Our appointment for the customs and immigration officials to board the boat was set for 9:00am sharp. We conceptualized a spotless boat, orderly papers and tea. Unfortunately the first customs officer arrived a tad early, one hour premature to be exact. There was no tea, the salon was a mess, and one of the crew was still in bed. No problem, we hustled up some ice water, set our officer down, all hands arrived looking appropriately polite, and the process began. With much stamping of papers, signing of receipts, and exchange of money, we managed to officially clear out of the Philippines for Wednesday. Our passports are now cooly stamped with a customs stamp that says M/Y Laysan. Next stop Palau…that is once we get started. Curiously, the fact we have an indefinite departure date did not seem to fuss the officials.
We spent the rest of the day shopping for a spare anchor (got a great deal on a 60 pound Danforth from Broadwater Marine), sorting out the custom built anchor roll stabilizer, and hitting the hardware store (yet again). My sole purpose in escorting John on this incredibly hot and humid jeepney ride was to find a post office so that I could send my three kids a postcard from the Philippines. This seemingly simply goal turned out to be an impossible task. We asked policemen, we asked shop keepers, we asked random people on the street. Each would pause at our question, think a moment, and then give an entirely different answer. No one seemed to know the location of the post office. I have to wonder if they even have such an institution. Tomorrow, we continue our check out list, buy more marine hardware, and if I get really lucky, I will mail some postcards.
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