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Old 25-03-2015, 18:32   #151
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

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Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
Just curious in reading the customs laws for T&C it is kind of fuzzy , with prior approval are you allowed to keep weapons on board or do they all have to be handed over until checkout? It even reads spearguns polespears and compressed air powered guns must be turned over. Sounds strict,
I haven't stopped in the T&C in a long time, but these days it's one of those places I could easily give it a miss... Compared to the Bahamas, the range of cruising there is quite limited, and their fees have gotten pretty steep, considering what you get... And, in recent years, they've taken a very aggressive approach towards passing yachts making brief stops in places like Big Sand Cay without clearing in - which is certainly their right, of course... Here's a recent example:

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On our sail up from Puerto Rico to check-in at Mayaguana, Bahamas, we anchored off tiny sandbar-island French Cay for a few hours of sleep and to time our arrival at Mayaguana the next day. While there, we heard Provo Radar calling boats boats by lat/long coordinates to identify themselves. Soon after that, we set our AIS on stealth mode and listened further. A Canadian couple, probably on a charter boat, were called out anchored off West Sand Spit. They were asked to supply complete information by Provo Radar. The boaters explained that they were resting for a short while before proceeding on to the Bahamas and did not want to check in at Providenciales. The operator checked with authorities and called back in an hour saying that they would be required to check in. The Canadians were not happy campers, but had no choice. They were stuck with losing at least a day and paying ~$150 in fees.

We "got out of town" shortly after that and noticed remarkably degraded reception on Ch16 until we were out of Caicos waters. That's our story and we're sticking to it.

Technically, I guess anyone who drops a hook is required to check in, but.....

Is this standard Caicos procedure?

Provo Radar asked a US Coast Guard helicopter to ID any boats at French Cay as we were leaving (another boat had just arrived), but the chopper declined. To be sure, the area does have issues with people trying to leave Haiti for better places, so that is a concern for the Turks and Caicos.

Aggressive Provo radar, Caicos islands
Looking further on down the road, I notice that the DR is currently on the Caribbean Safety & Security Net's map of "Hot Spots"... Hmmm, not the sort of designation those traveling with firearms are gonna be happy about having to turn them over to the authorities during their stay, I would imagine :-)

https://www.google.com/fusiontables/...I5Cz6#map:id=3

That Path to Paradise is getting thornier all the time, with each passing year the logic of hitching a fast ride on a cold front out of the NE Providence Channel and making it as far East as you can seems to become a bit more compelling... If nothing else, it will save you some money, and you'll get to the Good Stuff a lot sooner...

And, you won't be stuck sitting 'defenseless' in one of the Caribbean's current "Hot Spots"...

:-)
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Old 25-03-2015, 21:04   #152
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

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All the people who don't own guns and aren't planning on cruising with guns, stop commenting. This thread is not for you. So please shut up,and if you want to discuss gun culture ofr the pros and cons go over to a Mayor Bloomberg anti gun site and rant...

I made this thread to help people who have already decided to have guns aboard but want first hand experience with the process. Not hear say from people that just repeat horror stories.

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And a very noble intent it is! Let us know how your circumnavigation goes once you get to France (or any other European country) with your artillery. If you think they liked your 12-guage, just wait until you show them your DE!
Not to worry, we'll keep this thread open for you, and I'm pretty sure you'll find a way to get Internet access at some point during your 5-10 year incarceration.

Bon vent,

Jacques
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Old 25-03-2015, 23:11   #153
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

The op has offered to up date the forum about procedures for armed cruises for that I thank him.
We would carry firearms if we thought it would enhance our safety "I have owned firearms and used them regularly in the course of my work" however after 2 years cruising around south east asia including the malacca straits, Cambodia,twice across the south china sea to Borneo, we have never felt the need. You need to get used to the fact that most of the sea farers here don't want darker skin so they almost all wear masks, ask yourselves how you will respond to a fast approaching boat , that is comming to sell fish, warn you of a floating net or uncharted reef this happens regularly . Are you going to put shots across their bows.
Cant comment on the rest of the world but checkout where most pirates go to work
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Old 25-03-2015, 23:34   #154
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I could argue the US was saved by the French navy and all you were doing was repaying the favour ( lol )

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The motives of the French, as usual, had little to do with aiding the fledgling colonies but, rather, had more to do with poking the Brits in the eye with a big stick. But, no matter, we were (and are) eternally grateful for their aid.

Speaking of more recent events, the failures in France that led to US involvement in both world wars had more to do with the fecklessness of the gov't than it had to do with any lack of will on the part of their armed forces.

As to this stream - I am also keen on learning more about the OP's experiences as they move along with their firearms. When the Admiral and I venture offshore we will also be considering whether or not to carry firearms - and, if so, which type and how many. Avoiding known trouble spots and being just plain careful are the first line of behavior. Many folks have cruised doing just that and have been safe. In those instances where folks have come to grief there can be debate as to whether or not having a firearm would have resulted in a different outcome.

Cruisers out there from other countries need not fear folks from the US who may be carrying firearms. All 50 states allow for one form of conceal carry or another. The dire predictions of wild west shoot outs happening on Main St, Anytown, USA just haven't happened. I doubt anyone could post links to reports of US cruisers engaging in crazy acts of armed aggression on the high seas either. Just so much hyperbole.

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Old 26-03-2015, 00:49   #155
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

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And a very noble intent it is! Let us know how your circumnavigation goes once you get to France (or any other European country) with your artillery. If you think they liked your 12-guage, just wait until you show them your DE!
Not to worry, we'll keep this thread open for you, and I'm pretty sure you'll find a way to get Internet access at some point during your 5-10 year incarceration.

Bon vent,

Jacques
I beg to differ Jacques.
For once, Brussels bureaucrats have made hunting fire arms owners life simpler.
At least in Continental Europe, I am not sure about the UK.
A " Fire arms passeport " has been introduced which is valid throughout the E.U for hunters wishing to travel with fire arms ( long guns).
I have no idea whether this Fire arms passeport is accepted in the British Virgin Islands, French or Dutch "West Indies" ?
I suggest to the OP to inquire whether he can apply from the US to this E.U fire arm passeport and get his shotgun registred.

Else, a number of east E.U countries like Romania welcome hunters from all over the world (brings $, , into the country), includes US hunters.
Most hunters wish to hunt with their own guns, shot guns or rifles for big game.
Getting a gun registred in Romania is not a problem.

Just for fun... should you visit Svalbard, Spitzberg, Spitzbergen (choose whatever name suits you), it is illegal to go ashore outside harbours WITHOUT a gun, long gun again.
Reason : Polar bears.
;-)

I do not wish to discuss hand gun.
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Old 26-03-2015, 05:40   #156
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

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I beg to differ Jacques.
For once, Brussels bureaucrats have made hunting fire arms owners life simpler.
At least in Continental Europe, I am not sure about the UK.
A " Fire arms passeport " has been introduced which is valid throughout the E.U for hunters wishing to travel with fire arms ( long guns).
I have no idea whether this Fire arms passeport is accepted in the British Virgin Islands, French or Dutch "West Indies" ?
I suggest to the OP to inquire whether he can apply from the US to this E.U fire arm passeport and get his shotgun registred.
True, but you forgot to mention that the European firearms passport is only issued to hunters who have a valid European (French, Spanish, Italian, etc.) hunting license.
Unless things have changed radically in the past 2 years, getting a French hunting license isn't simply a question of paying for it like it is here in the States.
First, you have to take an officially sanctioned training class. These classes are only offered a few times a year in selected locations which may be hundreds of miles away.
Then, you have to pass a written exam which includes some 200 multiple choice questions such as "Which way do the arrow designs on the female Grousse's feathers point?" and "Which of the following is NOT a protected species?".
Finally, and sometimes several months later, you are summoned to a field safety trial.
Getting a handgun permit is an entirely different ball of wax and a much longer process.
The only firearms that are not regulated in France are black powder weapons.

Jacques
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Old 26-03-2015, 07:22   #157
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

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True, but you forgot to mention that the European firearms passport is only issued to hunters who have a valid European (French, Spanish, Italian, etc.) hunting license.
Unless things have changed radically in the past 2 years, getting a French hunting license isn't simply a question of paying for it like it is here in the States.
First, you have to take an officially sanctioned training class. These classes are only offered a few times a year in selected locations which may be hundreds of miles away.
Then, you have to pass a written exam which includes some 200 multiple choice questions such as "Which way do the arrow designs on the female Grousse's feathers point?" and "Which of the following is NOT a protected species?".
Finally, and sometimes several months later, you are summoned to a field safety trial.
Getting a handgun permit is an entirely different ball of wax and a much longer process.
The only firearms that are not regulated in France are black powder weapons.

Jacques
Well, Jacques, I am not an expert about fire arms (for hunting purpose) regulations in the US.
If I understand there are "regulations" in the US, which can be very different between states.
I have searched the web about Alaska, in order to fulfill requirements you have to pass an Online test, and upon succes book a slot for a practical test with an approved instructor.
Course includes muzzle safety, rules about transportation of firearms... etc, just like in Europe.

Actual hunting is one thing and I totally agree with you, knowing and understanding safety issues is another, something you learn before taking a hunting test.
This why (mainly) a hunting licence is compulsory to be allowed to buy a long gun.
In this aspect, it is all about common sense (responsible ownership).
There is no such thing as an American common sense and an E.U common sense.
:-)
Now, up to the OP to do his homework.
;-)
PS : you will find a number of outfitters advertising themselves in Scotland, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, I cannot believe their customers base is 100% european.
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Old 26-03-2015, 07:53   #158
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

A tangent from Clyde's previous post and a serious question to those who have extensive international cruising experience:

How many times have YOU had YOUR boat actually searched for firearms?
What were the circumstances and how extensive was the search?
What was the declared motive of the searching authority?

I completely understand the sovereignty and importance of individual national laws. Simply want to know the reality of the situation.
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Old 26-03-2015, 08:19   #159
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

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A tangent from Clyde's previous post and a serious question to those who have extensive international cruising experience:

How many times have YOU had YOUR boat actually searched for firearms?
What were the circumstances and how extensive was the search?
What was the declared motive of the searching authority?

I completely understand the sovereignty and importance of individual national laws. Simply want to know the reality of the situation.
I don't have any real life experience, and thus no answer for you. However, I highly doubt that the "authorities" will rip through any boat with a fine tooth comb looking for illegal objects. Be those drugs or weapons. Hence, I'm not worried about secreting weapons on my vessel. They will be secreted correctly. Even if searched, they will not be found. In homes, gun lockers (safes) are to keep firearms out of the hands of children in the family. On a vessel sailed by a husband and wife with no children on board, there is no need. And, no need to sail around to various countries "declaring" my weapons in each port. To each his/her own.
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Old 26-03-2015, 16:56   #160
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

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I don't have any real life experience, and thus no answer for you. However, I highly doubt that the "authorities" will rip through any boat with a fine tooth comb looking for illegal objects. Be those drugs or weapons. Hence, I'm not worried about secreting weapons on my vessel. They will be secreted correctly. Even if searched, they will not be found.
Well, I would strongly suggest you not attempt sailing to Cuba with that approach, to name one... Though perhaps you'd get lucky, and the sniffer dog might have a cold on the day you cleared in... :-)

Too bad, as it's one of the more interesting places I've ever sailed to...

Certainly one of the 'safest' for a cruising sailor, as well...


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Old 26-03-2015, 17:12   #161
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

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Well, I would strongly suggest you not attempt sailing to Cuba with that approach, to name one... Though perhaps you'd get lucky, and the sniffer dog might have a cold on the day you cleared in... :-)

Too bad, as it's one of the more interesting places I've ever sailed to...

Certainly one of the 'safest' for a cruising sailor, as well...


I was 22 once. I'm not anymore. I've seen my share of very interesting places worldwide. I can live without Cuba being on that list. Glad you enjoyed your cultural experience.

I like your photoshopped picture. Looks like a long gold bar running through Beirut. Inviting.
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Old 26-03-2015, 17:57   #162
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

"secretly" carry? How are you going to secretly carry if you need to use it for real life security? My thought is plan accordingly and for myself, just not bother to visit where they don't allow, turn it over if law requies a hold. Just plain ole be a guest where you are and abide by the law. If you need to go where not allowed, don't bring. Guess I sound like a rookie, but it's sure better than locked up and journey over. Am I missing something? I plan to disclose and I have no problem with cruisers that carry actually to prefer to be achored next to one who is aware.
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Old 26-03-2015, 18:18   #163
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

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I like your photoshopped picture. Looks like a long gold bar running through Beirut. Inviting.
Thanks, but I don't do Photoshop... Sometimes, there's no point in trying to improve upon The Real Thing... :-)


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Old 26-03-2015, 18:23   #164
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

The fact is that most "foreign" countries (remote islands included) tend to frown upon firearms a lot more than most Americans would think.

In most cases, you'll probably fare better getting caught with a kilo of Coke on your boat than you will with an unloaded 22 Cal. Derringer.

The "Gun Culture" is uniquely American, and while you've currently got more full-auto Kalashnikovs floating around Europe since the fall of the Wall than we've ever had in the States, the European mindset remains "anti-gun" for the most part, and the notion of "Self Defense by Firearm" as we see it isn't even in the books.

On the other hand, if a Frenchman happens to shoot his wife and/or her lover while they're going at it in HIS bed, then Aricle 23.100B/1899 of the Criminal Code regarding "Crimes of Passion" will probably be invoked and lighten his sentence, as long as the firearm used was properly licensed and registered.

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Old 26-03-2015, 18:48   #165
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Re: 2015 bahamas gun check-in update

It seems to me, after reading every post, that there are more pro firearms sailors than not. My experience was different than the OP's when I was in the Bahamas. I rendevoused with another female sailor who declared her AK 47 and had it quickly seized for the duration of her stay. This occurred in Marsh Harbor five years ago, so maybe things have changed. I like the dog/taser approach to personal safety but for me it all depends on ones sail plan.
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