Journal of Dan T. Cook - Fly Fishing the Globe
Traveling 75,000 miles around the world in search of fish and friendship.
Farewell to the Green River and Sydney arrival
October 10, 2006 - Sydney, Australia
Greetings from “Down Under!” I arrived on October 2nd and have enjoyed an incredible week partaking in the sights and sounds of the city. Sydney is set on the hills surrounding the harbor and each of its restaurants and bars enjoy spectacular views. I can tell you that Sydney offers some of the finest and most diverse eating establishments I’ve encountered. The food is delicious and the beer is.... um..... expensive. For a country supposedly full of beer drinkers, the grog is a bit on the pricey side. Eight bucks for a single can of Sapporo and 17 bucks for a 6 pack of the local brew???? Makes a man begin to contemplate the merits of......... wine.
I just returned from visiting the truck and trailer at the port. Meeting me there was a representative from Australia customs and my contact at the shipping agent. The port authority employee fetched the two containers and we walked out to see them. After clipping the seal-lock, the doors opened to reveal the rear of the truck. It was beautiful in the way that trucks are beautiful for the few days they exist before becoming irreversibly filthy. The aluminum was shiny, the tires were dirt-free and the axles didn’t have a speck of grease on them. It looked like a brand-new truck should. The customs agent asked to have it backed out so she could check the VIN and engine numbers to the carnet documentation. The port employee explained that he couldn’t unpack the vehicle until AQIS (Australia Quarantine and Inspection Service) approved it. Consistent with other governmental stand-offs, AQIS won’t issue an approval until customs has inspected the vehicle and approved it. So..... customs needs AQIS to approve of the truck’s removal from the container and AQIS needs customs to inspect the truck before they will issue the approval. Of course, all of this could have been avoided if they had just backed the truck into the container.
The port employee recruited a colleague and over the course of 30 minutes, managed to contort themselves and a flashlight into the bowels of the truck to find the identification numbers and shout them out to the customs rep, who noted everything matched up just fine. Next, I was informed that now the AQIS appointment could be made. “Isn’t that a 24/7 AQIS office right there?” I asked. “Yes.... but they don’t take walk-ins” was the response. So I got a ride back to my hotel and wait to be notified when I can return to the port and participate in the AQIS inspection.
I did get out for some fishing on Broken Bay, just North of Sydney. I’ve been looking forward to fishing with Justin Duggan’s Sydney Flyfishing Tours (http://www.sydneyflyfishing.com.au/) since I began planning the trip. Justin is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and has the area fishing dialed-in to a “T.” Unfortunately, the weather was pretty miserable with winds gusting around 20 knots. The fish seemed to use the deteriorating conditions as an excuse to pack up and move out of the bay. This combination of events turned our fishing trip into more of a sight-seeing trip. Never-the-less, it was nice to escape the city for a day.
Before departing for Australia, I snuck up to the Green River for a trip down the “A” section. After a generous feast with Terry and Gayle Collier, the Magnum boys and a host of other friends, I enjoyed a near-perfect day on the river.
Hopefully I will be underway to Melbourne tomorrow afternoon. I’m confident the “fast and furious” updates will commence soon after!