Caribbean, What works and doesn't - Page 12 - SailNet Community
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post #111 of 141 Old 03-16-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
.....If I sailed to Deshais for the weekend I didn't clear out or back in.
I get the sense that some still practice this, but it sounds like a huge risk.
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post #112 of 141 Old 03-16-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Deshais has the best clear in - you go to a bar, get a drink, and spend 5min on their computer. I can't imagine any reason to skip that.

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post #113 of 141 Old 03-17-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

The French coastiess make periodic visits to the anchorages and they have an uptodate list of boats that have cleared in.

They take a very dim view of any boat 'yellow flagging' through the islands.

One boat that was caught recently had a big fine 5,000 euros I think and a fairly unpleasant time.

Antigua is another island that polices arrivals sternly and woe betide a crew that goes to the bar before the skipper gets the paperwork done.
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post #114 of 141 Old 03-18-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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...They take a very dim view of any boat 'yellow flagging' through the islands.
I hadn't heard the term, but I assume you mean some will just drop anchor, fly the Q flag, but depart prior to ever checking in. That does make me wonder how one technically manages day hopping. You pull in the anchorage, after C&I closes, but plan to depart before it reopens. If one never departs their vessel, is this a violation to fly the Q flag, but never check in? I think it still is. You've arrived and are obligated to check in the moment your anchor touches bottom.

Quote:
...and woe betide a crew that goes to the bar before the skipper gets the paperwork done.
The kids we all went to grade school with, that never thought the rules applied to them, grow up and still don't. I've had crew that wanted to do this, thinking it was no more than cutting a line at an amusement park. Thankfully, they listened.


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post #115 of 141 Old 03-18-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

I suppose the authorities arriving in the evening in a harbor and seeing a yellow flag can interview those on board and direct them to clear in when the office opens and noting the boat's name, captain and so on to forward to C&I. If the don't clear in and they are never seen again not much one can do... nor actually much harm unless they are partying at a bar after the coasties leave.

Obviously authorities can't be everywhere at once and who would want that anyway? Obviously there needs to be some sort of honor system and most will respect the laws.

Take a hypothetical situation. Boat is on its way down island an is very low on fuel and water and wants to stop just to top off their tanks. It seems crazy to have to clear in and out and pay hefty fees just to top off fuel and water. So if said boat comes into ties up with yellow flag tops up and the coasties are docked say near by thinking they are going to immediately clear in and they simply sail off... what would they do? They observed the vessel arrive, top off and depart. Technically a violation... but would they cite the boat? or give them some sort of warning on that they should have topped off at their last port?

I think stopping to sleep and moving on, no landing anyone ashore while technically unlawful should not be punished.

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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

SO, I'm not so sure. Would it be okay for a foreign vessel to pop into a dock in NYC just to top up fuel and water, then leave and pop into Philly, do the same and leave, etc, etc, all the way down the coast, without ever checking in?


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post #117 of 141 Old 03-18-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

If you are flying the “Q” my understanding is:
You have 24 hours to clear.
No one leaves the boat or has interaction with land until after you go into clear first. In order to get duty free fuel you usually need to show your clearing out paperwork. Islands vary in whether they will allow more than the captain to get off the boat to do so. Rules change so check. We both go in but (for once) wife stays quiet and only I go to the counter. So far never had an issue except in BVI Road Town but not in the other BVI ports of entry.

Given this understanding I believe it is OK to anchor, catch a few hours of sleep, then move on. As long as you’ve had NO interaction with land. It isn’t ok to pick up fuel, water, or food within that 24 hours. People do this nap time quickie to bypass St.Vincent.

I had occasion to enter BVI coming from Marigot. I needed to be on a slip to get a outboard engine. I wasn’t allowed to tie up to the slip until I went back out, anchored, and cleared. BVI is a PIA.

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post #118 of 141 Old 03-18-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Should note if you are getting duty free fuel discount is 15% or better so clearing in/out is usually cheaper for average cruising boat carrying 150-250g.
Customs is usually near where fuel is. As is water. Provisioning is a whole different beast and varies greatly.
Customs and immigration does look or ask for your last port of call and when you left. If you left BVI and entered Trinidad with no clearances in between or something similar pretty sure it would raise eyebrows.

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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

I've tied to Fuel dock at the Antigua shipyard rather than anchor... and dinked over to customs to clear in. Not a problem. We were taking on fuel an water while I cleared in. I have slept over without going to land with the Q flag an a number of occasions. Never had a problem. Times may have changed.

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post #120 of 141 Old 03-18-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

A charter boat arrived in Jolly Harbour Antigua after customs and immigration office hours. The bars and restaurants were open and a stones throw away and everyone went ashore. When the skipper went to clear in next morning he faced a grilling, had to go to see the head of immigration in St Johns and was fined $2000 US. This was about three years ago. The boat was also held but not immobilised for 2 days.

Some years back a Dutchman with a recent good looking Bene was asked for his papers in Trinidad. He had arrived with his dog in Antigua and had sailed South from there with his dog stopping at each island but never clearing in or out. He was arrested his dog put into quarantine and I believe eventually deported back to Holland but I am not certain this was the outcome. The cruising community was more concerned with the dog's future than the skipper.

Another skipper has just spent 6 months in a Trini jail for having firearms on board, one was a miniature cannon and the other a black powder muzzle loader.

Think how you would be treated in the USA if you were found sailing in their waters and carrying firearms without having cleared in.
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