finger once or twice, while exchanging explicits and then left her to play her silly game. We were done swerving around her and were ready to run right over the top of her. We were on a mission and no grandma with a death wish was going to stop us!

When we finally made it to the Brisbane River a sole dolphin greeted us. We took this as a sign that all would be okay and that we would make it to customs in time. And we did. By the skin of our teeth. We tied up to the customs dock just before 5pm. Scott, the customs man, came down and started proceedings. This was our first time and was quite nerve racking. Did we have illegal immigrants smuggled on our boat that we weren’t aware of ? He quickly and efficiently sorted our paperwork .By 5; 30 it was official, we had cleared out. The adventure we had been planning for four years had begun. We had done it, we had made the first step in the big plan. We had cleared out.

The only problem was, it was now night and I was unable to navigate through the bay. We discussed our options and finally we decided that SM would sail through the bay through the night and I would sail the whole next day allowing him to catch up on rest.  What an emotionally exciting and draining day. We are doing it we are about to cross the Coral Sea. I am riddled with anxiety, I have feared this moment for the last four years. Will we make it or will we sail off to the depths of the bottom of the ocean? I guess time will tell, but for now I am petrified. I have done several nervous poohs. I am kind of glad that today was such a mad dash, it didn’t give me much time to get all worked up or to think about what I have just gotten myself and my family into.

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