Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-08-2011, 22:47   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 86
Dealing with the Not-So-Pretty Side of Sailing Off to Distant Ports in Search of...

A recent and recently closed thread here got me thinking (due to the responses) about dealing with the not so glamourous side of sailing off to 2nd and 3rd world countries. What are some realities that one (like myself) may have not considered or imagined?

Here is my mental picture of entering some nameless 3rd world foreign port:

Arrive at 2am dead tired and unsure of exactly where I am, heave to offshore for the night. First light, locate anchorage and/or place to drop anchor or dock while finding the place to check in with foreign officials.

Meet with officials (or be told to wait for 10 hours), fill out paperwork, show passport, declare animals and foods, declare no weapons, etc.

Pass bribe to official for entry (do I wait until they make the first move here?)? How much? In what currency? "On the down low", or just hand it over?

Dink back out to boat, wait for more foreign officials to possibly arrive for more graft, watch for unwanted boarding parties... put tacks on deck ala' Slocum...

Then what... ? Dink to the beach/marina, walk around town? Go shopping? What the heck happens next? Do I just pick coconuts up off the beach and eat them and check out the wildlife.. ? Go play pool in some dive.... ?
__________________

__________________
ChrisnCate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2011, 23:42   #2
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Idaho and California
Posts: 20
Re: Dealing with the not so pretty side of sailing off to distant ports in search of.

I do wish someone who has "been their done that" would post . I am sure someone could how they delt with these issues.
__________________

__________________
bumoko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 04:28   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
atoll's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: gettin naughty on the beach in cornwall
Boat: 63 custom alloy sloop,macwester26,prout snowgoose 37 elite catamaran!
Posts: 9,310
Images: 75
Re: Dealing with the not so pretty side of sailing off to distant ports in search of.

#1 generally try to enter harbour/anchorage during day light so you can see any wrecks/obstrutions.

#2 leave someone on board when going ashore to check in if unsure of security,get them to drop you off if dingy theft a possability.

#3 start at the harbour master for check in process,normally they will tell you of any security issues etc and provide you with a guide to find a bank,so you have local cash,then customs,immigration,health,port police.

#4 find expat bar or place where palangis/gringos/muzungos hang out.
have beer,talk to other travelers,find out safe place to leave dingy,where market is /supermarket,safe anchorage etc.

#5 engage a reccomended watchman for the boat if needed.

#6 return to yacht, move to safer location if needed(in front of beach bar/yacht club/police dock/etc.

#7leave watchman on boat,take crew ashore,to beach bar(safe location) arrange to meet back before dark,do shopping,talk to expats and find out do'es and don'ts.
drink more cheap beer.......enjoy your stay.......or leave if too dodgy......

post script;dress down,older clothes, long trousers if in muslim countries leave the rolex on the boat.
__________________
my catamaran building project updates http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...36#post2502136
atoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 04:36   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tortola
Posts: 700
Images: 1
Send a message via Yahoo to bvimatelot Send a message via Skype™ to bvimatelot
Re: Dealing with the not so pretty side of sailing off to distant ports in search of.

Well....I've sort of done it a few times. Male, Maldives I arrived and eventually got hold of port control who told me to stand off and wait. about 5 hrs later a launch came out with 8 or 9 grim faced officials who boarded and instructed me to follow the launch to an anchorage wa-a-a-y out in the bundu. Meanwhile, they inspected the boat, took about a carton of cigarettes (I'd managed to hide the rest) and filled in the paper work. Staying there over 72 hours, even though Immigration had granted a month, meant that you had to appoint a local agent. This guy then took care of everything and at the end of the day presented me with a hefty bill which included all the officials, their travel time (escorting me to the anchorage), a cruising permit (which no-one had told me I had - otherwise I wouldnt have stayed in that anchorage) and a couple of other odds and sods. All to be paid in US dollars at an exorbitant exchange rate. There are some gorgeous places in the Maldives - but I never found 'em!

Then there was Sri Lanka. Similar story only they are even hotter on taking cigarettes!! Even on check out, the Navy comes to make sure you're not a Tamil Tiger or something but really, only to get the last few remaining cigarettes off you!

Once you're in though, it can be a lot of fun and the locals (not "officialdom") are generally great and the food and booze is cheap. Tony
__________________
bvimatelot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 08:46   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Re: Dealing with the Not-So-Pretty Side of Sailing Off to Distant Ports in Search of.

Sounds like cruising is drinking in strange bars with expats or other cruisers after paying officials way to much for the privilege.
__________________
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 08:50   #6
Registered User
 
Alecadi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Marathon FL
Boat: Endeavour 35, 1984,
Posts: 937
Re: Dealing with the Not-So-Pretty Side of Sailing Off to Distant Ports in Search of.

So, Stay home and buy DVd where you can see others sailing in foreign and strange countries....
__________________
People spend time putting little boats in bottles, me I put bottles in my little boat...
Alecadi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 09:09   #7
Registered User
 
lorenzo b's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Panama
Boat: Steel trawler 63' Eileen Farrell
Posts: 961
Re: Dealing with the Not-So-Pretty Side of Sailing Off to Distant Ports in Search of.

Had a good friend once that was trying to bring his wife and two children across a border and was having problems due to the accidental location of their birth. I asked him what it would take to get his family up here, and he said 5k. The next day I gave him 5k and three days later his family was relocated. That's a story with a happy ending. You should hear some of the other stories of people trying to enter the good old USA.
If you come down here to the third world, y'all best be prepared to share.
__________________
lorenzo b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 09:18   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Dealing with the Not-So-Pretty Side of Sailing Off to Distant Ports in Search of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alecadi View Post
So, Stay home and buy DVd where you can see others sailing in foreign and strange countries....
Actually very good advice if you are the sort that only sees the negatives and not the positives.
- - Long term cruising or circumnavigating is not for those with a bad or negative attitude. You need both a positive attitude (and sometimes it really gets tested) and a desire to see the real world yourself, not through somebody else's eyes or camera.
- - Long term cruising is a proposition loaded with endless problems and irritations as the saying "cruising is just sailing from one repair spot to another repair location." But all of that is said in humor and jest despite it being all too true for many cruisers.
- - There is the other side of the experience which can provide such a rich experience and satisfaction to a lifetime of curiosity about the "rest of the world" that the difficult times are pushed back into a corner of your psyche where they are hidden but are not forgotten.
- - The "bad" experiences can be generally avoided by research and diligent gathering of current information about prospective destinations and then just not going there if they are reportedly rotten places for a cruiser.
- - In reality there are so many "good" places to cruise to that going to the really bad ones doesn't make sense unless you are a masochist.
- - However, sometimes you have little or no choice but to stop in some of the bad places in which case you just grin and bear it until you can leave again for some more of the great places.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 09:37   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,372
Re: Dealing with the Not-So-Pretty Side of Sailing Off to Distant Ports in Search of.

My first thought is why so many complaints about the clearing process in other countries. What is the impatience, the huge hurry to get it done so urgently. If you are in a hurry, fly. This is cruising on a sailboat.

I recall my first stop in Haiti about 35 years ago. Clearing in at Cap Hatien took 3 officials, each with an assistant and 2-3 miscellaneous observers, helpers and translators. The process involved multiple copies and carbon paper no less, each official with his own, carefully hoarded box. Each step involved the official assembling a stack of forms and carbons, carefully aligning in his typewriter, filling in his few blanks, disassembling the stack and examining each, individual sheet. Then handing the sheets one by one to his assistance who examined each sheet and then presented them, one by one to the assistant for the next official. This assistant again examined each sheet and presented them one by one to his boss who reassembled the stack with his carbon paper, then..... Well I assume you get the point.

To me this was theater and I enjoyed playing my part. I got to spend a few hours with several very polite gentlemen who were seriously performing their duties. I participated patiently, politely and seriously and there was never any mention of bribe. I feel like the attitude one brings to the process usually sets the tone and will usually eliminate the bribe issue. Not always, but the impatient tourist will certainly experience I higher risk of this request.

Then what do you do? Never had to ask that question. Generally, experience the local culture. Go to the market and buy fresh produce along side the locals. See what new and different fruits and vegetables you find. Check out the local restaurants. Look for local craftsmen to repair that cracked trim piece on your hatch.

If warm, go snorkeling or diving. Go see the local sights. There is always something to see, ruins of old forts, old plantations, beaches, gardens, beaches, mountains, shops. The list to me is almost endless. Learn some of the local language if not English or whatever your native tongue.

Sure you should be aware of your surroundings. One can get into a bad neighborhood anywhere (even in the good old USA) but generally a little common sense and research before you go will keep you out real danger and minimize the risk of theft. Realize many countries are very poor and even a small, old, beat up sailboat to the locals may represent huge wealth. Don't leave valuable stuff laying around. Someone that hasn't had anything to eat all day might be tempted to take it home to swap for a loaf of bread.

When you're tired of seeing sights go back to the boat and do some things on your maintenance list. There's always, always a list: new coat of varnish on the toe rail, change the oil, batten down the anchor or hoist the hatches.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 09:48   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Dealing with the Not-So-Pretty Side of Sailing Off to Distant Ports in Search of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
. . . There's always, always a list: new coat of varnish on the toe rail, change the oil, batten down the anchor or hoist the hatches.
Love it - I forgot to mention that besides a positive attitude, a good sense of humor even in the face of adversity is another hallmark of a long term cruiser.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 11:02   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,440
Re: Dealing with the Not-So-Pretty Side of Sailing Off to Distant Ports in Search of.

G'Day C&C,

Quote:
Then what... ? Dink to the beach/marina, walk around town? Go shopping? What the heck happens next? Do I just pick coconuts up off the beach and eat them and check out the wildlife.. ? Go play pool in some dive.... ? unquote

Guys, seriously, if you REALLY have to ask this question, I worry about your future as cruisers. You must have some reason for going cruising, and whatever that reason is, when you "get there" you exercise that reason -- snorkeling, hanging with the locals, shopping, schmoozing with the other yotties, whatever seems like fun at the time. If none of these things seem attractive to you, why are you cruising? Why not stay in your home port and do day sailing (if you like sailing at all) or do your travelling on a cruise ship with organized activities.

And for what it is worth, Ann and I have been cruising for a quarter of a century, been in lots of 3rd world ports, and have NEVER been solicited for a bribe by an official. There have been some who were difficult to understand, who had obscure procedures to follow, who delighted in sending us around town seeking other officials, who had a brother around the corner with a fotocopia machine that we needed to visit and so on. We outwaited them all with a smile on our faces, and made friends with a few as well.

There are cultures that seem to breed officials who solicit bribes, and they do exact their "fees" on cruisers who come their way. But, if that is unacceptable to you, you just don't go to those places. A little research will reveal where they are. There are far more destinations than there are minutes left in our lives. One can choose which ones to voyage towards.

I hope that you can resolve these issues for yourselves and enjoy the wonderful experiences that await you. If not, well, as we have told countless aspirants, cruising isn't for everyone!

Cheers,

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 11:33   #12
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,572
Re: Dealing with the not so pretty side of sailing off to distant ports in search of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
post script;dress down,older clothes, long trousers if in muslim countries leave the rolex on the boat.
I concur, but I would never bring a Rolex in the first place. Ask me why I'm on my fourth cell phone in ten years, and I'll show you my Suunto compass/baro watch. Both are related to boat use.
__________________
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 11:34   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 586
Images: 3
Re: Dealing with the Not-So-Pretty Side of Sailing Off to Distant Ports in Search of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
To me this was theater and I enjoyed playing my part. I got to spend a few hours with several very polite gentlemen who were seriously performing their duties.
Can't imagine having an issue with officials of any country with an outlook like that.
__________________
smurphny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 14:05   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cayuga Lake NY - or on the boat somewhere south of there
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,096
Re: Dealing with the Not-So-Pretty Side of Sailing Off to Distant Ports in Search of.

I have cleared in and out of a dozen different countries. Some of them had lots of paperwork and some had almost none. They all responded well to a cheerful attitude and a willingness to try to comply with their rules. Interestingly, the toughest inspection (and the longest delays) were on my return to the USA.
__________________
sck5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 14:47   #15
Registered User
 
capn_billl's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Houston,Tx
Boat: Maxum 37'
Posts: 1,587
Re: Dealing with the Not-So-Pretty Side of Sailing Off to Distant Ports in Search of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
I have cleared in and out of a dozen different countries. Some of them had lots of paperwork and some had almost none. They all responded well to a cheerful attitude and a willingness to try to comply with their rules. Interestingly, the toughest inspection (and the longest delays) were on my return to the USA.
Ditto: The USA was always the hardest, and a bribe attempt to bypass the hassle will put you into jail.

I have paid bribes, I may have not HAD too, but it made things easier. It usually started with, "there is a problem with your paperwork", or "there will be a delay processing this". If I asked what can I do to fix this, the answer was, "there will be a slight fee to expedite". My first clue that the "fee" might not have been legal was when I placed it on the table, He quickly covered it with a pile of papers and slide it off to his pocket. But he then stamped my papers and said it was complete.

When I relayed this story to a local, he stated, "I wish you foreigners would stop bribing, we are try to clean up the corruption", I stated good luck with that, when you succeed let me know, I will stop bribing.

The only time I was "forced" to pay a bribe was in a communist country, I was threatened with arrest if I didn't pay. After being shook down three times in a row, (I was nearly on the plane), I said firmly in a loud voice, "I already paid the other guy that fee", risky, but it put him back, long enough for me to step on the plane.
__________________

__________________
capn_billl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
arc, sailing

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Beijing Sailing Center Beijingsailing Commercial Posts 2 15-07-2011 01:15



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:30.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.