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Old 23-03-2008, 16:13   #1
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How Far Before Clearing Out ?

Hi Folks of the Caribbean knowledged variety,

Being new to the area and gettin on mah newly bought boat in the next few days:

How far can one go from an island on a test sail before clearing out?

12nm?

24nm?

100mn?

As far as you like without clearing into the next port?


Not only do I intend to do some test day sails over the next few weeks, I want to do some longer ones overnight etc.


Thanks for your help


Mark
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Old 23-03-2008, 16:19   #2
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As long as you come back you should be ok.
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Old 23-03-2008, 16:40   #3
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Vasco's right. Go as far as you want, for as long as you want, as long as you come back to St Maarten. Of course, that assumes that your St Maarten visa is still valid.

p.s. Mark, what are your sailing plans once you're settled in on your new yacht?
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Old 23-03-2008, 17:09   #4
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Thanks guys

We will!

That lets us free is a fair bit of ocean


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Old 23-03-2008, 20:35   #5
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You don't clear out unless you intend to clear in somewhere else!
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Old 25-03-2008, 08:41   #6
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In some places, you don't have to clear out... just in. USVI is one example, at least for US citizens but think it is true for anyone. You must check in at your next port.
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Old 25-03-2008, 08:58   #7
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The US/Bahamas trip is the easiest. No clearing out, just clearing in, although it's not that easy clearing in in the States now but I'm not going to open that can of worms.
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Old 25-03-2008, 09:07   #8
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Originally Posted by defjef View Post
You don't clear out unless you intend to clear in somewhere else!
It's exactly this. DefJef has it right.

If you aren't clearing into another country, you aren't clearing out of the one you are presently in.... you are just out sailing.

Once you bump into another mass of land that has a customs/clearance rule, where you must clear *in*, then you should have cleared out of the last country you left.
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Old 25-03-2008, 10:36   #9
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Once you bump into another mass of land that has a customs/clearance rule, where you must clear *in*, then you should have cleared out of the last country you left.
To add a point to Sean's post...

Most countries I've visited here in the eastern Caribbean will insist on collecting your outbound clearance papers from your previous country. A number of these countries have a shared, computerized database in which they record your movements. I have been greeted with, "Oh, Mr. So-and-So, I see you last visited us on such and such date."

The software has some ability to flag certain unusual activities for investigation by customs/immigration officials. Best to keep off that list!
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Old 25-03-2008, 10:38   #10
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Hey Hud -

Sounds like it could be a big deal just to go from St. Thomas / St. John to Tortola for the day!

- Jake
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Old 25-03-2008, 10:57   #11
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It sure is. Here's the drill.

Sail to Soper's Hole on Tortola and find a mooring. Lower the dinghy. Dinghy in to the West End Customs office. Wait in line. Or wait for the agent to come back if a ferry has come in. Fill out the forms, pay your fees. Dinghy back to your boat. Raise the dinghy. Time required: 1 to 1:30 hours.

Sail back to Cruz Bay. Pick up a mooring in Caneel Bay (Cruz is too crowded to anchor). Lower the dinghy. Dinghy a mile or so in chop and ferry wakes to the Customs dock. Wait in line and hope that there's no ferry to process, nor rafts of boats from Puerto Rico. Fill our your forms. Dinghy back thru the chop to your boat. Raise the dinghy so you can sail somewhere else. Time required: 1:30 to 2:30 hours.

Don't try to "sneak" into the BVI without clearing in. If you get caught, the fines can be staggering.
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