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Old 21-12-2006, 20:20   #1
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Typical Cruisers Attitude?

We will soon be cruising the Bahamas for the first time. I asked a fellow cruiser with fairly limited experience about the need to strictly follow the protocol of quarantine flag and courtesy flag - and his response was, "As for flags, I don't mess with them. We are in the Bahamas to spend lots of money. That's all the ID one needs."

Is this typical? Is it ok to ignore the flag etiquette?

Thanks for your opinions.
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Old 21-12-2006, 20:35   #2
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Etiquette is as much an attitude as it is a behavior. It's a means of showing courtesy and respect. No doubt, you wish to be treated with the same courtesy and respect. So the question isn't whether it's okay to ignore the proper etiquette, it's more about who you are.

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Old 21-12-2006, 21:13   #3
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Here is another thread from the archives on the same subject that might be of interest........................

Flag Etiquette While Cruising
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Old 22-12-2006, 03:03   #4
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As John suggests, your manners are “about you”. Why would anyone ever want to be on less than their best behaviour?

Notwithstanding, you can safely ignore etiquette any time you wish to:
- appear foolish, ignorant, unmannered, crude, vulgar, or rude
- disrespect yourself & others (including their cultural, ceremonial or legal conventions)
and any time you don’t want and/or need any particular outcome (ie: a permit to cruise).
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Old 22-12-2006, 05:29   #5
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I agree wholeheartedly with the previous posts. I would also like to add that the attitude of the cruiser who didn't need flags, etc. is NOT typical of the vast majority of cruisers. We know we are guests when we travel outside of our own country, and we do whatever we can to respect our hosts. To do less earns us the well-deserved "ugly American" label. This guy does not represent the rest of us.
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Old 22-12-2006, 06:27   #6
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I agree completely with Gord. It's vital when traveling to put in that extra effort to show that you respect people and their cultures. It goes a very long way toward making for a more rewarding and pleasurable experience, plus... learning about others and following their customs is half the fun of traveling!
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Old 22-12-2006, 16:15   #7
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You are not obligated to be "typical" in any activity. You could strive to be better because you choose to do so.
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Old 22-12-2006, 18:15   #8
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In some places, like El Salvador and Panama, there is a significant fine if you are not flying the the visited country's flag in your starboard spreader. As for the "Q" flag, I am the only one I have seen fly one in all my port entries from San Francisco to Panama.
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Old 23-12-2006, 09:51   #9
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We spent a few years cruising and flying a flag is not only a courtsey, but in some countries can keep you from being fined.

This is from personal experince with several sets of friends. Contrary to the normal rules of flag ettiquete as soon as you cross into the waters of Venezuela you need to fly the national flag, they don't care if you fly the Q or not. We had several sets of friends land and go se the agents to clear in and when they returned to the boat (it takes several days to get your clearances) the Guardia was standing by the bot asking where the Ven flag was, they replied they hadn't cleared in yet and the responses was you need to have the flag flying anyway. the fine $100USD and a visit to the Harbor Captain, which can costyou money and time if the Guardia didn't share the fine. This is not an isolated incident.

So it is not only good manners but saves you money!
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Old 24-12-2006, 02:44   #10
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All of the Bahamas have small towns. If you have ever lived in a small town it is about the same. If you have the manners that is expected then you will be treated the same. If not, you will be treated badly.

If your Boat gets known as a "rude" boat, you will be treaded that way in any new port you go to.

The Boating comunity is small. Things that I do in the US is known in the next port before I get there.

It is always best to have good manners and obey the laws. You may soon get a bad experience.
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Old 24-12-2006, 08:51   #11
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Having just spent 2 winters in the Exumas, I can tell you that some Bahamians take flying their courtesy flag very seriously. So at the risk of being rude, spend the few bucks to get one and fly it proudly. And when you do fly it, make sure that your country's flag is not higher then the Bahamian flag.
The friend who has the attitude of "As for flags, I don't mess with them. We are in the Bahamas to spend lots of money. That's all the ID one needs." is an idiot.
And make sure you fly the 'q' flag as well when you check in. The Bahamians are pleasantly known for their disorganized organization. Rules are conjured up and twisted on a moments notice. So instead of trying to be cheap, just play along and you'll have a great time.
And finally, flags look cool on your boat. It's nice to have a little color up in the rigging.
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Old 29-12-2006, 07:00   #12
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2 points:

1. Maritime law requires "Q" and courtesy flags. One would hardly be except from displaying tags on a motor-car merely because he/she intends to spend serious money after parking near a Starbucks.

2. How would you feel, if a "foreign" cruiser in American waters disrespects your own flag?
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Old 29-12-2006, 14:33   #13
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The fellow cruiser you asked is an idiot. Fly the "Q" flag till you're cleared in and then hoist a Bahamian courtesy flag. If you clear in in Nassau make sure you follow this procedure.
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Old 30-12-2006, 06:09   #14
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BTW: The Bahamian Courtesy Flag is not the same as the Bahamian flag.

The proper courtesy flag is a red ensign - white cross on a red background (field) - with the (blue, black, & yellow) Bahamas flag in the upper left (hoist) corner (canton).
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