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Almost all pricing quotes were for the standard New Zealand to the destination. On the destination end, we arrange regional Above: Rodrigues, Mauritius was among our most di cult fuel  lls
retail price, without any discount for buying eight batteries and transport to deliver the pallet to the marina. Our Amazon Prime of the trip. After spending the morning  lling out paperwork and 
purchasing the fuel, the truck arrived with only a four-inch diameter 
spending over $8,000 in a single purchase. Quotes in the U.S. shipping time goes from two days to three months, but it sure is 
for eight batteries were at least 35% less than in New Zealand. wonderful to see that pallet arrive.hose and no nozzle to control the  ow from their high-speed pump. 
We had to gravity-feed to avoid spills and were lucky to the job done 
We expected the cost of shipping more than a half-ton of We also carry parts in our luggage whenever we return home. in just one day. Middle: Withdrawing Mauritius Rupees at an ATM in 
merchandise would exceed the price advantage, so our natural Initially, we carefully packaged the parts in cardboard boxes, but Rodrigues, Mauritius. Partway through the trip we switched to credit 

inclination was to not even consider that option.everything was subject to unpacking for TSA inspection, and and ATM cards without foreign transactions fees. Below: Hoisting our 
The interesting lesson here was that shipping can be since cardboard doesn’t take weather well, the airlines won’t  rst foreign port after leaving Hawaii. Several o cials commented 
that they appreciated our showing respect for their country by having 
amazingly cost-effective. We shipped the batteries via sea take any responsibility for damage to the boxes. We often had the appropriate  ag on board.
freight from Florida to Auckland for just under $800, including to pick them up separately from our luggage in the same area as 

all clearance and transport fees, saving more than $2,000 oversized baggage. We later bought large collapsible duffel bags 
compared to purchasing the batteries in New Zealand. The that we carry empty to the U.S. and bring back full on the return. 
disadvantage of sea freight is that it is slow, taking just a bit This is more ef cient and reliable.
more than 30 days.Whenever shipping internationally, whether by sea freight or We generally organize our fuel purchases in advance, particularly 

Once we’d learned how economical sea freight was, we checked baggage, theft, damage, or loss is a relatively small but before and after long crossings. Rarely is this dif cult. Where 

shipped a pallet of goods to ourselves roughly once a year. Many always present risk. We’ve had pretty good luck, where all sea freight we have a choice, we prefer to fuel directly from a truck rather 
products we use are far less expensive sourced from the highly has arrived complete and without any issues. We did lose one airline than marina fuel docks, partly because we got better pricing, but 

competitive U.S. market. Other items, such as 60Hz appliances checked bag when returning to Auckland via Los Angeles.also because the fuel in a truck usually hasn’t been sitting around 
or the marine coating we use on our outside teak, are simply All the countries we’ve brought goods into had some long. In some cases, a truck is the only available option.

unavailable in many parts of the world.provision for duty-free import of parts for yachts in transit. Some, Most fuel  lls went as planned, but at times there were a few 
Our approach to sea freight is to decide where we’re going to such as Fiji, required no paperwork, but a customs of cial had to challenges. Tonga, Rodrigues, and Cape Town, for example, only 

be in three months and use that as a shipping destination. We then personally deliver the items to the boat for a nominal charge. In accepted cash in local currency for fuel purchases. In Tonga we 
place our orders for delivery to our UPS store, which aggregates New Zealand and Australia, paperwork prepared by a customs used an agent who handled the fuel purchase on our behalf. For 

all of the boxes onto a pallet. A regional transporter delivers the broker was required to import parts duty-free by pallet or in the other two we made ATM withdrawals in chunks over several 
pallet to a Seattle freight-forwarder, which arranges transportchecked luggage through the airport.days and stored the cash in our onboard safe. For Rodrigues, we 

withdrew Australian dollars in Darwin and converted the cash 
to Mauritius Rupees upon arrival. For Cape Town, we withdrew 
On the fuel dock in Cape Town, South Africa, prior to 
departing for St. Helena. Cape Town was one of several Rand locally. An ATM card with a high daily limit and no foreign 
places where the fuel company accepted only cash in the transaction fees was particularly useful here.

local currency.In Port Villa, Vanuatu, the fuel dock doesn’t keep enough fuel 

on hand to  ll our boat. We’d ordered the fuel in advance, but 
they still had to order a truck to  ll their tank once we’d arrived 

at the dock. We would have preferred to take the fuel directly 
from the truck since the marina tank was nearly empty and  lling 

it stirred up a lot of rust and sediment (although little water), but 
that option wasn’t available.

The two most dif cult fuel  lls of the trip were in Nuku Hiva, 
French Polynesia, and in Rodrigues, Mauritius. In Nuku Hiva 

we Med-moored in an open roadstead to prevent ocean surge 
from slamming Dirona into the solid concrete dock and ran a 

fuel hose a few feet across the water to the boat. Even though 
we’d ordered the fuel ahead of time, we still had to negotiate to 

get what we’d requested because a superyacht was attempting to 
buy everything they had.

In Rodrigues, we spent the entire morning  lling a multi-page 

bunkering request document for the Port Captain, answering 
questions, such as “number of tons of fuel needed” and “initial 

and  nal delivery pressures requested.” Once the Port Captain 
approved that form, we then needed to deposit our Australian 

cash directly into the fuel company’s bank account, who needed 
to be present at the bank with us to approve the deposit. Then we 

could  nally take on fuel. The fuel truck arrived with only a four- 
inch diameter hose used to bunker ocean-going freighters and no 

nozzle to control the  ow from their high-speed pump. We had 
to gravity-feed to avoid spills and were lucky to complete the job 

in just one day.

66 May/June 2017May/June 2017 67

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