Wednesday, 22 June 2016

22nd June - Sorong - Doom - Immigration - Customs - stormy sea

Wednesday 22nd June 2016


A Sorong Day…

We got up very early and set off on the bouncy little narrow/long ferryboats into Sorong from Doom Island.

 Coming into Sorong we had to hop and step from one boat to another to get off onto dry land.  No probs!  A teensy bit wobbly, but OK!

The list of rules for visiting Immigration - no bikinis, who knew??
First stop – Immigration.  People here are obviously allowed to take their kiddiewinks to work…

Eflin, our local agent, came and helped – invaluable!  It would all have taken many hours more without her.

We left her struggling with bureaucracy (bureaucracy was off praying until10.30; it is Ramadan…) and went to Saga supermartket.

I was SO happy because…cheese, butter, vegemite!  Bliss!

And Pete was moderately happy because…beer…but he had to bring in a cast of dozens to sort out his BeerDeal.  It was all wrong, according to him, according to the specials board…  I just stood back and took photos of the lovely sales staff struggling away with Pete…

In the end, all was well! 

All of the sales staff highly amused by the transaction…

We lugged all of our shopping back to the ferryboats, onto a bike-trike, then we walked along the cliff path, into the dinghy, back to 2XS and then – sprinted back into town for more activities. 

2XS anchored off Pulau Doom
Lunch at Sunny Beach with Eflin, Greg, Helen.  Then…Customs!  Pete was very cheery about this – last time he had had a lovely time with young men falling over themselves to make it all easypeasy.  It took about five minutes.  This time…not so much!  They have a brand new program, all on the internet.  We hadn’t brought our laptops, surprisingly, so they found a laptop for Pete and…the program didn’t work.  A whole lot of crestfallen young men stared at the screen, and said, “But there is no other way.  You HAVE to do it on the internet!”  It was all very glamorous and new and shiny in the Customs building.  Hushed silence in the corridors… But, in a back room, a few men were lustily and happily singing, quite tunefully, to a karaoke machine!! 

Furrowed brow...
They said we also had to go to Quarantine – a new treat.  Many miles away, next to the Swissbel Hotel;, where, coincidentally, Greg and Helen (Waisai-met friends from WA) are staying.  Our lovely John, who looks after our dinghy on Doom, happened to be at the Sorong end of the ferries, waiting with a car, to take us wherever we wanted to go!  We got to Quarantine at 4pm…and they were all still there but closing up because it is Ramadan and they have to go and pray.

At this very moment Pete is sitting at his laptop trying to complete the forms on the Internet.  The Customs people already have photocopies of all of the info but…it has to be done electronically and it is not really working.  What will they do??  Will we have to stay at Doom, rocking gently on the waves, struggling away with the new system???

John kindly organised a narrow ferryboat to take us straight back to 2XS with the new lot of beer Pete bought.  50,000 rupiah - $5 for the trip!!  We got to the boat in tossing heaving waves and they managed to load the cartons onto 2XS but then the men wanted me to leap, like a gazelle, from the wildly rocking longboat onto the wildly rocking 2XS.  Ummm…I don’t think so!!  The skipper skilfully took us into John’s little bay where we clambered out and found our little dinghy, bobbing a bit wildly.

The motor wouldn’t start…it was completely empty of fuel.  I can’t imagine how anyone drained it – there are dozens of people around this little bay all the time.  And a sad osprey with a rope around its leg…(sigh.)  What the motor does – so helpful – is drain itself, slowly, drip by drip…

So Pete started rowing…NOT fun!  The ospreyman noticed we were in trouble and he loaded a tribe of small children into his strong wooden boat and towed us back to safety on 2XS.

Exhausted after all of that!

Pete has given up on the internet activity for Customs.  We will have to trudge up the hill and talk to Mr Hadiyat…again…And go back to Quarantine (maybe visit Greg and Helen,) and then Harbour Master.  Life is interesting!


All is well; nearly everything is done.  We are anchored off the main harbour in Sorong, waiting for fuel, organised by John.  It is all a bit complicated and I am too tired to elaborate/explain. 

Quarantine only took an hour or so, and we were able to have breakfast with Helen and Greg at their Swissbel Hotel (waffles and poached eggs, no less!).  Then back to Customs…waiting waiting waiting…

Waiting waiting at Customs
They were very nice about it all but it was very painful.

Waiting waiting at Harbour master

One more bureaucracy moment – Harbour Master!  This only took about an hour, and we were free to go back to Saga Supermarket, where we gave the lovely girls their photos (thrilled to bits, dancing and waving their arms around, Pete reported to me.  I had left him to it and was off getting just one more jar of vegemite.)

John was at the ferry area again and he organised another long boat to take us out to 2XS again.  It wasn’t QUITE as rough but it was very very rolly…I managed to get of one boat and onto the other, making faint but (unfortunately) audible whimpering sounds as I did it.  I don’t think Pete is used to me being so sooky…

I am now cooking massaman curry and sitting at the table, typing away, and awaiting orders from Pete – we will be moving back to Doom any minute and I have duties to perform.

Tomorrow – off to Raja Ampat!  I will actually miss getting into little yellow Sorong bemos and saying, “Doom, please.”  It amuses me every single time!


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