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Old 01-05-2011, 20:55   #1
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Clearing Customs & Immigration When Only at Anchor

We are cruising from USVI on a tight deadline due to unexpected delays. We need to adhere to the insurance hurricane deadline of June 1 arrival in Grenada. Can we simply drop anchor off the various islands, fly the Q Flag and pull our anchor in the morning without clearing into & then out of the country? I would assume so, but cannot find any information anywhere. Any insights?
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Old 01-05-2011, 21:01   #2
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Re: Clearing Customs, Immigration if only at anchor

as long as you don't land it is called right of innocent passage.
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Old 01-05-2011, 21:29   #3
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Re: Clearing Customs, Immigration if only at anchor

The insurance policies I have seen have a hurricane limitation. They don't cover you if you have are caught in one. They do cover you if your in the zone and have a grounding or some other accident.

You should check the frequencies of hurricanes before you blow non-stop through the Caribbean just to arrive two months before the season REALLY starts. I mean, think about it, even if a tropical storm formed, you have 3 days warning (typically) and very good track prediction. In a super-unusual pinch, outrun it.
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:32   #4
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Re: Clearing Customs, Immigration if only at anchor

'Yellow Flagging' works if you don't get caught! "Right of Passage' works when you are sailing past, not anchored. Chances of getting caught are small but fines can be high for any immigration infraction and some of the Islands are very sensitive about the rules. It is their interpretation, not your's, that will be applied.

You are only 4 days sailing from Grenada. We did it 2 yrs ago with 12 to 24 hr jumps and 2-4 day stays. Islands like Guadalupe let you check in at the internet cafe and most of the others are not onerous to check into. We are heading to Bonaire from the USVI on the same schedule and we don't intend to leave for 2 weeks.

When tropical storms and hurricanes threaten the only sensible thing is to get the boat into the best hurricane hole you can find and get ashore and into a concrete building well above the possible storm surge.
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:19   #5
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Re: Clearing Customs, Immigration if only at anchor

Correction:

We had been told by immigration officials in St lucia that anchoring was not innocent passage. However:

Quote:
Article 18
Meaning of passage

1. Passage means navigation through the territorial sea for the purpose of:

(a) traversing that sea without entering internal waters or calling at a roadstead or port facility outside internal waters; or (b) proceeding to or from internal waters or a call at such roadstead or port facility.

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.

This is taken from:

Law of the Sea Convention

Signed at Montego Bay, Jamaica, 10 December 1982
Entered into force 16 November 1994
Located in XXI ILM.

GlobeLaw.com
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:21   #6
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Re: Clearing Customs & Immigration When Only at Anchor

If you anchor in Montserrat and leave without clearing in, they will chase you down. If you anchor in the French islands (and don't go ashore), they couldn't care less. The rest are somewhere in between. Several islands have active enforcement of C&I procedures, though it can be sporadic. In other words, the harbor police boat may come visit you, or not. Don't fly the "Q" flag. Flying it signifies you intend to clear in, which you don't.

The key is to anchor around dusk and take off around dawn, while the officials are off-duty or otherwise occupied! If you're unlucky and get challenged, you can probably talk your way out if it if you haven't been ashore. Going ashore without clearing can result in seriously heavy fines.
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