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Old 30-08-2010, 10:45   #16
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It's not a good idea to start using Quebec causally. That would diminish its important purpose.
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Old 30-08-2010, 10:57   #17
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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
I was unclear. Let's say one's a member of the Richmond (California) yacht club and has entered the San Francisco (California) Yacht Club harbor? Don't flags have different meanings in different contexts? Doesn't "Q" mean one is requesting approval/acceptance/inspection?
Speaking as a member of the Richmond Yacht Club, if one sailed over to SFYC and did not (could not) contact the Harbor Master via VHF, or at least cell phone, you would normally pull up to a spot on the long dock, if one were available, go ashore, and ask the harbor master (or in his absence the Club Manager or OD) for permission to moor temporarily (the first two hours at SFYC are free for day trippers). (Normally however, save for spur of the moment visits, one is expected to make reservations.) On the other hand, if one simply went dithering around in the harbor flying a Q-Flag, in relatively short order someone would instruct one to hit the road(es); or, call the Coasties to report some misguided sole meandering around signaling for ICE clearance.

FWIW...
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Old 30-08-2010, 11:20   #18
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if one simply went dithering around in the harbor flying a Q-Flag, in relatively short order someone would instruct one to hit the road(es); or, call the Coasties to report some misguided sole meandering around signaling for ICE clearance.
It just follows the basic rules of getting stuff for free:

1. Dithering never impresses anyone.
2. Being nice matters.
3. For the really good stuff call ahead.
4. As a corollary to dithering the "being stupid rule" applies - don't!
5. Other people can choose the people they want as friends so try and act like one.
6. Anyones very best friend can get more than you can.
7. People at the lowest station in any organization deserve a lot of your courtesy. They know where all the free stuff is.
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Old 30-08-2010, 11:42   #19
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Don't be too hard on me guys/gals. During the two decades on boats in the Bay Area (1960s and 1980s), the only flag flown was a protest flag, and never had the need/desire to visit a yacht club.
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Old 30-08-2010, 20:09   #20
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It just follows the basic rules of getting stuff for free:

1. Dithering never impresses anyone.
2. Being nice matters.
3. For the really good stuff call ahead.
4. As a corollary to dithering the "being stupid rule" applies - don't!
5. Other people can choose the people they want as friends so try and act like one.
6. Anyones very best friend can get more than you can.
7. People at the lowest station in any organization deserve a lot of your courtesy. They know where all the free stuff is.
Paul,

We just gotta get a sticky going somewhere to capture your "Lists of Wisdom"

No truer words said than that in number 7.

I can't tell you the number of times someone in a big smoke boat shows up "demanding" instant service and courtesy to the front of the line.

Recently at an immigration stop facilitated by the local marina folks - there was something magically wrong with each piece of paper this guy had to produce. He had arrived before me, was throwing his obviously big weight around and yelling at all the staff about his guests having to wait, he's got places to be and who can he "pay" to facilitate a faster exit.

I cleared myself and six crew in 20 minutes. He had been there 2 hours and was there when we left.

Be nice helps everywhere.
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Old 30-08-2010, 21:51   #21
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Fly the Q flag casually, and you just might have ICE or DHS visiting your boat wanting to know why you havent cleared properly...
Also. you are not a foreign yacht just because you go from club to club...
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Old 30-08-2010, 22:16   #22
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Hey Guys,
My Ole Pappy told me that the "Q" flag was known as the Quarrantine Flag and you had to remain quarrantined on board until Customs & Immigration officials cleared you and your vessel. After that you lowered the "Q" and were able to proceed within that Country and were permitted to go ashore. (Free Pratique)
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Old 31-08-2010, 00:17   #23
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It's not a good idea to start using Quebec causally. That would diminish its important purpose.
Is that a Canadian joke David...eh?
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Old 31-08-2010, 01:32   #24
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reentering the EU you need it too
No you dont, most med countries dont know what it means. You might as well fly your underwear on the spreaders.


You misunderstood. If you (re) enter the EU from an African country in the Magreb, you are expected to seek clearance, eg coming from Al Hoceima into Melilla, and certainly Malta are very suspicious of people coming from the South. (I don't have experience in eg a Greek/Turkish run or some of the issues in the Northern Adriatic, but they are experiencing different problems from the far south and may care less.) The proper and understood way to seek clearance is to fly the Q flag and we have certainly done so and it has been recognised for what it is.

This is of course seperate from, and doesn't exempt you from ad hoc spot checks of your papers and your vessel which has happened to us several times in France and Italy.

Certainly transitting within Schengen countries it is completely irrelevant.

If you are moving within EU countries, particularly in the Northern parts of the Med, they are completely uninterested in any formalities.
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:01   #25
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Racers might be given a bit of slack, given that almost all of the signal flags have different meanings within the context of sailboat racing.

For visitors seeking reciprocal hospitality, quite a few host yacht clubs DO ask that the visiting boat display its home club burgee throughout the visit. This may not be as important as having a valid membership card from a club that is reciprocal with the host club, but still something that some clubs expect. Reciprocity of course is a privilege that depends upon the host's availability and willingness, and not any absolute right, and the traditions may vary quite a bit from area to area. Many clubs publish guidance on what they expect from visitors.

Some aspects of flag etiquette have probably loosened over the years and some old-timey interpretations may seem a bit stuffy. But I do agree with the folks who fear that trying to use the Q flag as a joke, novelty, or "inside gag" signal could result in unintended and undesirable consequences. Some of those nice young people in the RIBs with machine guns are so literal minded and slow to appreciate a joke.

Running around a harbor with a Q flag would be sort of in league with trying out a cheesy Spanish accent and making jokes about sneaking across the border so you can try out the pink underwear to a Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona sheriff's deputy.
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