So we arrived engine-less in Oban after a swift run up the channel and tried our best to tack into customs dock in the SW corner of the bay.
In between deluging rain squalls, we would get on a nice tack, and approach the shore, but as soon as we got close to the cliffs, the wind would die, or veer and off we would go on the opposite tack.
The poor customs gentleman stood steadfast on the dock in his black mackintosh with his briefcase, through rain and shine waiting for us to come in.
After a many such attempts, a fast motor launch came to our aid and towed us alongside into the dock.
Customs clearance seemed to go off without a hitch, though the gentleman was a bit incredulous that we could have crossed the ocean in such a craft whose decks leaked like a sieve, resulting in our bed being soaking wet from the recent rains.
"Fine, fine, fine" said the customs man, but could we please come to their office the next day to collect our passports.
When we arrived at Her Majesty's Customs the next day, the gentleman said "fine, fine, fine" but they would just like to come down and take another quick look at our boat. So down they came, screwdrivers in hand and did a thorough search.
The customs man was accompanied by a very ample customs lady who decided to inspect under the lift up chart table. I volunteered to hook the folding chart table up to the bulkhead so that she had better access, but she preferred to rummage about with her flashlight with the chart table resting on her back.
With a whoop of delight, she emerged from under the chart table clutching a small ziplock bag, within which was yet another plastic bag containing a white powdery substance. She quickly opened the bags and took a deep sniff of the stuff which, to her great disappointment, turned out to be our only remaining baking flour.
The inner bag clearly said farinha, which is Portuguese for flour and it was double bagged just to try and keep the moisture out.
The customs man, having unscrewed and lifted the cabin sole of the fo'c'sle came out clutching a large wine jug with basket weaving on the outside, and asked why we had not declared that on entry. When I told him that the bottle was actually filled with water, he tipped it up and sure enough, water dripped from the old worn out cork. "Fine , fine, fine" he said and returned our passports and wished us a pleasant stay in Scotland.Howard and Jayne [ Romadi ] 10-Aug-1982
Oban Marina (Marina)
Oban Visitor Moorings (Mooring)
- the southern end of Oban Bay
- just off Dungallan Parks
- close to Oban Sailing Club
- in an area formerly used for anchoring
- adjacent to private moorings in Cardingmill Bay
£2 per hour/ £12 per night/ £70 per week
Howard [ Just Imagine ] 03-May-2009