Friday 22 July 2016

Tips Prior to Departure

Tips prior to Departure.

If you are remotely thinking of sailing off shore, as in our case to Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia & Thailand consider these tips. We would have found these tips of use:

  • Ensure your passport is current, with plenty of spare/blank pages and is not due for renewal at least 6 months from departure (12 months is even better).
  • If you are sailing offshore past Cairns (maybe heading to Darwin), you will be very limited for diesel, petrol, food supplies and gas until you get to Darwin – keep this in mind – do your research. All items are much more expensive once you leave Cairns. This includes your anti-fouling.
  • Organize and pay for your offshore Insurance and Health Insurance before you leave Cairns or Darwin.
  • Buy a colour printer
  • Buy a scanner
  • Buy a laminating machine
  • A Cryovac machine is very useful
  • Ensure your phones are unlocked or the Indonesian SIM cards will not work
  • Check with the major banks in Australia for the best overseas deal re ATM locations and ATM fees. At the time of sailing (June/July 2016) Westpac had the best deals – low rates.
  • Remember to note in your diary to advise your bank/s you are heading overseas.
  • If you need to purchase major items (not consumables) over AU$300 leave it until 30 days prior to. Departure this way you can claim back the GST. Referred to as the TRS (Tourist Refund Scheme). This is done via the Government (not Customs or Boarder Force), it’s worth researching it. You must keep your receipts complete with address, date, ABN numbers on it. Read up about it as the purchase of goods over a certain amount changes the receipt requirements. . Interesting to note if you think you may be buying loads of smaller purchases over several weeks from the same supplier, speak with the manager and keep a monthly account. This way if the total exceeds the $300 mark you have your TRS receipt in hand.
  • Start your provisioning of nonperishable items early: 4-6 months would be ideal - but dont go over board.
  • Purchase a folder with clear pockets and print multiple copies (5 is a good number) of your documents for officials. Keep all your official documents in the one folder. Print copies of your passport.
  • Type up a crew list (even if you’re a solo sailor) with the headings: Full Name, Date of Birth, Country of Birth, and Passport details (Place of issue, Expiry date and Passport Number), state who is Captain and who is Crew. Head the document with your vessels name, home port and official number.
  • Start your inoculations early – 6 months prior is ideal in case you have a reaction.
  • Have a few spare hard drives or large capacity USB sticks – you will be given loads of information from other cruisers
  • Arrange flares early with your chandlery as they will run short as your fleet is gathering their supplies (keep the receipts).
  • Ensure your batteries are in good order, including your start battery.
  • Take gifts for children as you will see plenty of performances and go to many schools. Ideal items would be: soccer balls (complete with patches, pumps and insert to pump with, and patches). Bags are good for the kids eg. backpacks, musical instruments etc. Keep it simple.Hair ties, wrist bands, etc. small items you can carry in your backpack.
  • Have all your medical needs seen to prior to departure. If you need specific medications for you, which are listed on the ‘restricted drugs list’ get enough to see you through your journey early (not last minute). You must carry a letter from your doctor and you must leave all your medication in the original boxes with the pharmacy label on it. All drugs must not have expired. (Note certain drugs such as Morphine, Codeine etc carry the death penalty in Indonesia). Read up on this.
  • Don't go berserk on stocking up with first stuff. Its readily available here and very cheap. Remember the journey from TI to Tual is only 7 days. Our advice would be to take your prescription medications and few other bits and pieces and get the rest over here.
  • Ensure you boat is seaworthy. Asia, particularly Indonesia is not equipped with haul out and serviceman & services as we know them in Australia. In Indonesia they are far and few between. Service everything you can, including getting your rigging checked. A hot tip: every boat has specific items eg. Seals, bolts, nuts, screws, etc buy all your spares in Australia and take them with you. Including water maker/tap filters.
  • Take plenty of spare rope for tying off to the shore line.
  • If you choose either a HF or a Satellite Phone for communications, have it working and in good order at least 6 months prior to departure. Both these forms of electrical communication can be a nightmare to install and get going especially if you are not confident with the install and setup. Hot tip: use it, use them fairly frequently so you know how to use all the settings and know how to trouble shoot it when they don’t work.
  • If you purchase a water maker. Use it and know how to service it. Ensure you have spare parts.
  • Ensure your tender is in good working order including your outboard. Take plenty of spare parts for your outboard and patches for the tender.
  • Remember that wherever you go people eat and drink so don’t go to berserk on perishable supplies. you will not need to take supplies with the anticipation that they don't sell: toilet paper, shampoo, etc. They do, but you will need to get a taxi to a department store. This also depends on where you are. All items are easily purchased in Tual.
  • Alcohol is not readily available in Indonesia, so take a few beers and a few wines with you but dont go over board.
  • You will need dry bags (water proof bags): phone bags, camera bags, clothes etc. Even a water proof back pack is a good idea
  • Once you feel you are stocked up, go sailing and enjoy yourself.

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