Beach House – En Route – New Caledonia to Lord Howe Island – 160 miles – and anothor sea story!….:-)

01 December 2016 (+11 UTC)
Dear Friends and Family,
The last 24 hours was a turning point as the winds finally began to lighten and the seas calmed down. We are now in very light air and motor sailing directly to Lord Howe which is 185 miles to our SSW. We expect to arrive there tomorrow before noon.

In August of this year, we applied for a permit to visit Lord Howe Island en route from New Caledonia to Sydney, Australia. It is a natural stop as the island is nearly on the direct course and it\’s supposed to be a gorgeous and interesting place. We sent the request and were immediately told to fill out the forms and then issued a permit by the Lord Howe Island Council. They even gave us a mooring assignment 4 months in advance! We were thrilled and thought all was well….not so much…

We were told to send them an update as to our exact arrival at least 96 hours in advance which we did. There were some canned statements in the three people\’s email that confirmed our arrival about that we couldn\’t be checked in at Lord Howe and would have to \”check in\” when we arrived at a port of entry which of course, Sydney is. No problem with us! Yesterday, I get an email from the Customs and Border Protection at Lord Howe telling us that our stop is to be a \”technical stop\”.
This means, food, fuel, water, necessities, weather window and off you go! I wrote back that we were given a permit 4 months ago to make this a tourist visit.
There must be some misunderstanding? I received an email back telling me that the local council goofed. They were supposed to tell me we were to check into Sydney FIRST, then come back! Well, this is a small boat in the middle of the ocean and backtracking 500 miles is like asking someone to drive 2000 miles round trip. Not too mention the weather down under around the North Tasman Sea can be WILD to say the least.
In other words, that wasn\’t going to happen.

So, we\’ve been told that we will be allowed ashore, but we can\’t essentially be tourists. I also find this rather odd since most boats that would visit here would come from the East (as we have) and therefore are essentially excluded from this unique stop. As the Islands economy is entirely tourist generated, this makes even less sense. We don\’t get to make the rules, so we\’ll be there in about 24 hours and find out what restrictions we\’ll have on our \”technical stop\” as our permit is essentially invalid. This is a classic bit of bureaucracy where the \”left hand doesn\’t\’ know what the right hand is doing\”. Sound familiar?…:-)
It reminds me of our experience with US Customs in St. John in the American Virgin Islands. As a reminder, we were told Nikki couldn\’t enter the USA on a \”non commercial carrier\” in the Visa waiver program. Ah bureaucrats…got a love em\’… That story can be searched back in the Ship\’s Blog archives and is why we got Nikki a US Visa!

In any event it will all work out and we\’ll take the next \”weather window\” the last 450 miles of our journey into Port Jackson/Sydney Harbour. We should be there before the middle of the month.
Just yet, another \”sea story\”…:-)
Scott and Nikki

COMMENT: Beach House – EN ROUTE – Isle Amedee – New Caledonia – Lord Howe Island, Australia – Day 3 – 160 nm
TIME: 2016/11/30 21:51
LATITUDE: 28-41.74S
LONGITUDE: 160-33.22E
SPEED: 7.8
BARO: 1012.6