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  #11  
Old 01-23-2007
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Originally Posted by dorourke
It's obvious that passports will be here to stay. I saw just tonight according to local news we now need a passport to travel to and from Canada if your traveling by air or sea. I shoulden't delay my application. I do wonder how that will play out in the case of regattas that sail in Canadian water but don't make port there?
It's going to kill Lake Ontario sailing tourism. Western N.Y. ports are already suffering as Canadians decide that the combo of I-68 (paperwork obtainable only at the airport), passport and the possibility of U.S. Coast Guard boardings are simply not worth the hassle.

The Coasties backed off their stated intent to resume live fire exercises on the great lakes (last seen in 1815, for chrissakes...), but friends who've gone to Niagara-on-the-Lake are reporting that formerly friendly/helpful Coasties are now supplemented by Homeland Security types armed to the teeth.

I decided strictly on hassle reasons (not political) to keep my custom, so to speak, in Canadian waters. I am even debating starting my circ out the St. Lawrence and immediately doing an Atlantic Great Circle, rather than entering U.S. waters. I like Cuban rum, you see, and certain executive orders deem that a crime worthy of boat theft in the U.S. So to hell with the ICW, Chesapeake and Florida. It's the BVIs via the Canaries for us...unless some sense of proportion and balance asserts itself to the south.

Meanwhile, during the typing of this message, about two thousand Mexicans crossed the Rio Grande and two U.S. port facilities were bought by Saudi Arabian interests.
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2007
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Valiente,

I agree that the Passport issue is a PITA, especially considering what happens on our southern border every day, but it is a reality. I have not seen the Coasties causing that many problems, except for those big guns they have now, and they still do a great service to those in need. I have not noticed much difference than with your guys when we are sailing in your waters. Protective is all.

In all my years crossing our very easy borders I found that the Passport made it that much more simple. When I worked as an ex-pat in Toronto and crossed regularly the passport was the key. My work visa just seemed to raise flags. For some reason the border guards loved to ask me all kinds of questions and would pull me over every third trip for an inspection...happened both sides. However, my lovely wife could pull up to the gate with a truck that could have been full of drugs and after stating "Nothing to declare" she was waived through. Never once delayed. Go figure.

By the way, take a passport with you on your extended trip. Those other bad guy countries have required them for years. Go figure!
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Old 01-23-2007
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As of now, everyone entering the US from Canada needs a passport including children.... As far a sailing in Canadian waters unless you anchor or embark on land your OK. We had a discussion the other night at the sail club... The Wednesday Night series is actually sailed in Canadian waters and the committee boat does anchor. We have sent appropriate papers to the govt on both sides to alert them to our situation no problems so far. You will also need a passport to enter the Virgin islands from the BVI's should you be so inclined. And as far as the Coast Guard is concerned is was nice to see them in Dec. after 911 when we rounded St. Thomas. They also are much more visible at night and check out the south side of St. John anchorages. It's a PITA but better safe than sorry.

John
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Old 01-23-2007
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Valiente,

I agree that the Passport issue is a PITA, especially considering what happens on our southern border every day, but it is a reality. I have not seen the Coasties causing that many problems, except for those big guns they have now, and they still do a great service to those in need. I have not noticed much difference than with your guys when we are sailing in your waters. Protective is all.

I don't have a problem with either the Canadian or the American Coasties: they do a tough job and they generally do it well. But things have changed, and the world's "longest undefended border" is gone, probably forever. What I question is the rationale, or at least the focus, of deploying "border guards" to corral recreational boaters. Not that you couldn't bring a nuke as ballast, I suppose, but there are considerably easier ways to attack the States than creeping into Olcott to pick up cheap Sam Adams in a C&C 27....

In all my years crossing our very easy borders I found that the Passport made it that much more simple. When I worked as an ex-pat in Toronto and crossed regularly the passport was the key. My work visa just seemed to raise flags. For some reason the border guards loved to ask me all kinds of questions and would pull me over every third trip for an inspection...happened both sides. However, my lovely wife could pull up to the gate with a truck that could have been full of drugs and after stating "Nothing to declare" she was waived through. Never once delayed. Go figure.


Well I remember that...and I'm not questioning the right of a sovereign country to patrol its borders. I *am* questioning the right of the U.S. Coast Guard (an arm of the military, after all) to board me in international waters and start messing with my rum and/or Cohibas (I don't actually smoke, but the point is that Canada doesn't have a hate on for Cuba like the States). This is starting to be a regular situation in Lake Ontario, and it's leaving a sour taste...never mind that the U.S. and Canadian forces are supposedly "co-operating"...it's oppressive and I would argue utterly ineffective in terms of tangible results.

By the way, take a passport with you on your extended trip. Those other bad guy countries have required them for years. Go figure!

I have dual citizenship in the EU, so it's a toss-up whether I appeal to the hated British consulate or the sometimes completely absent but generally inoffensive Canadian one.

I know I'll be buying Admiralty pilots at least.
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Old 01-24-2007
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"As of now, everyone entering the US from Canada needs a passport including children .."

Not yet. Beginning today, travellers flying into the U.S. from Canada will require a passport. People entering by land or sea will require a passport in either 2008 or 2009 - the date hasn't yet been set. Various state and provincial governments are attempting to have a secure identification introduced for land and sea travellers that will be less costly than a passport. Their main concern is that day trip tourists will not want to incur the cost of a passport and the effect that will have on the economies of border cities.
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Old 01-24-2007
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Originally Posted by Johnrb
Various state and provincial governments are attempting to have a secure identification introduced for land and sea travellers that will be less costly than a passport. Their main concern is that day trip tourists will not want to incur the cost of a passport and the effect that will have on the economies of border cities.
It's already having a chill in the discussions I hear at my Canadian-side club. People thought nothing of getting into their boats with a couple of crew on a Friday evening and getting into a Western NY YC or marina at 1 or 2 AM, and making a phone call off the dock to the local authorities. Even with the videophones, it wasn't a big deal. (We don't have one at my club: just a payphone, and I've seen the Customs people on the docks exactly once in seven years.)

Now, it's more difficult, or promises to be so.

We run some international regattas during the summer, and while the "semi-pro" events aren't going to be affected, the inter-club racing (LORC, C&C Regatta, NOOD) might well be.

I don't know if there's a better answer, but anytime a government (mine or the U.S.) starts bleating about security, I start looking for equal measures of incompetance, inefficiency and cash grabbing.
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