I’m so avidly and enthusiastically following Crazy Daisy’s adventures with my boys in the South Pacific, I can barely wait for their news each day; this is a journey where they continually report a blissfully exhilarating, wonderful time, the best yet in Daisy’s history. Gone (it would appear) are the horror stories with tales of woe and impending disaster, the days when life aboard was a series of never-ending repairs, malfunctions and break-down’s are all now (thankfully) history, old news; what an enormous relief it’s been, or has it?
Is this too good to be true, one may ask? As in most things that happen at sea, I would have to say… “yes”!
There are so many, many different rules and regulations that one has to abide by when at sea, and every individual country is different. Despite our best efforts, honest mistakes are sometimes made, and often to our cost.
I received an email from the fleet this morning that alarmed me. The email was sent to all by one of the Captains in the fleet, and as I don’t have his permission to publish it, I will simply recount the story without revealing names.
Daisy’s crew, Captain Bob, Ed, Paul and Erio are currently just leaving Fakarava in the Tuamotus Islands. Dream islands of unbelievable beauty and peaceful fun loving people (according to my crew). I can only hope that they also received the email that I did, and in time, so that they are now well prepared and ready.
While anchored off the island of Moorea, one of the Captains in the fleet reported being boarded by a group of French officials (customs). He was asked to complete a form declaring the quantity of dutiable goods held on board. The captain guessed the quantities of wine, declaring more than he thought he had. The officials then proceeded to search the boat with a fine tooth comb, taking up floor panels, even unscrewing the lid on the battery housing, everywhere was searched, nowhere was missed.
Upon the discovery of more bottles than had been declared, all of the bottles were then sealed and the Captain taken aboard the customs ship. He was fined 40% of the value of the excess goods, with the customs officer deciding upon the value of the bottles (much more than their actual value), ignoring or rather disbelieving the captain’s quote. The captain was given the choice of paying an 80,000 CFP, fine, or having his boat confiscated.
The captain said that the officials were (in his words) “very nasty people. If I did not pay on the spot and if I disputed anything they were going to confiscate the
I fully understand and respect the rules and regulations for weapons and drugs, but this is wine! I think it’s extreme, not to mention a gross abuse of power.
Sadly one can not argue with these people, we remain completely at their mercy.
I just hope my crew are warned and do an accurate count of the bottles they have aboard. Anyone who knows us, will know that there will be a few bottles around. We usually guess the amount, as did the captain of the other boat and so far its never been a problem. However, in the Pacific it seems, one had better be accurate!