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Old 23-03-2016, 12:26   #1
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Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

We're planning on doing the Down East Loop this summer, going east on the St Lawrence River from the US side of Lake Ontario.

It looks like the best Port of Entry for clearing in to Canada would be Brockville, ON. Can anyone confirm this, and/or advise on the correct procedures to follow? Can it all be done from any telephone or are there special "clearing in" phones?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 23-03-2016, 13:01   #2
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

If you want to bypass the Thousand Islands national parks, Brockville is fine. Otherwise, I would suggest Kingston, Ontario and proceeding east from there. Kingston is also a lovelry historic city with some great restaurants and pubs in the waterfront area.

Brad
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Old 23-03-2016, 14:12   #3
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
If you want to bypass the Thousand Islands national parks, Brockville is fine. Otherwise, I would suggest Kingston, Ontario and proceeding east from there. Kingston is also a lovelry historic city with some great restaurants and pubs in the waterfront area.

Brad
===

Yes, I'm somewhat familiar with Kingston. I found the marina docks to be on the small side and I'd prefer to get farther east. Do you have to be docked before calling customs, or can you use any phone?
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Old 23-03-2016, 14:59   #4
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

You go to where there is a Port of Entry ie. Kingston or Brockville or wherever. Use the Customs telephone which has the number to call. Have your passport ID and the passport of those travelling with you. They will ask how many on board, where you are coming from and how long you will be in Canada ie. standard type questions. Custom officals may tell you to stay on your boat and they will pay you a visit or they may tell you, you are free to go. They also will provide you with a reference number which you must record in case the coast guard intercepts you during your travel. Whether your passengers remain on board or accompany you to the customs telephone seems to be questionable. I would take them with you to the phone but have done it both ways.
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Old 23-03-2016, 15:12   #5
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

All the information on telephone reporting arrival in Canada at:

Telephone Reporting Site/Marine (TRS/M) | Directory of CBSA Offices and Services | Canada Border Services Agency

e.g. several sites in Brockville.
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Old 24-03-2016, 09:06   #6
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

If you are bypassing Kingston, best town at the beginning of the 1000
Islands, where you will want to spend some time, is Gananoque Municipal Marina.

Most Americans coming over from NY clear in there.
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Old 24-03-2016, 10:00   #7
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

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Originally Posted by Scaramanga F25 View Post
If you are bypassing Kingston, best town at the beginning of the 1000
Islands, where you will want to spend some time, is Gananoque Municipal Marina.

Most Americans coming over from NY clear in there.
Ditto on Gan as an easy point of entry. Bit of a walk to town and not as charming as Kingston, but long dock to tie to and not as hectic as Confederation Basin. Restaurant to visit in Gan is Riva, Riva Restaurant.
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Old 24-03-2016, 10:07   #8
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

We clear in to Canada every year. It is an easy process. There are many places to clear into. Confederation Basin in Kingston is one. They do have slips and docks for larger vessels. There are some that are larger than 49 feet.

Just down the river is Trident Yacht Club, but dockage there will be an issue. You can also clear in at Gananoque.

Call from a landline, not your cell phone. The CPB wants to know where you are. I made that mistake once, sat on my boat, drinking a beer and used the cell phone, they weren't happy because they don't really know where you are.

Record your clearance number and display it in a port. CPB will ask the usual questions about people and pets aboard, firearms, cigarettes and alcohol onboard.

Enjoy the trip, we're planning for the same trip in 2017 if all works out.
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Old 24-03-2016, 10:10   #9
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga F25 View Post
If you are bypassing Kingston, best town at the beginning of the 1000
Islands, where you will want to spend some time, is Gananoque Municipal Marina.

Most Americans coming over from NY clear in there.
Most of the small towns on the Canadian side are ports of entry, including Gan, Rockport, Ivy Lea, etc. No need to head for a big centre like Brockville, but that works too.

I go back and forth frequently in the area with no trouble. Pretty quick and easy. But I'm Canadian, so can't say how it will be from your side.

Once you get safely to a dock, call in. You can use a cell phone, but I've been asked to call back on a landline. You will find a payphone with a Custom's sign (with phone number) at the foot of the dock, or marina office. Bring some quarters...your's work in our phones. So you call in, they ask a few dull questions about booze, guns, and smokes, then they give you an entry number and wish you a pleasant day. Takes 5 minutes or less.

Kingston is great fun, but if you sail LO, then you already know. Yes, Confederation basin has short docks, is exposed to the prevailing strong SW winds, and most docks are "beam on" to the wind. Good luck. They do have dockhands available to take your lines/fend off, call on 68 as you enter the basin.

Gan is wonderful. Lots of services, great municipal marina. The 1000 islands region is not to be rushed...great anchoring, beautiful scenery, lots to see and do. Its the place to get out your inflatable and go exploring. Once you get east of Brockville its a pretty much a motor boat ride to Quebec city...so bring lots of diesel and a sun hat. Plan to spend a few days in Quebec city restocking and enjoying that great city before finally sailing away into salt water. Of course at that point the tides take over your schedule. But you know all this....you were asking about customs....yea, phone in, bring a pen, not a problem.
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Old 24-03-2016, 10:54   #10
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

Skylark checked in to Canadian immigration from a cellphone at 2100 from Lunenberg. No problems what so ever. Just a phone call.

I don't recall having to write down a reference number.
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Old 24-03-2016, 10:57   #11
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

Don't forget to stop in Clayton, just across from Gan. Brand new docks available and no crowds.
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Old 24-03-2016, 11:04   #12
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

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Originally Posted by wayne.b View Post
We're planning on doing the Down East Loop this summer, going east on the St Lawrence River from the US side of Lake Ontario.

It looks like the best Port of Entry for clearing in to Canada would be Brockville, ON. Can anyone confirm this, and/or advise on the correct procedures to follow? Can it all be done from any telephone or are there special "clearing in" phones?

Thanks in advance.
There is a great organization devoted to Looping. It is called the America Great Loop Cruisers Association. Since they are directed to doing the loop on a regular basis, I suggest you get information from them (particularly from Captain John or Active Captain). You will also be able to interact with
others that are doing the same thing and the same way. They route you for going through Canada or the U.S. and even post ports, marinas and anchorage areas. There is a plethora of very usable and viable information to be had for Looping. I and my wife will begin our Looping experience this fall and hope to continue for several years to come (really fits our style as a crossover from full time RVing). Hopefully this helps and perhaps we'll see you out there Looping. Oh, I want to assure you that I mean no disrespect to this forum (obviously I belong to both). Just thought it good to advise that there some other avenues that might provide a more direct focus on what you want to do at the present time. God luck with your adventures.
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Old 24-03-2016, 11:11   #13
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

It would be a shame to go fast through the Thousand Islands. The beauty is marvelous, the history incredible, and the people on both sides absolutely lovely.

My suggestion: Cape Vincent municipal pier for a quiet view of the freighters, clear Canadian Customs in Kingston and enjoy a fine meal after visiting the maritime museum, then off to Gan to watch the sunset, cross back over to US territory to visit the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, skip Alex Bay (sorry), then back to Canada at Brockville.

In those short miles there is so much to do- playhouses, waterfront dining, fishing, kayaking, exploring. Get a copy of Floating World http://www.amazon.com/Floating-World...=sr_1_1&sr=8-1 and explore the historic island homes with the dingy.
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Old 24-03-2016, 11:40   #14
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River

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Originally Posted by Tetepare View Post
It would be a shame to go fast through the Thousand Islands. The beauty is marvelous, the history incredible, and the people on both sides absolutely lovely.

My suggestion: Cape Vincent municipal pier for a quiet view of the freighters, clear Canadian Customs in Kingston and enjoy a fine meal after visiting the maritime museum, then off to Gan to watch the sunset, cross back over to US territory to visit the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, skip Alex Bay (sorry), then back to Canada at Brockville.

In those short miles there is so much to do- playhouses, waterfront dining, fishing, kayaking, exploring. Get a copy of Floating World http://www.amazon.com/Floating-World...=sr_1_1&sr=8-1 and explore the historic island homes with the dingy.
The 1000 Islands are definitely worth some time. One of the most interesting areas of the trip. Kingston was the original capital of Canada, has many historic and beautiful buildings. The restaurants are worth a week's stay. The maritime museum and the fort are certainly worth a visit.

Clayton, NY is home to a grand wooden boat museum. The town is undergoing a resurgence, there is a new high end marina at the east end of town. Great restaurants. An eclectic hardware store with the usual hardware stuff and boating supplies. A medium sized grocery store is a few blocks from the marinas.

Alex Bay is best avoided unless you are looking for the kind of boaters that give boaters a bad name. Very touristy and a bit on the tacky side.

Gananoque is a pretty town with good food, a nice park to walk through and a playhouse right on the river. The productions there are top notch.

Crossing back and forth across the border is not that difficult. When re-entering the US you'll need to go to Clayton for the video phone.

A slightly different route that will make border crossing easier is to go from Oswego to Kingston, then back to Cape Vincent and clear at the customs office there. Then to Clayton and then to Gananoque. A little bit of backtracking but less hassle with customs.

You should also be aware that both the US and Canadian border patrols have a strong presence in the islands.
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Old 24-03-2016, 12:52   #15
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Re: Clearing in to Canada on St Lawrence River no

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Originally Posted by wayne.b View Post
We're planning on doing the Down East Loop this summer, going east on the St Lawrence River from the US side of Lake Ontario.

It looks like the best Port of Entry for clearing in to Canada would be Brockville, ON. Can anyone confirm this, and/or advise on the correct procedures to follow? Can it all be done from any telephone or are there special "clearing in" phones?

Thanks in advance.
No cruising permit required as in Canadian vessels entering US
However if you have a waste Y valve make sure it is locked to use holding tank versus overboard. Enjoy!
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