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Galle Check In And Services

By doina — last modified Mar 06, 2006 11:37 AM

Published: 2006-03-06 11:37:28
Countries: Sri Lanka

Half way to Sri Lanka, the transmit portion of our HF radio failed forcing a stop in Sri Lanka. After reading what had been earlier encountered by others, we were not looking forward to the check-in process. All our worries were for not. Once off Galle, we tried calling port control. We never did make contact. It was only after we called the Windsor's on Ch 69 did things begin to happen. They notified port control and the navy of our desire to enter the harbor. It took about 2 hours before the navy arrived to fill out some paper work. They acted professionally and did not ask for a gift. They then accompanied us to a location in the harbor where we med moored to a plastic finger float. I then accompanied Windsor's representative to their office where we were relieved of $170 ($120 harbor dues and custom fees + $50 agency fees). I then returned to the boat and waited for customs. These were the fellows that had the bad reputation. Upon their arrival, I photographed both individually and with me before anything began. They then explained that because of the high tariff on alcohol and cigarettes, you had to account for everything aboard. I explained that that was impossible as it was stored all over the boat. I filled out the quantities as accurately as I could preceded with the word approximately. One agent then went below and started to poke around. He then started asking for "gifts". I gave him two beers and two packages of cigarettes. They asked for more but I declined.

Christen of the SY Subeki took another tac. He had a list of all his alcohol and up front, he gave them a bottle of gin. They asked for nothing more.

Is the hassle worth it? Absolutely. Our stay in Sri Lanka was enjoyable and can be recommended to all.

Once cleared into Sri Lanka, I made contact with Bannet Yacht Services for assistance getting our HF set repaired. Bannet along with Batu and Elle proved to be a no nonsense, can do organization. They initially sourced an electronic repair facility about an hour and a half from Galle, delivered me and the radio there repair and returned shortly thereafter with a repaired set. They later arranged for an island tour which was delightful but not before solving a refrigeration problem. The night before our intended departure a belt on the refrigeration compressor failed. Early on the morning of our intended departure, I called with the news that I was going to have to cancel. They suggested storing all our frozen goods shore side and while we were on the tour, they would source a belt and get it delivered to Galle. We ultimately delayed our departure by only 45 minutes and upon our return, the belt was on hand ready for installation.

Bannet Yacht Services can also arrange for laundry to be done, the delivery of diesel, transportation in and around Galle, and all your provisioning needs.

Bannet can be contacted by either mail or email. His particulars are: Bannet Hasantha De Silva, #16 Magawatha Lane, Magalle, Galle, Sri Lanka. Tel, 009477 6763752, Email [email protected] [email protected]

On a side note, the tour we took was fantastic. We got the feel of Sri Lanka getting to see some of its geography, culture and Industry. Leel was our tour guide. He speaks English and German fluently and has a great sense of humor. Anybody wanting to see some of Sri Lanka, contact Bannet Yacht Services and you wont be disappointed.

Phil and Janie Stewart aboard SY Tsolo