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Old 06-08-2013, 10:38   #16
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pirate Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

If your headed for the S Pacific and want to decrease the hassle... pick EU crew.. makes life so easy...
Flying into the Caribbean all I've ever been asked for is an address.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:49   #17
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

One of the things that kind of bothers me is that I will arrive in a country by ferry boat or private boat and the immigration official tells me I cannot enter the country. Then what the heck do I do? Sit on the dock until another boat agrees to have me on? Go back to the country I came from and figure out a way to get around the country that wouldn´t let me in?
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:53   #18
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

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One of the things that kind of bothers me is that I will arrive in a country by ferry boat or private boat and the immigration official tells me I cannot enter the country. Then what the heck do I do? Sit on the dock until another boat agrees to have me on? Go back to the country I came from and figure out a way to get around the country that wouldn´t let me in?
You may discover there are no excuses. You should have done your homework beforehand.

May end up in immigration detention centre...

But, more than likely you'll just take the vessel you arrived on back to your point of embarkation.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:57   #19
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

I, definitely, agree! That is why I am here. Thanks for keeping it real.
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Old 12-08-2013, 00:45   #20
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

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One of the things that kind of bothers me is that I will arrive in a country by ferry boat or private boat and the immigration official tells me I cannot enter the country. Then what the heck do I do? Sit on the dock until another boat agrees to have me on? Go back to the country I came from and figure out a way to get around the country that wouldn´t let me in?
In many countries, and particularly in the USA, commercial carriers are bonded and are required to fly/sail you back to your country of origin should the immigration authorities deny you entry. This is why the USA requires a visa of anyone arriving by private vessel, since the chances of being denied entry are much lower and the associated hassles in case of problems are less.

I've had a passenger next to me on a flight from Ireland to the USA who was denied entry to the EU and was being flown back home. Naturally she was being billed by the airline for the pleasure (at standard expensive rates), but she was on the flight whether she paid or not.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:05   #21
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

MTjewell-I m not to clear from your question exactly what your situation is or will be. In short, if you fly in and fly out you are fine. If you sail in and sail out you are fine. Both cases assuming all docs, passport-boat docs-are in order. The problem for most countries comes when you fly in and intend to sail out. For many countries, airlines will not sell you a one-way ticket. They will only sell round-trip, but you can leave the return date open. To avoid this, most countries (and airlines) will accept a letter from the Captain (or owner), on ship's/boat's stationery stating that you are flying in to join the vessel as crew and will depart with the vessel. The letter should include your name, passport #, vessel's name, captain's name, contact information, location and anticipated date of departure. In most cases that will allow you to buy a one-way ticket and will get you into the country. I believe you can find the more detailed information on the Noonsite website.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:21   #22
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

Thanks for the response Jay and sorry for not being clear. I am not to clear on how my trip is going to work, either. I live in South America, but I would like to travel back to the US via the Caribbean Islands; starting with Trinidad. Preferably, I would like to hitch a ride on private boats as I make my way north, but sometimes that may not work. So, I asked the question about entry/exit regulations and if it's possible to enter on a private vessel and fly out or visa versa or if it could enter on a ferry and leave on a private vessel or visa versa. Honestly, I have no idea if this is going to work, or not. I have not been able to find anyone who done it, so I am trying to do as much research as I can and ask as many questions as I can, so when I begin the trip early next year I will have an idea of what I am getting myself into. I really appreciate yours and everyone else's responses here. I enjoy reading what everyone has to write. Thanks!
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Old 14-08-2013, 05:55   #23
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

mtjewell81 - Island-hopping on boats is done a lot and often there will be people at a popular dinghy dock asking if you are heading in a certain direction and if you have room aboard for guest.
The problem for skippers is that when you clear into a country you have to enter all the persons aboard in your clearance papers, likewise when you leave. If there is a discrepancy then the boat (and skipper) might get held up and not allowed to leave, depending upon the country. Normally when you know that a crew member is leaving by plane you will present the ticket when clearing in and the immigration official will enter it into the form so that you won't have problems departing. Likewise a signed document from a skipper when flying in on a 1-way ticket is often used in lieu of a full ticket.

The French islands are pretty cool about crew changes (particularly if the boat/skipper/crewmember is from a Schengen country) but other places such as the BVI or Antigua are much more difficult and sticklers for formalities and the USA is very difficult for non-US citizens or LPR's (landed permanent residents) as everyone aboard requires a visa when sailing into the USVI, PR or the continental USA.

I've turned down guest rides from one island to the next before because I just didn't wish to deal with the responsibility and paperwork hassles and other times when heading to St. Martin or Guadeloupe I've taken guests aboard.
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Old 14-08-2013, 06:19   #24
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

Zanshin- Thanks so much for the detailed response. These are, definitely, things I need to take into consideration. In your opinion, ff I plan to be in Trinidad by mid to late February do you think I will have a pretty good opportunity to catch a ride north? Or would another port be better?
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Old 15-08-2013, 02:56   #25
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

I haven't been to Trinidad so I don't know the layout there, but a lot of boats are stored down south for the hurricane season and they tend to drift north from December through the beginning of February; after that the northward peregrination slows down a bit.
I would guess that both Trinidad and Grenada will have some central point (probably a bar with cheap happy-hour drinks) where the cruisers hang out and where your chances are best at finding a prospective boat; perhaps others here on the forum familiar with those islands could chime in with recommendations.
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Old 15-08-2013, 05:55   #26
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

Gotcha. I can probably ask someone on the Facebook page for Trinidad Cruisers.
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Old 15-08-2013, 06:13   #27
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

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I haven't been to Trinidad so I don't know the layout there, but a lot of boats are stored down south for the hurricane season and they tend to drift north from December through the beginning of February; after that the northward peregrination slows down a bit.
I would guess that both Trinidad and Grenada will have some central point (probably a bar with cheap happy-hour drinks) where the cruisers hang out and where your chances are best at finding a prospective boat; perhaps others here on the forum familiar with those islands could chime in with recommendations.
i have had quite a lot of success with signing off crew to other yachts at the end of a passage,requires the 2 skippers and the crewmember going to immigration,a bit of a hassel but generally accepted practise in most of the carib
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Old 15-08-2013, 10:56   #28
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

These little intricacies of traveling in the Caribbean are great to know. I never knew about this stuff. Thank you for the heads up! Please, keep the advice coming!
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Old 25-12-2013, 03:45   #29
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Re: Caribbean Island Hopping

My partner and I (from UK) hope to arrive into Antigua by air via USA in Feb to get crewing opportunities all through the Caribbean. This thread has been very useful as we didn't know how easy it would be to get through immigration without a return flight.
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