Sailing to Easter Island

Arriving at Easter Island (continued)

 
The dinghy full of Chilean officials motoring away from Nine of Cups after checking us in.

 
This is the French sailboat that was next to us in the anchorage. Shortly after the officials visited them, the sailboat departed.  

After a while we saw an inflatable dinghy loaded with people head out from shore and stop at the neighboring French sailboat. Shortly thereafter, the dinghy full of people motored over to Nine of Cups and tied up to our boat. The dinghy held six people, and I was surprised that nobody was wearing a life jacket even though they were traveling on the choppy ocean some distance from shore. The man operating the dinghy stayed in the dinghy but the other five people climbed aboard Nine of Cups. I noticed they were all wearing heavy boots, and they clambered across our clean white decks (where even shoes are normally forbidden) and were seated in the cockpit; a round of introductions was made (ever since Ballenita, I have been introduced as "Juanito").

The man in-charge was an official from the Armada de Chile who was dressed in an immaculately clean and crisp uniform; he wore a little round white Chilean navy cap that had a little white chin strap—very dapper. The other officials represented customs, immigration, health, and agriculture. There were the usual formalities with customs and immigration, then the health and agriculture officials went below to inspect the boat. The navy official queried David for numerous details about Nine of Cups, including things like the vessel dimensions and weight, how many sails and what color, engine horsepower and make, fuel and water tankage, number and type of radios, safety equipment details, etc. After all the forms were filled out, the entry fees were totaled, coming to more than 70,000 Chilean pesos (at about 615 pesos to the dollar, we're not sure of the exchange rate yet). We will have to pay the fees ashore and obtain a receipt that will be checked when we obtain a departure clearance. After they all departed and were motoring away, the dinghy paused and the navy official took a picture of Nine of Cups. I happened to be on-deck with my camera so I took a picture of them and they laughed and waved.


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