I think this thread is still interesting, and should be let alive. Yes, the original question was fairly easy and has been thoroughly answered. But there are a lot of interesting topics related to it that deserve more attention. These are bordering on politics, but I think they are more into philosophy. That's why this is interesting. This forum has a lot of knowledge about anchors, ropes, sails
and all such, plus places to enjoy their proper use. But the same people have gathered more complex and deeper knowledge while living a life of gathering yachting knowledge. The more complex things are the ones deciding the important qualities of life.
Long distance sailors are most likely excessively preoccupied with feeling free. Free to leave, or stay. Free to be with whom you wish, and without. Free to think whatever you want about any thinkable topic. I feel that this crave for feeling
free must be respected. But of course we must also relate to the various obligations necessary to interact with whatever is present where we choose to be. Be it anchoring wisely, not polluting our own bathing water
, not bothering the people living by the beach next to us, avoiding actions forbidden by the local authorities and a never ending list of topics. All of this may be boiled down to one word: Respect. I like that word for its two sided nature.
When two meet, there can be no respect if it's not mutual. Coast Guard officials inside their territory do of course have jurisdiction and power to put their will through no matter what any yachtie might think. But most Coast Guard guys will notice that if they show friendly respect and do not utilize their actual power, they are able to do exactly the same controls, being treated with a beer
and helping hands proudly showing the hidden nooks and crannies of the boat, as they do when waving their guns and making the yachtie really HATE them and laugh bitterly inside as they miss ALL the potential hiding places.
There is no doubt that unfair US bashing exists. Same goes even more for various officials like the Coast Guard doing their jobs. Still I don't see too much (but yes there is a bit) of either in this thread. What I do see is a concern that our beloved freedom is threatened more by the politics of the self proclaimed "Land of the Free" than it is by countries like Turkey
, Serbia, Russia
, or you name it... Why is this so? I don't think it's only the self proclaimed "world police" role that does it. I think it seems like there is some sort of paranoia based on feeling alienated from the rest of the world. The old Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen said "Peer Gynt is himself, enough." I don't know if that translates meaningfully, but in Norwegian it says it all...
The paranoia nowadays is for terrorism and drugs. Both are of course serious stuff, but if the cure is worse than the disease...? I'm definitely no communist, rather the opposite, but I'd say that McCarthy must have been way more damaging to the American society than any action possible hostile communists in the US could have thought of or achieved. I think "war on terrorism" shows many similarities. Like totally horrible disregard of the very good main ideas behind creating The United States.
Yachties are of course not at all the ones that suffer the most injustice. Some odd occurrence where some US Coast Guard control is badly done, mostly results in anger from being badly treated. Probably all CG personnel could benefit from contemplating the psychology of what they are into, and putting heavy attention to the mutual respect
thought. Those same yachties will then be the best friends they will ever find. And we are together a (nice) beast with eyes everywhere. If USCG made an effort to befriend us and help us help them, they would get more info on the topics they want, than they could dream of by any amount of boardings.
An Embassy of a foreign country is considered part of the represented country. Even rather rogue nations respect that. If some important dissident has fled to an embassy, trying to go in and arrest him will be considered an extremely hostile act and may be reason for a full on war. A vessel in open seas can essentially be seen as just the same thing, but of course with a way weaker protection. On-board any boat at sea, the Captain
is in absolute total command. Opposing that from within is called mutiny. Extremely serious business, but after trials in court, may sometimes be deemed right, if the Captain
insane, criminal or such. Opposing it from outside is definitely piracy
, unless similarly strong indications dictate that force must be used to avoid some more serious damage. It seems USCG has been ordered to deviate from this maritime basic rule
. I see this as a lack of respect, probably a result of the paranoia built by the ghosts of McCarthyism.
The bottom line might be this: If boarded by some official anywhere who doesn't behave like you feel he should, see it as your task to give him a nice learning
experience. Of course forget any use of power. Trust your social skills. I'm not religious, but I quite like at least one of the Ten Commandments: "Do to others like you want them to do to you." (My own faltering translation, but I guess you all know the right words). The nastiest of officials will be affected by being treated welcomingly. A Captain that pretends the official is behaving perfectly and that he is worth tons of friendly respect, will make him play up to that role quite quickly. (Of course stay off exaggeration towards irony). You are on your home ground. He's not. Use the strength of being the host, and actually in command of the vessel and all aboard it, to the benefit of all.
And again: Friendly mutual RESPECT. I love that.