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.