Finally, against all odds, he limped into Fremantle, Australia, his boat a sodden mess, having performed heroic feats of seamanship to reach port safely and unassisted.
What did the Australian authorities do to greet him?
They brought a sniffer dog down to the boat to make sure he wasn't smuggling drugs. They put him through entry formalities that lasted for seven hours.
I cannot think of another Anglophone country that would treat a distressed mariner this way. It turns out that Australia has a spectacular talent, and tolerance, for bureaucracy. It's a trait that's very surprising given the informal character of the country, but there it is.
This is the part where I mention that we have now been trying to import Pelagic into Australia for 6 months and 25 days. Until she is imported, we cannot advertise her for sale.
It's not like we've been struggling through the bureaucracy on our own - we've employed two different customs brokers to assist us with the process. Nor are we involved in some lengthy fight with Customs. As far as I can tell, it's taken 6 months and 25 days to get us this far in the process...just because. In addition to the over-developed bureaucratic streak, Australians can also demonstrate an amazing capacity to not get stuff done. I think those two characteristics have come together to put us on the 7 month boat import plan.
I've learned that calling the customs broker four or five times a week is the only way to keep the process from succumbing to inertia. And generally, I'm pretty Zen about the whole thing. The boat will be imported when she is imported.
On the bright side, I've had plenty of time to get the boat ready to sell!