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Old 27-12-2014, 11:55   #16
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I beg to disagree. Innocent passage specifically includes anchoring, if it is incidental to ordinary navigation, or caused by necessity, etc. See below.
............
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.
So sure, if you need to anchor to wait for the current to turn in a narrow pass, but I don' t see that this allows anchoring because it is more convenient for the crew of my small vessel. You always have the right to stop in case of a true emergency --- seeing a nice empty anchorage with a palm surrounded beach is not an emergency.
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Old 27-12-2014, 11:56   #17
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

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That's a right to passage, not a right to anchorage.
It is a right to anchor, when necessary.

Check out the letter of the law at UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA and search for the term "anchor"
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Old 27-12-2014, 11:59   #18
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

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While nominally you can invoke your "right of innocent passage" to anchor
No such right, no such law.
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Old 27-12-2014, 12:02   #19
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

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It is a right to anchor, when necessary.

Check out the letter of the law at UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA and search for the term "anchor"
How does I'm planning a sail from the BVIs to the DR and don't have the correct visas fall into the necessary category?
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Old 27-12-2014, 12:27   #20
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
It is a right to anchor, when necessary.

Check out the letter of the law at UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA and search for the term "anchor"
Neither the United Nations nor anything on its "wish list" has legal weight in any country.
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Old 27-12-2014, 13:26   #21
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

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Hi
if you are citizen of a country who's citizens are allowed by the US authorities to enter with public transport e.g. flights or ship's under the VISA Waiver Program, there is a possibility to enter the USVI without having a Visa. Sail to West End Tortala, anchor your boat and take the Ferry to St. John. In St. John your passport will be stamped by homeland security. Nöw you may enter the US for 90 days as often you like to do. So go back with the Ferry to West End Tortola and sail your boat to the Spanish Virgins.
Spot on. Two weeks ago an immigration officer in Cruz Bay, USVI, confirmed that this "loophole" still works. You could avoid the ferry trip if you have an unexpired entry stamp into the US (eg in my case from flight into Miami 5 months before).
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Old 27-12-2014, 15:31   #22
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Neither the United Nations nor anything on its "wish list" has legal weight in any country.
You should ask for a full refund from whatever law school you went to

Check out the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 6, Clause 2, for the legal force of US Treaty obligations.

Actually, the US is not a signatory to UNCLOS, due to objections to certain parts of it. But the U.S. specifically follows the navigational parts of UNCLOS, including the right of innocent passage, saying that these are a restatement of customary international law.

So you can be sure that the passages cited above are legally applicable in US waters. Whether you want to argue about fine points of their meaning while looking down the barrel of a USCG cutters deck gun is a very different question, as I mentioned above. But that's not a legal question.
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Old 28-12-2014, 04:33   #23
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

Let us know how you get along please Karin. We would like to do the same in a month or two if possible. We will be applying for a B1/B2 visa in the Bahamas to enter the US mainland.
Btw, I was speaking to a skipper who entered the USVI a few years ago without a visa. They told him he needed a visa. When he flicked through his passport he found he still had 2 days remaining on an old B1 visa so they said he was good to go. When he asked if they would have turned him away without the visa they replied ' no, we would have fined you, impounded your boat and evicted you from the country..'
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Old 28-12-2014, 08:12   #24
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

This thread starts with one wanting to do something they know isn't legal as they want to anchor is US waters without US visas. Why not just get the proper Visas? Or is there some issue there we're not aware of? Sure seems a lot simpler to comply with laws than figure out ways to circumvent them.
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Old 28-12-2014, 09:21   #25
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Originally Posted by BandB View Post
This thread starts with one wanting to do something they know isn't legal as they want to anchor is US waters without US visas. Why not just get the proper Visas? Or is there some issue there we're not aware of? Sure seems a lot simpler to comply with laws than figure out ways to circumvent them.
It's actually not illegal if their anchoring out is incidental to innocent passage through US waters on the way to somewhere else, they don't go on shore, cause pollution, etc, etc. But important to check and be sure the coasties agree, because their interpretation is the one which is important here.

Getting visas can be a huge hassle, especially if you are nowhere near a consulate.

So it's a perfectly legitimate question.
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Old 28-12-2014, 10:50   #26
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
It's actually not illegal if their anchoring out is incidental to innocent passage through US waters on the way to somewhere else, they don't go on shore, cause pollution, etc, etc. But important to check and be sure the coasties agree, because their interpretation is the one which is important here.

Getting visas can be a huge hassle, especially if you are nowhere near a consulate.

So it's a perfectly legitimate question.
You probably have a better legal definition of incidental than I do, but I think in this case it means "liable to happen as a consequence of (an activity)". In the case of a passage, you generally don't need to anchor unless there is some good cause. I don't think just wanting to is sufficient. If it is necessary for the passage, then sure you have the right to.
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Old 28-12-2014, 12:28   #27
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
It's actually not illegal if their anchoring out is incidental to innocent passage through US waters on the way to somewhere else, they don't go on shore, cause pollution, etc, etc. But important to check and be sure the coasties agree, because their interpretation is the one which is important here.

Getting visas can be a huge hassle, especially if you are nowhere near a consulate.

So it's a perfectly legitimate question.
I did not read the original post as anchoring out incidental to passage. Yes, getting visas can be a hassle, but if one intends to visit a country a requirement. Perhaps I misinterpreted the original post but the second post read "rest etc" and then the next post read that they would take the Ferry from BVI so appears there was an intent to visit.
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Old 28-12-2014, 12:37   #28
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

Karin,

I guess you pay your money and take your choice. Knowing Homeland Security to have powers which exceed those of the police, I would not want to do anything that might "upset" them. Dockhead's suggestion to try and work it out with the CG makes sense as something to try, but, if they say "no", then you're really up a creek. So my suggestion is that you get the proper visas in advance for both of you. It's a PITA, but dealing with bureaucracies is part of cruising, too.

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Old 28-12-2014, 18:42   #29
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

Hello everyone, thank you all for your answers, I really appreciate it. The initial reason for my question was that we wanted to rest during the trip that would take several days. We kept on going though and only were abit illegal for dinner at one time. Then straight on to BVI where we have checked in and everything is ok. We wantes to stop in St Thomas to pick up a new sail that we have bought but decided to go to BVI ans take the ferry tomorrow. Better be safe than sorry and as we are new to sailing we don't want to take any unnecessary risks. Thank you all again!

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Old 28-12-2014, 18:43   #30
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

I think you made the right choice. Happy cruising.
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