Join Date: Jun 2004
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Rep Power: 13
Try as a foreigner to 'drop by' US waters/territory. That is not recomendable!
I did that mistake on my way, and after that I made it a routine to check procedures on the net before arriving next destination.
We arrived Cairns in 2005 from Vanuatu. Did it easy, sent a mail to 'Yachtreport' telling our date of departure and estimated transit time. At arrival , called customs/immigration on the VHF, got permission to anchor until next day for clearance as they did not expect us as early as we arrived. 50knots of wind had given us some extra speed!
Strict, yes, but fair and friendly.
Feel sorry for You, but have to say: Blame Your captain, it is his responsibility.
To me the US waters are no-no zone and the least yachter friendly. Even after clearance, paperwork and whatever, You allways had the Coast Guard as a shadow.