Interesting as to how other countries are reacting to the moves made by the US re security
and patriot act type proceedures. If you look at noon site you will find that many of the laid back Pacific Nations are bringing increasingly stringent legislation re the "free" movement of yachts etc. A quick look at "the Coastal Passage" will give an insight into the activities of the Queensland water
authorities, and their "turd" police, the penalties if they find one floating alongside your boat are horrendous, (do they do a dna check to make sure it one of yours? On a lighter note although it was a first for me I was pulled up by a NZ navy
vessel (Kahu) about 10 miles out from Gt Barrier island on the way to Tutukaka, couldn't out run them 4 1/2 knots, head wind
and sea but also I didn't know they were chasing me! as that has never happened before normally just a cheery wave as you wait for their wake to work you over. They came along side 30 metres and made the telephone sign to which I responded that the vhf
was below and as I was single
handing I didn't want to leave the tiller. They followed up with a command over a loud hailer that left me in no doubt that I better go below and get it, which I did. Upon making contact and going to channel 6 they wanted to know the yachts name, (written in Large letters on the side of the boat) port of registry (none, as not required in NZ unless you are cat 1 and going offshore) where I had come from (they watched me sail out of Fitzroy harbour) where I was heading and my home port.They said they were doing a swing through the area and were checking all boats, ( and the bugger on the bull horn had a pommy accent!) Now I am sure that this is a new thing in NZ and am sure we will see more of it in the future. I believe it is a direct result of how America has responded to the perceived terrorist threat post 9/11 and its expectations of its allies and friendly nations to support its "security" initiatives. Unfortunately this exposes most of us to the attention of those organisations that are supposedly there to help but who have morphed into something aproximating the people they would have it that they are protecting us from.