Hey all, another long post here,
I'm an avid reader of Cruising World Mag and I read an article by Cap'n Fatty Goodlander in one of their most recent issues about customs
In the article he included a story about how he sailed to a port one time and was met by an official in a powerboat halfway to anchor
The official informed him that preventative measures were required to anchor
there because there was a rat problem in the area.
He also said that his brother was on his way to fill the boat with a barrel of poison that would essentially make it uninhabitable, but he was willing to waive the official requirements for a $25 convenience fee both ways. ($50 total)
After reading the entire article, (Which included a couple other stories about very greedy officials in various ports), it made me wonder about how pervasive corruption is.
Cap'n Fatty seemed to suggest that many cultures see cruisers as people who are very rich and therefore can afford to pay up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars in ludicrous fees
or give away their stuff to officials to earn the privilege
of dropping anchor in their country.
Here's an article that he posted on his website about the same topic: Corruption and Bribery in the Suez Canal
Blackbeard was a notorious pirate considered by many to be responsible for setting the modern day perception of what pirates were like during the Golden Age of Piracy
. Somewhat unexpectedly, he was known for relying more on his presence and intimidation to rob people than murderous force.
I feel this sounds a lot like what cruisers get from customs
officials and "guides" in other countries. (Hopefully you aren't one of those unfortunate few who've completely run out of supplies, so you have no choice but to do whatever they want to be able to drop anchor and stock up for lack of a better option.)
I know there are a few threads about thieves and being robbed while asleep at-anchor, but this is not quite the same. Corrupt officials are a completely different species of scum and twice as slimy, imo.
Care to share a story or two about corrupt officials or the most corrupt ports
you've been to?