Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Agencies’

Do the Shuffle

Friday, May 6th, 2016

Progress comes in small steps; especially when you are looking to splash.  We shipped boat gear from the states; way… back in March. I drove from our dirt dwelling down to Miami and after locating the Vanguard warehouse dropped 24 boxes; 450 lbs, worth of gear off to be sent to Fiji. We had weighed them and had the dimensions and each box was labeled. Our agent said the only thing we couldn’t ship were the flares. Odd; all ships are required to carry flares but to ship them; I guess,  is just too dangerous. Ok; we pulled out of the box of flares returned them to WestMarine.  This was almost two months ago.  Once I returned home  from the trip we received an email from Vanguard letting us know that before they could even move the material from Miami to LA and load it on the ship they needed the HazeMat forms filled out. We had sent all the MSDS sheets to our agent and thought we were good to go. Not!  The agent pointed us to some very sparse information on completing the Hazmat forms and we gave it the good ol’ US try. Filled them out and sent them in to have them returned to us as… incomplete.  Now at least we had the Hazmat contact for Vanguard and we called and talked to him. While he was picky as hell he was a tremendous help. We redid the sheets and sent them again, and again, and again. always needing fewer and fewer changes but still needing some. Finally, finally, he said it was correct; and we were good for the supplies to begin their move. If we ever need to ship more supplies to Fiji I would do my best to use Marine Warehouse as they deal world wide and know all the ins and outs of shipping all things boating. But, as we had some custom canvas work done and Marine Warehouse tries to avoid the  shipping others “goods” we elected to do this ourselves.

The ship was scheduled to arrive April 26th in Lautoka, Fiji. Our flight was to arrive in Nadi on the 28th and if things went to plan we would be in the water in less than 10 days.  That is; if things went well!  We arrived without incident (not sick with typical Airline colds)  and tired, checked the boat and happily the boat survived Winston. We un-packed and arranged to have our heavy work completed by Yuve Marine, we were ready to have our floating home back in the water. W/ called the agent in Fiji. The ship with our 24 boxes  is not yet here. She called the following day, they expected it next week!  The ship arrivd in Suva Monday, about 5 days late. Our stuff is in Suva and now we are told it will be in Lautoka Wednesday; “we’ll call you when it is ready to be picked up” they said. W/ calls everyday not wanting to slip off their radar. Wednesday, it’s not here, now we are told maybe Friday; if not Friday then Monday, they are shipping it by ground from Suva to Latoka. Finally;  our gear is in Fiji; bad news, we don’t have it yet and we are waiting for it to continue the work on the boat.  Finally…. Friday arrives, W/ calles and yes it’s here… “come and get it”.

We locate a taxi; and arrange transportation to Lautoka. Jackie on  s/v JeanMarie tells us we need a TIN number and we can apply for it at the post office. We head first to  Customs  at the post office where we fill out some forms and are told we now need to finish the process by heading over to the main Customs office 2 km away. We go there and have a great experience filling – finishing the forms, receive our stamped copy and head finally to the Pacific Agencies warehouse (our Agency – Agent) to pick up our gear.  After passing over more money we receive a piece of paper to give to the warehouse to collect our supplies. All smiles we head around the corner to the warehouse and wonder of wonders; our supplies are all there, stacked up nice and neat. I hand the employee our paper and he tells me we need Customs to release it. Smiling I pull our our TIN number and hand it to him and

24 Boxes Approx 500 lbs Made it to Fiji

24 Boxes Approx 500 lbs Made it to Fiji

he said they still need a customs agent to inspect and release the gear.  Dummy me, I would have thought when it first entered the country all boxes – crates – etc  would have been sniffed by dogs and inspected by God! But no, not here; in Fiji, they require the consignee to be present when it is inspected.  Ok, so we wait. Customs has been called; two others show up and now three of us are waiting for the Customs officer.

Finally, he shows up… a bit surly. I think we interrupted his tea. He inspects one box and we left an invoice in it, accidentally, and he now wants to know the value of all the goods. Really; what does it matter, it is all for a “Yacht in Transit”  and duty free but he is not happy we don’t have invoices for everything. Neither are we. He disappears for 10 minutes and returns telling us we need to go the the main Customs office at the docks.  OK, fortunately an agent from Pacific Agencies will met us there where we will meet with another Customs agent; we assume higher up. After locating the office and finding an agent he asks for our boat papers and our list of what is what. We tell him we need the material for the boat because of stuff that happened with Winston and getting the boat ready for sailing again. He is quite pleasant telling us that the laws have changed in the last two years and back then it would have cost us 200 $F but now Fiji has streamlined the process for us and there is NO more cost. Wonderful!  He stamps the paper for releasing the goods and said their computers were acting up; they would send a form to Vuda Point Marina for our signature when everything is working. For now; however, the goods are ours to take to the boat. Yippee!

Leaving he Cyclone Pit

Leaving he Cyclone Pit

We take two trips back to Vuda. The driver and I load up most of the supplies and we take off while W/ sits with the others chatting up the Customs agent and the warehouse men. Actually; she was able to

Ready for the next Step

Ready for the next Step

sway them to a more friendly attitude and when we returned to pick up the last load they were kind enough to load the rest without my help.

Yeah, our paint is here; we’re ready to begin!  The boat is moved out of the pit and now on stands. We are making progress, shuffling a bit but moving in the right direction.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long