Sunday, November 5, 2017

November 01, 2017 - Clearing customs

After our arrival in New Zealand at 2:30AM and tying up to "C" dock, Jerome, Paul, and I had a celebratory glass of wine, which ended up being two bottles long!  We went to bed at about 5:30AM expecting customs to come wake us up at 9:00AM.  Unfortunately, the customs agent arrived at about 7:45.  Yikes!  I was SOUND asleep and even Paul's banging on my door did not wake me.  Cindy and I are sharing a room and she had to start punching me to get me to stir.

We all sat in the salon while the customs agent asked us questions, looked at our customs entry forms, and chit chatted about several topics, one of which was Trump.  It seems that everywhere we go Trump is something people of other countries want to ask us about.  It usually starts out with something like: "what is going on with your country?"  This is not meant as a positive statement!  Anyway, after about an hour or so, we were done with our personal and boat entry into the country, but we still had the agricultural inspection to do. 

The agricultural inspector arrived about an hour later and looked at the inventory sheets we had filled out.  She then said it was usually much quicker for her to just look at the ship's "stores" to see what we had.  She spent about 30 minutes looking in refrigerators, freezers, cabinets, lockers, and coolers.  She took what was not approved for entry into New Zealand, and left the rest.  She took most of the meats, most of the fruits and vegetables, all of the processed frozen foods, and lots of seemingly random items, including an opened bottle of New Zealand honey.  Had the honey been sealed we could have kept it.  After filling a large garbage bag with perfectly good food, we got our stamp of approval.  We asked what happens to this food and she told us that it will be incinerated and then buried in a land fill, at least 6 feet under.  New Zealand is serious about keeping out foreign contaminants and pests from their country.

After that, we attempted to connect to the New Zealand shore power system.  However, it's completely different than what we have back home.  The marina has an electrician to help with these matters and Jerome arranged for him to come and get adapters, or whatever else was needed, so we could get connected to electricity.  It took a day for the electrician to come up with a solution.  He put a new end on one of Jerome's shore-power cords, then made a new "pigtail" to connect to the shore-power receptacle.

A New Zealand shore-power connector

The final cable assembly.  Jerome's cord diameter was too
large to fit in the New Zealand plug.

The marina wanted us to move to a different dock.  Jerome went over and looked and the cleat arrangement in the new slip and it was not going to work for a boat this size.  Henceforth, the marina told us that they would install new cleats.  It took many, many days for the special bolts to arrive before those cleats could be installed.

While we were waiting for the cleats and the shore-power cord, Paul and Jerome washed the boat.  It takes a long time to wash a boat this size.

Jerome washing the exhaust soot off the satellite dome.
For most of the crossing the wind blew the exhaust from
the stack right onto the dome.  

While Paul was washing the boat I fixed some random electrical items on the boat.  I replaced a failed depth transducer.  I replaced the control panel for the stabilizer system, which had a bad section in it's LCD screen.  I also replaced some indicator bulbs at the helm, and looked at the issue with the fuel pump alarm.  It was a damaged plug (on the end of the two wires).  Jerome says the damage happened back in Mexico when the John Deere technician was trying to resolve a different error message.

The receptacle on the fuel pump.  Under a magnifying glass I could see signs of
previous damage to one the "blades".  This was damaged back in Mexico but
it should be fine.  The real damage was done to the plug that connects to this receptacle.

The damaged plug.  It will take a John Deere tech with specialized
tools to either fix this or install a new plug.

Karen arrived in the afternoon with their car.  We are looking forward to getting off the boat and doing some land-based exploration!

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