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Old 17-03-2015, 08:49   #16
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

Back years ago it was apparently the larger Sportfishermen that fit the "profile".
I wasn't on the boat but my Brother got stopped by he said Coast Guard, but I think it was some other agency right off the coast of Fl., anyway they tore the boat apart, pulled out every drawer dumping the contents on the floor to look at the bottom of the drawer which they threw into the pile, all lockers etc. bedding everything in a pile in each room. Then they just left, no explanation, no apology.
Oh and when he was stopped they told him it was a Safety inspection.

That was probably 20 yrs ago.
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Old 17-03-2015, 08:53   #17
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

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Al the time. It is all about motive. In most places, the motive is simply money. When the Mexican police shook me down, they didn't want to put me in jail -- they just wanted money. The Italian civil servant who was sitting on my wife's application didn't want to sit on it forever -- they just wanted a little money to grease the application's way through the system.

a64pilot, if someone does plant something on your boat, they're probably just looking to make some money off you. (not that this is a good thing...)
I understand, in my job I have done a lot of travelling in Central and South America. I dress low key and do not wear a watch and try to blend in, but I've been stopped once or twice, always been given the opportunity to take care of it there, no need to go to the station.
Often you can be polite and respectful, but act poor and stupid and they just wave you on
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Old 17-03-2015, 09:10   #18
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

If you make it known where you are travelling to, and someone breaks onto your boat but steals nothing...the chances are that they were LEAVING something. Considering also that a tracking device was left onboard makes it a sure thing. The plan would have been for someone to break onto your boat later in your journey and remove what had been left. Free smuggling with little or no risk to the smugglers. In days gone by, the airlines would have asked you "Has anyone given you any bags to carry for them"?
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Old 17-03-2015, 09:11   #19
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

Alas, that's the world, also by the seas....
Look smart and smiling
Avoid sensitive routes/areas, when possible
Show THEIR FLAG, large and shiny
Wash your bilge with petrol :-) and neat everywhere
Wait, it is their job, duty, approach... not happy

Q: if stopping in Lissabon first, Newheaven 2nd, Bayona 3rd, ... if i am correct.. then, any previous coming from Thai or elsewhere should be irrelevant.... !?! Shouldn't it??
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Old 17-03-2015, 09:47   #20
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

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Remove your tinfoil hat?

Other than in adventure novels, when have you ever heard of this happening?

IF it did happen, you'd obviously be completely screwed and it would cost you a whole lot of money and probably your boat and some time in the pokey, but how is that any more likely than a land based policeman deciding to frame you for murder? I suppose it theoretically could happen and probably does happen once every million murder investigations or so, but go through life being afraid of it happening to you seems too bad. Most policemen and immigration officials are honestly trying to do their jobs to the best of their ability, and even the ones who come across as "jerks" or are on some kind of power trip, aren't so evil so as to completely ruin someone's life by planting drugs on their boat or framing them for murder.

The thing I've occasionally considered is that the guest of a previous owner might have unintentionally left behind the remnants of a joint or dropped a small quantity of an illegal substance in an inaccessible spot, and it's been lying hidden until years later when it's MY boat and a drug dog finds it during a customs inspection. Then, how do I prove it's not mine? But to avoid this, why not go to your local police department and explain your concern and ask if they have a drug sniffing dog and would be wiling to search your boat just to make sure it's clean. Their dog gets training in a different environment than it's used to, and you get peace of mind.
That kind of stuff happens all the time. Cops are humans and in the human batch there is a certain % of gabage..its holds true throughout. the thing today is to just seize your stuff and the burden of proff is on you. Try driving west on the Interstate through Kansas with an out of state license plate. You WILL get stopped and its likely they will falsify a K9 alert just so they can look through your vehicle. If you have anything they want they just take it.

Excellent idea about having the drug dog check a newly purchased boat. I think Id do that before I signed the final papers. teh way they are today if its yours they might just 'seize' it for good luck and tear it apart.
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Old 17-03-2015, 10:11   #21
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

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Excellent idea about having the drug dog check a newly purchased boat. I think Id do that before I signed the final papers. teh way they are today if its yours they might just 'seize' it for good luck and tear it apart.
That word "they" includes a lot of people. I bought my boat from a location where I had no relationship with local police so decided to put it off until I got the boat closer to home and plan to talk to my local police chief about searching my boat with their dog. He knows I'm about as far from being a drug smuggler as he is and I have no doubt that even if they found something, they wouldn't tear up the boat unnecessarily. Besides, if they found drugs on board, I'd want them to tear things up enough to be absolutely certain they had found it all and removed it all. Better now than in some foreign port. But I do agree that the ideal situation would be to have the boat proven to be drug free before you ever sign the papers to own it.
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Old 17-03-2015, 11:13   #22
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

In years past, I was running a small (65') research vessel, and made frequent trips to and from the Bahamas, often going to remote places where we anchored and did things locals did not understand. And often traveled at night. Both looked suspicious, and we were searched a number of times. American authorities (usually in international waters between the Bahamas and US) were professional and polite. Bahamian authorities, on the other hand, often snuck up on us at anchor, quietly boarded, and when they finally made their presence known, it was with no identification and arms at the ready - on one occasion, a submachine gun. They did thorough searches, but when they found no contraband, left without ceremony. I never felt that they were looking for money, but just following up on unfounded tips in a not very well trained or professional way.
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Old 17-03-2015, 11:34   #23
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

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Sailing back virtually non stop from Thailand to the UK single handed in a steel cutter I got stopped at sea by the Spanish Guardia and forced into Bayona marina at the point of several machine guns for a good going over.

Tied up on a pontoon I had several drugs police search the boat along with a local magistrate , I was suspected of cocaine smuggling apparantly. They took the boat to bits, amusingly calling off the search when they found my bread flour made up in small polythene sealed bags to prevent infestation, a flick knife was produced and dipped and then run under a tap, solved that one.

Anyway, while on the jetty several British sailors who were on a rally walked over and commented that I gave the yachting community a bad name and other rude abuse, talk about guilty until proven innocent. Fortunately, the owner of a large british flagged motor boat moored nearby, was kinder and sent over coffee and biscuits to me while being guarded on deck.....

When they finally decided that I was not what they thought I was I was ordered out of the marina by the woman manager, I said I needed half a day to re build the boat but she was adamant, she said no smoke without fire and that my boat had a few rust streaks on it so I probably was guilty, of rust??

So if you ever go to Bayona in NW Spain be sure to have just come a few miles from another marina with a spotless boat, avoid rally yachtsmen and women, especially British ones, but mainly, avoid Bayona.

(I should add that in Lisbon when I stopped overnight to re fuel the boat was broken into but nothing was stolen. In Bayona a technician removing a burnt looked electronic tracking device from a locker commented that it worked better with 12volts

Wow man, i feel your pain because it happen to me exactly as you mention in your post, but this time in Cadiz Spain coming from Horta in 92, with the only diference that i espend 2 nights in a dirty jail waiting for Ammo and guns aproval , they found the serial number in a 12 c shotgun unreadable due rust, owners guns not mine,,, and the guardia civil gorilla armada making a whole mess in the boat looking for drugs, hell they almost break in pieces a legendary teak cover ceiling in the cabin ,,, when i leave the jail , i found the boat just like %&!%$"%&.... they dont give a **** ....when im asked about my next destination, i say Palma of Mallorca and WTF ,, when i arrive in Palma a month later i got the same welcome, what a summer!!!!!
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Old 17-03-2015, 11:45   #24
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

One time entering US waters from Mexico (but still 30 miles offshore), the USCG sent over a boarding party of about 9 humans and 1 dog. They were kind enough to let me maintain my course and speed, so the two hours they took didn't slow me down. In fact, it broke up the monotony and gave me a chance to test my understanding (and theirs) of various legal requirements. During the course of their inspections, I was called away from the salon (where the boarding officer was directing her subordinates and asking me questions) to address specific questions ("like show me your holding tank valve is closed", my response: "its not", them: "that is a violation", me: "not this far offshore", them: "it should only be open while you are pumping and locked the rest of the time, since you are not pumping it should be locked"; me: "that would be a smart practice and in all honesty I must admit that I probably would have forgotten to lock it up when required, but as it is, I am legal -- 'should' is not 'required'." Them: "you are wrong, we are citing you"; me: "add it to the list, but do yourself a favor and ask your boarding officer for confirmation first";
Well, the guy with the dog would not let me accompany him, but came up from the master stateroom and said "the dog is hitting on something, what drugs do you have on board?" I said "absolutely none." He responded, "you must have oxycotton (sp?), or ___ or ___ or ___"; I said, "nope", so he said, "alright, I am going to take the dog back down there and find out what you have -- this is your last chance to come clean". So, as he returned to my stateroom, I was called to my engine room to show them my documentation number (even though its hard to miss). Afterwards, I noticed the guy with the dog leaving my boat, so when I got back into the salon I asked the boarding officer, using as nervous a voice as I could muster "So, did the dog find anything?" -- She got a look on her face like "so you admit it?", but I quickly smiled to let her know that I was joking.

In the end, I was given no citations, and I learned that the boarding party was mostly conducting a training exercise and the boarding officer believed the experience of dealing with me was a good one.
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Old 17-03-2015, 12:02   #25
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

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Unfortunately, the authorities sometimes get misinformation. We have transited the Suez several times. A number of years ago, we were stopped mid-way to Cyprus by what turned out to be an Israeli naval vessel. We had heavy weapons pointed at us and were boarded by several armed marines. We did not appreciate having guns pointed at us and our children from one meter away. The marines were coldly polite and indifferent to our coomentary. Despite our protests we were forced to sail to Ashkelon in Israel where our boat was searched for weapons. The fact that we sailing away from Egypt toward Cyprus was lost on them. The Israeli's did not care about the issues they caused us (we forfeited our winter mooring in Cyprus and our deposit) and they offered no apologies - naturally they found nothing - they even brought sniffer dogs. They left a massive mess behind and then had the audacity to charge us marina fee's.
I am rather suspicious of your story without hearing the other side.
As anyone who looks at the map can easily see, it is highly unlikely that you were ordered to Ashkelon from a point half way from Port Said to Cyprus. You would have been diverted to Haifa.
Perhaps you inadvertently came to close to Gaza closed waters area.
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Old 17-03-2015, 12:05   #26
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

There is a story going around about a cruiser who got fed up with being boarded all the time and having to clean up the mess afterward , so the next time he saw the coast guard coming near, he emptied a can of cream of mushroom soup into a pot on the stove. By the time the coasties boarded, the soup started burning and the smell combined with the motion of a small boat especially while searching through the bilges had the coasties feeling rather nauseous. According to the story, they left rather quickly.
In another story, some party cruisers who wanted to have more whiskey aboard than reasonably allowed, filled one of the water tanks with it.
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Old 17-03-2015, 12:52   #27
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

These stories make me want to ask- how far offshore from a country do you have to be to not be forced into one of their ports and obey their laws? I am not a lawbreaker- just the opposite. But I may want to avoid some countries if I have a pet or we have a flare gun... I always thought international waters were just that...that international travelers could travel on without being forced into port. Seagypsy, interesting idea. How about warming up some Sauerkraut , maybe even some Lindbergher cheese and leave our kitty box open? Then take down our sails and leave the boat beam too into the swells. I would be happy to say on deck in those conditions!
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Old 17-03-2015, 12:59   #28
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pirate Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

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Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
Wow man, i feel your pain because it happen to me exactly as you mention in your post, but this time in Cadiz Spain coming from Horta in 92, with the only diference that i espend 2 nights in a dirty jail waiting for Ammo and guns aproval , they found the serial number in a 12 c shotgun unreadable due rust, owners guns not mine,,, and the guardia civil gorilla armada making a whole mess in the boat looking for drugs, hell they almost break in pieces a legendary teak cover ceiling in the cabin ,,, when i leave the jail , i found the boat just like %&!%$"%&.... they dont give a **** ....when im asked about my next destination, i say Palma of Mallorca and WTF ,, when i arrive in Palma a month later i got the same welcome, what a summer!!!!!
I'm not surprised.. if it took you a month to get to Palma from Cadiz non-stop.. its only 600 miles if that..
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Old 17-03-2015, 13:06   #29
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

Getting framed by the local cops happens a lot more frequently than you might imagine. In Illinois we've had eight people exonerated off of Death Row thru DNA testing. All were framed by the cops and crooked DAs. God only knows how many innocents have been executed. Ask any Black resident on the South side of Chicago if he knows of anyone having been framed by the cops. Then sit back with a drink and plan to listen for quite a while.
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Old 17-03-2015, 13:06   #30
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Re: Deplorable behaviour from Marina manager and other yachties

It is certainly important to keep the completely boat free of serious contraband. The risk is too great. In SE Asia, the punishment is execution and they are not afraid to use it.

I appreciate the tough job of any law enforcement effort. Nonetheless, I take great offence to heavy handed "random" boarding and security procedures. Warships chasing down tiny unarmed cruising boats? Completely Absurd. Armed marines muscling innocent middle aged or retired sailors who acquiesce to boarding? Shameful.

Apparently, I also need to get after any visible rust on my boat!

IMHO, I in no way behave like a smuggler or provide any probable cause and in my little 37 foot cutter I really wouldn't have the carrying capacity to make a good living at it.

Therefore, I certainly like the mushroom soup angle!

Come to think of it, I do keep a small bottle of diesel handy for a number of things.

If about to be boarded, I can just toss a liberal splash of diesel in on the varnished cabin sole for some cheery results:

1) It is an unbeatable slipping hazard.
2) Hard for me to think of any other smell on a boat that causes such overwhelming retching nausea in such short order.
3) Dogs do not get desensitized to smell like humans, so the hound will quickly start snorting or behaving in other distracted ways that will be noticed by any of the human boarders that are not nursing slip and fall injuries or turning green. ( I also keep dogs snacks handy, because I would feel guilty about the dog's experience on my boat.)

Otherwise, I will cooperate fully and answer all the unnecessary questions as I sit back and enjoy the show.
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