Friday, May 28, 2010

"When travelling, expect the unexpected!"

This morning we awoke to some men in uniforms who asked us questions designed to give them the answers they wanted to be able to tell us to move on. They threatened to fine us  $200 for each day we stay here living on board. The boat can stay - but we can't. The rules are that boats who are genuinely travelling the coast can anchor here for up to 10 consecutive days only if they are either sheltering from adverse weather or doing urgent repairs. The strong wind warning just happened to be cancelled this morning - right before these men "happened" to do their rounds. But with 3.5m swells, rain/poor visibility and unfavourable bar crossing winds we're still waiting for the safer weather window on Monday - ironic that these are officers from "Maritime Safety QLD". We were contemplating staying in the expensive marina for a couple nights but then Cerae's rellies came to the rescue! 
Her amazing Uncle Ron and Aunt Margaret from Coolum offered that we can stay at their place!! Synchronicity at its best - She'd arranged to meet with them anyway for a catch-up this morning - they rang just as we were deciding what to do so we're very very grateful for their generosity.
Lessons to be learnt - when dealing with officials, don't just answer their questions, make sure you find out why they're asking the questions in the first place. Get your information straight before you answer their questions - whatever they hear you say the first time is very important - it will be "your story" and even if you come back with better information (eg from your log book), they won't want to hear it - they'll just consider you suspicious because you're "changing your story".  

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