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Old 27-01-2014, 13:59   #31
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
No and if you're in the Exumas you better check if fuel is available!! It's not unusual for the marinas in the Exumas and the gas stations in GT (only gas stations in the Exumas) to be out of fuel.
The navy does off shore re-fueling and I am sure other vessels do as well?
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Old 27-01-2014, 14:05   #32
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pirate Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

Yeah... just let the nearest fleet command know when and where and they'll have a Destroyer standing by for a RAS...
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Old 27-01-2014, 14:14   #33
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

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ps. Why are humans always more energetic about telling others what they cannot do? Hmmm.
Because No is the second word human learn.
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Old 27-01-2014, 14:20   #34
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

Unless you must go to T&C, I would rather skip T&C and pay my $300 fee in Bahamas and make multiple stops.

If you choose not to pay, just don't get caught. I know plenty have done that.
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Old 27-01-2014, 15:19   #35
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
I can't understand why people that obviously don't know the answer are giving advice. Admittedly the op would be a fool to take false advice but then they don't know its false. The answer is either yes or no, one gets you in jail and the boat impounded.

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Probably because they BELIEVE what they say is true based upon their life's experience to date. One of the wonders of this forum is that it's self-correcting, in that when there is a factual answer somebody will present it - often with links to sources to prove the point.

Thread drift, but as an example:

Some months back there was a thread here on CF about a sailboat sinking after a collision with a Washington State ferry that was overtaking the sailboat. I was one who boldly stated that the ferries had legal "right of way", yadda yadda. That was based upon my experience of a year's worth of sailing in the San Juan islands and my being told by other cruisers up there about the ferries having "right of way".

BOY! Was I ever wrong! More knowledgeable folk joined in with links from Wash State explicitly showing that the ferries were subject to colregs. And they provided links for the colregs (with explanations) demonstrating that there is no such thing as "right of way" but stand-on and give-way.

But I learned from that. And considering how many posts were generated during a debate about the colregs I think some other boaters also had a learning experience here on CF.

Funny thing about people: they're human. And humans tend to share with others their experiences. Most folk here are just trying to help. {Well, except for a few trolling posts from time to time. }
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Old 27-01-2014, 21:10   #36
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

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ps. I believe there are maritime laws that allow stopping for safety. ie. Single handed sailor needing sleep.
I don't think that would fly as a safety reason. I think that by safety they mean damage to vessel, loss of water or provisions, injury/illness or extraordinary weather (i.e. named storm or worse). Having anchored for one of these reasons in another nation's territorial waters would probably get you out of the need for a prearranged visa, but you would almost certainly still be obligated to inform the authorities and provide other documentation.

Anchoring without clearing in because you didn't foresee the need for crew to keep watch underway while you slept would not generally be seen as a safety problem.
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Old 27-01-2014, 21:19   #37
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

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> Is it possible to have fuel brought out to you without checking in?

No. As a general rule, you can't discharge or load anything in any country until cleared.
I think he was asking if the fuel could be brought out past territorial limits, which would get around the check in requirement for the OP.

However it might create problems for the tanker, especially if the USCG gets wind of regular open water meetings. They couldn't board the tanker if flying a Bahamian flag but they could tip the Bahamian officials about it and request a stop to it as it would be wasted manpower to keep an eye on otherwise.
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Old 28-01-2014, 06:25   #38
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

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I think he was asking if the fuel could be brought out past territorial limits, which would get around the check in requirement for the OP.
That, of course, raises a couple of questions. 1) Who would be willing to send a tanker out into international waters to sell a yachtsman 40-50 gallons of fuel? 2) How much would they charge for such a thing?

My guess is that the answers would be, 1) almost anyone if you are willing to pay enough, and 2) so much that it would be WAAAAAY less expensive to just check in, pay the fee, and buy your fuel at a marina.

On another note, at least I got a good laugh out of the post that said, "If you choose not to pay, just don't get caught."

Wow. Is it really that easy? Just don't get caught. Why didn't I think of that!?! Imagine all the stupid criminals around the world who get caught every year. I bet they're kicking themselves and thinking, "Gee, if I'd have only known. Just don't get caught."
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Old 28-01-2014, 06:37   #39
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

I'd say if you anchor somewhere remote have the $300 close at hand. If you get stopped tell them you were tired, etc needed to fix the water pump and offer to pay on the spot. don't try to get fuel without clearing although it's been done by plenty of folks. Certainly if you do dinghy in with cans don't go alongside anywhere.
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Old 28-01-2014, 06:42   #40
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

Just time your arrival with a hurricane. You can claim safe harbor and all the bureaucratic offices will be closed because there's a hurricane going on.
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Old 28-01-2014, 09:35   #41
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?



An endless debate, with few facts and many opinions....

Yellow Flag (Quebec, Q flag)
"My vessel is 'healthy' and I request free pratique" (from "International Code of Signals")
Flown from entrance into a States territorial waters until your vessel has "cleared in" with appropriate authorities. If exercising the "Right of Innocent Passage" (see below) the "Q" flag should be flown continuously while in the territorial waters of the coastal State.

Right of Innocent Passage
(UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION
ON THE LAW OF THE SEA
Signed at Montego Bay, Jamaica, 10 December 1982
Entry into force: 16 November 1994)


SECTION 3. INNOCENT PASSAGE IN THE TERRITORIAL SEA
SUBSECTION A. RULES APPLICABLE TO ALL SHIPS

Article 18
Meaning of passage
2. Passage shall be continuous and expeditious. However, passage includes stopping and anchoring, but only in so far as the same are incidental to ordinary navigation or are rendered necessary by force majeure or distress or for the purpose of rendering assistance to persons, ships or aircraft in danger or distress.

Article 19
Meaning of innocent passage
2. Passage of a foreign ship shall be considered to be prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State if in the territorial sea it engages in any of the following activities:
i. any fishing activities;
l. any other activity not having a direct bearing on passage.

Can you pass through the Bahamanian archipelago without checking in?
Yes
Can you anchor? No (except as noted above... Sleep might be debatable)
Can you stop for Fuel and Supplies? No


As a practical matter, check in and pay the money as soon as possible once entering Bahamanian waters. You may be allowed to do elsewise as a legal matter, but not a route you want to pursue for 300 US. Time and money spent defending your (possible) rights to innocent passage will far exceed the 6 month permit. You might actually need/want to stop somewhere anyway, and some of the Bahamanian officials are less than sympathetic if you have not checked in asap. They know the game.
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Old 28-01-2014, 09:49   #42
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

You did good Capt. C........
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Old 28-01-2014, 10:56   #43
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

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Yeah... just let the nearest fleet command know when and where and they'll have a Destroyer standing by for a RAS...
In the US Navy UNREP = RAS but, yeah, good luck with that.
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Old 28-01-2014, 11:33   #44
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

Maybe if you flew this yellow flag:




Maybe not.
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Old 28-01-2014, 12:18   #45
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Re: Yellow flagging the Bahamas?

Well - I was delivering a single screw motor yacht from BVI to Tampa. I had 2 x 50 gallon drums of diesel on the back. I refuelled at Puerto Plata in DR then anchored off Great Inagua with a yellow flag flying. In the morning I left and a Bahamian Defence Force Boat came out of Mathew Town and boarded me. The very pleasant and correct Bahamian officials inspected my clearance from DR and said I had done the right thing. Apparently they had been watching me from Mathew Town overnight but no-one had attempted to go ashore so, as far as they were concerned, everything was ok. They also gave me a bit of paper to show to any other Bahamian authorities as I progressed along, saying I had already been inspected and was good to go. Further down the pike I was overflown by a USCG Helo who asked me what was in the drums on the back. We had a nice chat.

Other deliveries have included (twice) stopping in Marsh Harbour, Abaco. On clearing in, I explained I was just in for fuel, they waived the $300 cruising fee. I tried this once in San Salvador and the lady customs officer wouldn't have it - even though I told her I had been allowed this facility in Abaco. I then politel;y explained to her that her little island had just lost out on about $800 income (fuel and a crew meal ashore) and walked out. She was a bit non-plussed.

Mind you - that was an extremely silly thing to do as I could have been severely dealt with had a Defence Forcew boat caught med in Bahamioan waters. I headed East at a great rate of knots and ponly started breathing normally after the 12 mile limit. Even so, I think that if they had had a boat on station and caught up with me, the 12 mile limit would not have made any difference...."hot pursuit" I believe the law is called....Tony
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