Customs is scheduled to meet us at the Cullen Bay Marina fuel dock at 0930 this morning and finish clearing us out of Australia. Our NMEA multiplexers from the states arrived Monday afternoon and all our electronics are now good-to-go. Departing yachties are supposed to go to the Customs office shortly after arrival in Darwin so a file can be opened and all your paperwork coordinated. We did that the day after we arrived in Darwin. Customs gives you a form that allows purchasing duty-free fuels anytime from the date Customs opens the file on your boat up until the date of your departure. Since we use diesel daily to power the generator to charge the batteries and provide electricity on the boat, we obviously did not want to fill up too early in our stay here. Want to leave Australia with full tanks because it is about 1000 miles to Bali and normally the winds are too light to do much sailing. Best to be prepared to motor the entire 1000 miles and then be pleasantly surprised if conditions do turn out good for sailing. We returned to Customs yesterday morning and confirmed that we would be departing today.
Also received a small GST refund (sales tax) at Customs yesterday. There are a lot of restrictions for obtaining the GST refund. Basic rules are that the GST must exceed $30, does not include GST paid for any labor, the purchase must have taken place withing the prior 30 day period from your departure, and the food or boat parts must be on an invoice totaling greater than $300. We have spent about $1900 AUS on food during the past month but those purchases were on many invoices, so no refund on any of that GST. But we did have one invoice for the GPS repair and various boat items that met the requirements, so we received a whopping $30.54 refund. Better than nothing, I suppose. And this is the first time we have ever received a break on local sales taxes. No other country has offered this program. Good on ya, Australia.
There is a leaking oil well somewhere between Darwin and Bali. We have the coordinates and hope to avoid that mess. Someone else sailed through the oil slick and said it was quite a mess to clean off the hull. We asked Customs for the current coordinates of the oil slick since it is moving with the tidala currents and winds. Hopefully they will have the latest info when we clear out in about an hour.
Off to Bali!!! So very ready for a new culture and looking forward to the entire Asian experience.