Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
 

Go Back   Two Plus Two Poker Forums > >

Notices

Other Other Topics Discussion of arts & entertainment, pop culture, food & drink, health and exercise, fashion, relationships, work, and just about anything else in life except poker, sports, religion and politics.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-25-2015, 12:19 AM   #601
NhlNut
KANGZ
 
NhlNut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: RANGZ
Posts: 16,405
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

As a tall (6'3") have to get that bow triangle cabin. (with private deck level entrance)

ldo pics of female crew

also, how did you normally run on the pacific?
NhlNut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2015, 08:42 AM   #602
chopstick
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
chopstick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: where the weather suits my clothes
Posts: 8,415
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

The bow triangle cabin is the vberth (as it's shaped like a v), and it's pretty much the worst place to sleep on a boat. The boat is in constant motion, but it's usually the bow that bounces up and down the most, and that's right where the vberth is. Makes for a very bumpy ride.

When we arrived at the boat, there were two cabins to choose from. The vberth and a side cabin which was smaller. I let her choose which one she wanted, and of course she took the larger vberth. Silent fist pump. A little over halfway into the trip, she was complaining about how terribly she was sleeping, and I just nodded in sympathy, then went for a nice long nap in my comfy stable berth.

No pics, sorry. Trust me when I say that you aren't missing out on anything.

We sailed the entire time while on the Pacific, if that's what you are asking. We fired up the generator a few times to make water, but we never touched the motor until we made it to the Marquesas. Our course was mostly south from Bahia then a steady 255-260 or so with slight variations based on wind, all the way across to Fatu Hiva.



Flying out to Fiji tomorrow, have a bunch of stuff to do here in Singapore like laundry, packing, etc. If I can sneak another photos update in beforehand I will, otherwise probably not until we reach New Caledonia, or more likely Australia.
chopstick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2015, 02:35 PM   #603
NhlNut
KANGZ
 
NhlNut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: RANGZ
Posts: 16,405
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

doh, used to Caribbean waters and still anchorages.

I was wondering if you set all 4 sails (5? spinnaker) How variable is the weather/wind?
What is the watch rotation? Do one or two become night owls for the overnight?
No solar panel?
Think an Elon Musk super battery set up could be used for boats?
NhlNut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2015, 05:28 PM   #604
chopstick
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
chopstick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: where the weather suits my clothes
Posts: 8,415
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Sailing out of Fiji right now, currently a few miles west of the big island. Should be about five days to New Caledonia. Sails are up and fishing lines are out. Life is good.

Will answer those questions after we arrive in NC.

chopstick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 05:33 AM   #605
de captain
Pooh-Bah
 
de captain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Been around
Posts: 3,705
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by chopstick View Post
We did do a little exploring in the area around the marina before we left. There is an abandoned military base there, so lots of funky stuff like this:

I'd almost forgotten about these. I assume you also checked out all of the abandoned barracks that are still guarded and on well maintained land.

One thing I forgot to tell you, but really hope you did, was to hike out to the end of the Colon breakwater (on the marina side) and watch the ships come in. One of my all time favorite hikes that made up for most of Colon's ****tiness.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chopstick View Post
One thing I wasn't expecting or aware of was the tidal differential. It was enormous. This was low tide:



and at high tide, all of those boats were floating in 10 feet of water.
28' tidal swing? If I remember right? The part that impressed me was the fact that in Colon, on the Caribbean side, the tide is less than 2' but in Panama City, only about 40 miles across the isthmus, on the pacific side the tide is close to 30'

Quote:
Originally Posted by chopstick View Post
I was somewhat leery of Colon after reading de captain's stories about it.
Only place I've ever been robbed at gunpoint, and seen a man's intestines hanging out of his belly on the same day.

The day after being robbed at gunpoint a local told me I should keep my money safe by tying it below my balls with a string. At that point I realized Colon wasn't really a tourist destination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chopstick View Post
... good chunk of the reason I had decided on this boat was to see the Galapagos.
Meh, I wouldn't worry about it. I've been to the Galapagos twice and it's only the coolest spot on the planet.

Insert: Blue Footed Boobie.jpg , Hammerhead Shark.jpg, Iguana.jpg, penguin.jpg, baller.jpg


After a couple of days learning the boat, we provisioned in Colon:

[/quote]
Hard to forget that grocery store. We did so much provisioning there I hated myself for not signing up to get points (for the free **** in that cabinet in the background) by the time we left town.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chopstick View Post
I 100% believe the stories de captain told in his thread after seeing Colon firsthand.
back in the day...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chopstick View Post
The bow triangle cabin is the vberth...Makes for a very bumpy ride...of course she took the larger vberth...I just nodded in sympathy, then went for a nice long nap in my comfy stable berth.
Nice, that's nice


Quote:
Originally Posted by chopstick View Post
out to Fiji tomorrow, have a bunch of stuff to do here in Singapore like laundry, packing, etc. If I can sneak another photos update in beforehand I will, otherwise probably not until we reach New Caledonia, or more likely Australia.
Fiji has a GREAT yacht club with SUPER CHEAP booze.

Enjoy the curry. There are multiple great spots to eat.

Beware the Fijian/Indian hookers.

Kava is crap

Green with envy

eta: Fiji has a couple of really good, cheap, tackle shops. it's (was) a good spot to stock up on a supply of stainless double hooks & squid skirts.

Tonga?

Last edited by de captain; 10-31-2015 at 06:00 AM.
de captain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 01:25 AM   #606
pig4bill
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 28,044
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Penguins? Thought they liked cold.

Hammerheads you can see in San Diego. I went on one of those cheap party fishing boats, and a guy hooked a nice 10 footer. They didn't cut the line until they saw what it was.
pig4bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 01:02 AM   #607
chopstick
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
chopstick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: where the weather suits my clothes
Posts: 8,415
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Internet in New Caledonia is terribad so delaying answers & photos until Australia.

We have a parakeet on the boat and NC don't play dat - during immigration / customs check-in yesterday, they told us we have to leave ASAP or they will destroy the bird. We delayed them until today, then after a little sweet talking, got them to agree to let us stay until Monday. Will be about 7 days sail to Australia from here. May possibly stop at "the Chesterfields" which are some kind of uninhibited reefs halfway between NC and AU. Should be sick fishing there.

Already demolished a baguette, brie, and pan chocolate.
chopstick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 10:43 AM   #608
Didace
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Didace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 13,930
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by chopstick View Post
May possibly stop at "the Chesterfields" which are some kind of uninhibited reefs
Sounds like a wild time. Is it something like Hedonism II?
Didace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 11:58 PM   #609
chopstick
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
chopstick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: where the weather suits my clothes
Posts: 8,415
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by NhlNut View Post
I was wondering if you set all 4 sails (5? spinnaker) How variable is the weather/wind?
What is the watch rotation? Do one or two become night owls for the overnight?
No solar panel?
Think an Elon Musk super battery set up could be used for boats?
We've been using primarily the main, mizzen, and genoa. Sometimes a staysail. There's a spinnaker but we haven't put it up, wind has always been at too much of an angle. We did run wing on wing for a bit using the spinnaker pole to hold the genoa out.

Weather/wind variability for the Fiji -> NC leg was fine. We had to turn the engine on at one point when we dropped to 2kt winds, but for the most part wind hovered around 10-15kt with an angle allowing us a broad reach.

Watch rotation right now is 5/3 - 5 hours daytime, 3 hours night time per person. Usually it's 4/4, but 3 hour night watches are a lot better than 4 hour night watches. I've currently got the 00:00 - 03:00 which is a sad.

We have both solar and wind. There's also something called a Watt & Sea that more boats are picking up. It's pretty much a wind generator that you stick in the water and creates hydroelectric as you sail along.

No clue on the Musk battery stuff, don't know about it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by de captain View Post
I assume you also checked out all of the abandoned barracks that are still guarded and on well maintained land.

One thing I forgot to tell you, but really hope you did, was to hike out to the end of the Colon breakwater (on the marina side) and watch the ships come in. One of my all time favorite hikes that made up for most of Colon's ****tiness.

Enjoy the curry. There are multiple great spots to eat.

Tonga?
I don't recall seeing any maintained land anywhere near Shelter Bay, so I guess not. The resort that they were building is abandoned and decrepit now with squatters.

Didn't hike out to the end of the breakwater but will put it on the list for next time. Watched them on the other side, tho.

Crushed the curry in Latoka. Not going to Tonga, in New Cal now and headed to Australia on Monday morning. Tonga is definitely on my list, though. Have only heard good things about it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Didace View Post
Sounds like a wild time. Is it something like Hedonism II?
Autocorrect sneaking in the wrong word, making people look like idiots ever since it was invented.. teaches me to post from my phone.




Should be in Australia for a month or so, will see if I can catch up to present day while there. Thinking of driving north up the east coast, something like Adelaide -> Melbourne -> Sydney -> Brisbane -> Cairns, then over to Darwin and fly back to either Singapore or Kuala Lumpur from there.
chopstick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2015, 06:30 PM   #610
pig4bill
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 28,044
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Heh, New Caledonia. I only know of the place because of McHale's Navy.
pig4bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2015, 11:43 PM   #611
chopstick
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
chopstick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: where the weather suits my clothes
Posts: 8,415
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Once through the canal, we headed south to the Pearl Islands, just south of Panama. I had a berth on the starboard side of the vessel. Imagine a child sized bunk bed, complete with decoration from an 8 year old little girl. Actually, you don't have to imagine it:



Most of the stickers were various animals and/or Harry Potter related. A fair amount of Barbie as well.

It wasn't very far out of the canal until the first dolphins showed up. They came right under the boat, staying just out of reach so you couldn't actually pet them, but almost:




We also had some whales come very close to the boat, one of them was no more than half a boat length away, we almost hit it. I'd say he was about the 75% of the size of the boat. No photo of him, unfortunately, as that was a very exciting moment wondering if we were about to crash into him and sink.

After making it down to the Pearls, we did a little fishing off the reef and came up with a few edibles:




as well as a few not-so-edibles:




that's a puffer fish. He came up swollen and spiky, and looking very mean. After a minute or so hanging out on the line like that, he decided the jig was up and released all the water he was holding to poof himself up, shrinking down to about 33% of that size, with the spines laying along his side instead of sticking straight out. We let him go.

Here's a shot of the interior of the sailboat:



This is looking to the rear of the boat from the front, in the main salon area. To the left is the galley. You can see the spices lined up in the spice rack on the wall, and the food net hanging up in the air with chips and snacks. There's another food net in the center under the companionway that is holding a bunch of fruit and veg. To the right of that companionway ladder you can see the little hallway that leads to the aft cabin, as well as a side berth before it on the right. On the far right is some of the navigation station area where you do all the radio stuff, weather routing, and things like that. I took the photo seated at the table you see in the foreground, it seats about five people. Climbing up the companionway ladder puts you in the cockpit, facing the rear of the vessel.
chopstick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2015, 11:53 PM   #612
chopstick
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
chopstick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: where the weather suits my clothes
Posts: 8,415
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

The Pearls were nice islands, calm and serene:



but unfortunately we did have a rigging failure heading down the coast of Columbia toward Ecuador:




What you are looking at there is a sail that has slid off and down one of the stays (the metal wires going from the top of the mast to the front of the ship). Why did it happen? Well...



that white strap broke. More accurately, the stitching holding it together separated. Over time, everything on a sailboat eventually breaks. This was just normal wear and tear. The owner broke out his sewing machine, sewed it back together, and we raised the sail back up and continued on our way.

The trip down to Ecuador was mostly uneventful. We did catch this fellow:



who made a nice meal or two. We also had a tiny skiff speedboat come up to our vessel in the middle of the night right around the Columbia/Ecuador border with all of its lights out. They slowed down a few meters away, then zoomed off. We went on high alert at that point, and all of the adults stayed up all night in the cockpit, keeping a close watch in all directions. This happened about 10 miles off the coast, so it was highly unusual.

What happens is that drug smugglers drop GPS-equipped bundles in the water by plane, then local skiffs come out and pick them up. My guess is they were just out looking for a package pickup, and wanted to verify we weren't a rival or law enforcement. No clue if that's an accurate assessment or not, but it seems the most plausible. They left us alone after that. I wasn't too concerned, figured they were just checking us out. The other female crew member was bordering on hysteria, I was wondering if she was going to snap or not. She kept it together and eventually calmed down, though.
chopstick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2015, 11:55 PM   #613
Saklad
Best handicapper in OOT
 
Saklad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: On my way back to the bar
Posts: 4,889
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Mooooar!
Saklad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2015, 11:59 PM   #614
chopstick
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
chopstick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: where the weather suits my clothes
Posts: 8,415
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

After a few days of decent sailing, we made our way down to Bahia de Caraquez in Ecuador. It's a tiny resort town for Ecuadorians, and it has seen better days. The beach area was nice:



and there was a lot of character:



around town.

The meals were hearty and filling:



not to mention cheap. An almuerzo (fixed lunch) was about $2.75USD, and would include a piece of fruit, a small soup, some fried meat, veggies, fries, a drink, and a small dessert. On top of that, the official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar, so we didn't even have to deal with currency exchanges, which is always nice.

After a trip to the local supermarket for SIM cards and a minor re-provision:



it was time to take a field trip up to Quito and check out the highest capital city on earth.
chopstick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2015, 12:15 AM   #615
n00b590
adept
 
n00b590's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: de ilusion tambien se vive
Posts: 810
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Whoa, that's pretty freaky. Do you have any guns onboard? (Are you even allowed to sail with guns?) If not, does keeping a close watch really even accomplish much?
n00b590 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2015, 12:30 AM   #616
chopstick
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
chopstick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: where the weather suits my clothes
Posts: 8,415
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Speaking of those almuerzos, here's a first course:



That's a slice of watermelon, a lemonade, some kind of drink that tasted like dishwashing fluid, and chicken soup. Followed by:



Fried pork(?) over rice with veggies and fries. There was also some kind of little tart at the end as well. Total price for all of the above? $2.75USD.

Don't let the dishwashing liquid fool you. The real prize drink in Ecuador is the freshly made juices. What can I say about the juices in Ecuador? I've never been much of a juice person, other than lemonade and limeade, and of course orange juice during breakfast. When I moved down to the Caribbean, I widened my range to include passionfruit and a few others, but never really went full on juice fiending. Well, maybe a little for the kiwi-strawberry goodness you find in the Dominican Republic.

Ecuador finally pushed me over the edge. Every place that we ate had at least a few different juices, all of them freshly made to order. All the standard stuff you can think of like strawberry, mango, orange, passionfruit, apple, etc.. and then a bunch that you can't, because you've never heard of them. Instead of paying lolUSA#1 prices of like $4-6 for a large juice, we were paying around $1-3. It was glorious. I easily drank 2x my bodyweight in fresh made passionfruit juice alone during our time in Ecuador. I felt like a junkie.

The trip up the Quito was in a large passenger bus, similar to what you'd find in the US for inter-city transit. There was a movie playing up front for the first few hours, then lights out as it was an overnighter. They kept the AC blasting, and the seats were not that comfortable, so I was constantly shifting around trying to get comfortable. It was just the female crew and I heading up the Quito, the Aussie wife/kids flew back to AU from Bahia, and the father was waiting for his father to fly in to be the 4th crew.

I'd like to say the trip up to Quito was uneventful, and I suppose it was, right up until the bus made it into town. It didn't stop at a bus station, just some random street in a super sketchy part of the city. Everyone pretty much ran off the bus and instantly disappeared. Me and the other crew were a little surprised at this, but we scrambled to get our stuff and get off the bus, then walked until we found a section of town were taxis were, because they sure as well stayed away from La Sketchyria.

After we eventually flagged a taxi, we headed to the hotel we had booked, and at checkin I discovered that my passport was missing. It had fallen out of my pocket at some point on either the bus or in the taxi. Most likely in the bus during the mad scramble to get off. I'm super protective of my passport, so this was a bit of a sad. Reception contact the bus company, no luck there. US passports are in pretty high demand on the black market, so I instantly gave up hope of recovering it and instead just contacted the USA#1 embassy in Quito to report it lost.

I won't go into the detail of the headaches that were involved with dealing with a lost passport other than to say I strongly recommend that you never lose yours or let it get stolen. I had to go to a bunch of different government agencies, including the local police, the immigration police, the immigration administration, the US embassy (4 times), and jump through a ton of hoops.

US embassies have the ability to issue temporary passports to US citizens in the event of a lost/stolen passport. It looks like a normal passport, but with only a couple of pages, and a 1 year default expiry period. It's intended to get you home to the US so you can get a new passport. They can also order you a regular passport as well, which takes a lot longer. What I found out was that they hate giving out temp passports. Because of the time restrictions I was dealing with (a fixed departure date for French Polynesia), I needed a passport immediately, which meant a temporary, because a regular would not arrive in time. Despite explaining this, they insisted on ordering me a regular passport, assuring me they'd issue a temp if the regular didn't arrive in time.

Of course, the regular did not arrive in time, and so I was sitting at the embassy all day on the final day before I had to fly down to Bahia (decided to fly instead of bus back to maximize time in Quito for passport), only for them to close down all the windows and shut down for the day. I went up and pleaded, and they finally relented and told me to sit back down and they'd get me a temporary passport. Twenty minutes later, I walked out the door with my temporary passport. I was glad to have it, but also fuming that it only took 20 minutes to accomplish, after I had spent the last five days running around nonstop jumping through hoops because they were so insistent that they'd be able to get me a regular one on time.

I did manage to carve away one afternoon to check out the Quito botanical gardens, as they were located near the immigration police headquarters:



They had a huge selection of orchids. One of, if not the largest variety in the world. I don't care much for flowers, but I do like orchids.

Also managed to find a can of artichokes, which I hadn't been able to locate in Colon, Panama City, or Bahia:



and made sure to go up the skylift next to the city to the Cruz Lomo lookout, which is about 13k feet altitude:



My original plan was to hike up to the top of the volcano:



but losing the passport threw a monkey wrench into that plan and I had to scrap it in favor of trying to explain what happened with my passport to various authorities in my terribad gringo Spanish.

There were still some nice views up there from the lookout, though:




chopstick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2015, 12:40 AM   #617
chopstick
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
chopstick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: where the weather suits my clothes
Posts: 8,415
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saklad View Post
Mooooar!
Thanks, always good to hear people are still enjoying this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by n00b590 View Post
Whoa, that's pretty freaky. Do you have any guns onboard? (Are you even allowed to sail with guns?) If not, does keeping a close watch really even accomplish much?
The owner said he had no guns on board. I don't know if he did or not, almost all owners will say they don't, just because it can be enormously problematic if immigration officials find out there are firearms on board. I'd never hold it against a captain for lying to me about that, I fully understand their position.

You can certainly sail with guns, but many countries have very strict rules on entering their waters with them. Some countries take them away and give them back when you leave, some secure them in a box on board with a tamper-proof sticker that gets removed when you leave, and some just flat out confiscate them.

What I do know we had on board were:
Bear spray
A flare gun
A spear gun

These are all a lot more effective that you might think, especially the bear spray, which usually has a range of about 30 feet.

Even with no offensive items, keeping a close watch is still useful because it allows you more reaction time for sending out an SOS over the radio, or barring the companionway if you have locking bars you can use. You can also toss lines and things like that overboard hoping to foul the propellers of the approaching vessel, or even try to ram it if it's small enough, though that's not very practical.
chopstick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2015, 02:46 PM   #618
amead
veteran
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,331
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Interesting story re: lost passport. I always imagine walking into the US#1 Embassy in some foreign country and being treated like a king while someone gets the President on the line to cut through the bull****.
amead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2015, 02:59 PM   #619
Saklad
Best handicapper in OOT
 
Saklad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: On my way back to the bar
Posts: 4,889
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by amead View Post
Interesting story re: lost passport. I always imagine walking into the US#1 Embassy in some foreign country and being treated like a king while someone gets the President on the line to cut through the bull****.
That's typically what happens for your standard USA#1 citizen afaik.

However, chop is on multiple no-fly lists, etc. iirc, so he gets red flagged for this type of thing.

Saklad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2015, 05:07 PM   #620
RunDownHouse.
veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 2,087
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

I had my passport stolen in Prague, but the US Embassy was closed due to bomb threats and I didn't have any money. Was a tough weekend.
RunDownHouse. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2015, 06:07 PM   #621
jjshabado
Carpal Tunnel
 
jjshabado's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 22,338
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by amead View Post
Interesting story re: lost passport. I always imagine walking into the US#1 Embassy in some foreign country and being treated like a king while someone gets the President on the line to cut through the bull****.
I've recently gotten sucked into watching a bunch of "Border Security" shows. There's different versions (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK) and it just shows the different customs/immigration officers handling different cases. It's generally infuriating how stupid people are in general (visitors and officers).

But one good moment is when an Australian officer is telling a US citizen that he's not going to be allowed into the country and he demands to see his embassy. Like somehow his embassy is going to intervene and overrule Australian immigration laws. He asks multiple times and it cracked me up every time.
jjshabado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2015, 09:54 PM   #622
chopstick
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
chopstick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: where the weather suits my clothes
Posts: 8,415
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

At no time during any of my visits to the USA#1 embassy in Quito did I meet another American. Almost everyone there was an Ecuadorian (or dual) citizen, and was there for some kind of benefits paperwork or passport/citizenship services. There was also a group of schoolkids from some kind of international school who came in for a field trip and got their "passports" stamped.

There was a little priority treatment when entering the embassy. They had a separate line for US citizens, so it was possible to start at the head of the queue to go through the metal detectors and hand over your phone, etc. They don't allow any kind of phones, laptops, or anything with a camera onto the embassy grounds. I took a photo of the embassy from the outside with my phone and a guard came running up and made me delete it, watching as I did so. Good thing I had taken two!

Once inside the embassy, there was no priority treatment. Everyone had to go sit on a series of benches outside the main office, then when the office opened up, there was a mad scramble to get in first. Once inside, you explained to the receptionist why you were there, got a slip of paper with a number on it, and then sat back down waiting for your number to be called by a consular officer.

The consular officer I got seemed to immediately hate me. I have no idea why. I was polite, civil, and had all of my paperwork in order. He definitely wasn't expecting that last part - he immediately started treating me like a dumbass who would need to fill out a bunch of forms and get various paperwork from various agencies. When I showed him that I had already brought the forms and that they were already filled out, and that I had already visited all the necessary agencies and brought their paperwork as well, he looked amazed. Still hated me, though. I'm fairly likeable, so I have no idea what his issue was, maybe it's just the standard bureaucrat thing of the threat of having to do some actual work. I think he warmed up to me a little after multiple days of interactions, but he really didn't want to give me that temporary passport.





RDH - even when the embassy is closed, there is an emergency # you can call that goes to the mobile phone of the on duty consular officer. They can provide emergency services such as a (very) small amount of money, or facilitating transfers of cash from friends/family in USA#1.
chopstick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2015, 06:11 PM   #623
chopstick
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
chopstick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: where the weather suits my clothes
Posts: 8,415
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Suppose I should have mentioned that we made it safely to Australia from New Caledonia. Arrived in Bundaberg on Monday. Only caught a couple of fish, but they were pretty big. Lots of big fish out there, we lost four lures during that passage. No dolphins until the last day or so. Very clear night skies at the end with countless stars. Smooth sailing for the most part, final night was a tethered-at-all-times night, tho.

Flew up to Cairns last night. Will pick up a free rental car in a few hours. I have 11 days to get it to Melbourne. Will ask if i can keep it a few extra days for a reasonable fee, but I doubt it. The plan is to head north today up to Mossman Gorge & Daintree National Park, then start south down the coastline tomorrow. Lake Eachem, Atherton highlands, not sure what else. Down the coast for a while, then I'll cut inland when I make it to Sydney and go through the Australian Alps on the way to Melbourne.

If you guys have any suggestions, I'm all ears. I intend to stay along the coastline for the most part and only do outdoorsy stuff. I don't care about nightlife, architecture, historical stuff. It's all food, snorkeling, and hiking for me. Already posted in the travel forum and some Aussies are providing solid advice there, so I have some ideas to work with.
chopstick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2015, 08:42 PM   #624
golddog
adept
 
golddog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: In the beer line
Posts: 1,029
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

chopstick,

As I recall, the area around Airlie Beach is a good jumping-off point for reef excursions. We were sailing, so I can't say for sure, I just think I remember seeing a lot of those snorkeling day-trip like offers around the harbour.

But I imagine most any coastal town would do.

Once you get to Sydney, you mentioned the Harbour Bridge climb. It's nice, kind of interesting info about how it was built etc and a great view at the top, but super-touristy trying to get you to buy pictures. No worries, just skip that part.

Not too far is the Botanical Gardens, which offers nice views of the Opera House and Bridge, and is a nice park-like area if you're into a city walk.

The public transportation is great in Sydney, very easy to get to Bondi or Manly Beach if you want to do any of that.

I've stayed at the Ibis in Darling Harbour, pretty nice I guess, if you're going to overnight in Sydney.

Have a great trip, looking forward to more updates.

P.S. I don't think I've ever asked: why 'chopstick'?
golddog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2015, 11:13 PM   #625
jjshabado
Carpal Tunnel
 
jjshabado's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 22,338
Re: chopstick goes for a sail

I'm pretty jealous of the night sky views you must get. I use to work at a summer camp and we had relatively little light pollution and amazing skies. But I bet it can't compare to the open ocean.
jjshabado is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply
      

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2008-2017, Two Plus Two Interactive
 
 
Poker Players - Streaming Live Online