Yesterday I got the Hong Kong clearance with the Marine Department, a 2-3 hour ordeal. Very nice office people, but many steps and paperwork and numbers and certificate checking and insurance faxing until they were able to complete the clearance. I can only now realize what it is to cross borders with a ship and people. We walk through customs at the airport and whine if the line is 20 minutes. However, we have a very cool license to cruise the waters of Hong Kong until March 24. I figured that should cover most possibilities, and if we have to stay longer we can extend up to 6 months before we have to register as a Hong Kong vessel.
The village of Sai Kung is absolutely charming with seafood markets, hardware shops, mini bus service to HK and a friendly less crowded feel.
We bought groceries and domestic supplies as well as boat supplies. Very good prices on the supplies except for the boat brush by Starbrite which is made in Florida, oops. Still paid the same as Westmarine catalog on that one and it was the best. No big purchases yet and the dock neighbors are advising on the outboard motor for the dinghy. I just paid the club for the week of slip rental, 500 HKD per day, and everything is cash. This is seemingly a cash only culture, so I have to find the ATMs to keep up.
The list is getting shorter and it will be time to take the boat out for more practice soon. This side of HK is full of bays and islands, reminding me of BC until you remember that only a few miles away is the wild Victoria Harbor. I want to go back through there in daylight for sure.
Weather is just still a problem. Bill keeps sending the Buoy weather report all green with wind and waves, more than anybody recommends tolerating, even though the boat may handle it alright. Hebe Haven has mooring for temporary members but I am not yet sure if they will offer it to me. Aberdeen is not as nice and about the same price, 2000 HK/ month. I have to keep getting ready for both options.