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Old 20-12-2010, 08:21   #1
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Unhappy Red Tape Puts Me off Cruising

I do appreciate that every country wants to monitor what comes and goes and they may recover a small fee for the work involved, so I don't want to dispute that here.

I want to go off the grid and live a cheap, self-sufficient life, but it appears that before I arrive in a new country I'll have to:
  • throw my food overboard
  • throw growing plants & veg overboard
  • throw my girlfriend overboard (she's Korean so more restrictions apply)
  • wait out storms offshore amongst reefs just to arrive when the customs offices are open and not get charged extra for 'out of hours'
  • go hundreds of miles off course to reach a designated 'port of entry'
  • spend between 1-7 days in a dirty industrial port waiting for clearance
  • spend average 150 to make landfall anywhere outside the EU
  • in some countries (e.g. Chile) have to give a fixed journey schedule to the authorities when what I really want is to just go where the wind blows
  • miss out on some destinations altogether (e.g. Argentina don't allow return trip to the Falklands)
  • have my wooden boat and guitar damaged when visiting my cousins in Australia (termite paranoia)
  • pay just to drop anchor in many places
  • some places (e.g. South Korea) have officials board my boat and invade my privacy whenever they feel like it even if I've already checked in
  • bribe officials
I'm beginning to go back to my previous idea of travelling with my tent and my bicycle. However it seems there are plenty of people on this forum who are cruising anyway. What's your experience? Does the red tape ruin the experience altogether? Can you get away with sneaking into foreign countries or stick to remote areas?

I have British/Argentine dual citizenship.
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Old 20-12-2010, 08:26   #2
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You are being overly dramatic about liveaboard cruising. I am sure that in some country at some time each problem you mention has ocurred. But not routinely enough to seriously affect the experience.

And cruising is as much about the cruisers attitude as anything. Yours doesn't seem suitable.

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Old 20-12-2010, 08:29   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thames View Post
I do appreciate that every country wants to monitor what comes and goes and they may recover a small fee for the work involved, so I don't want to dispute that here.

I want to go off the grid and live a cheap, self-sufficient life, but it appears that before I arrive in a new country I'll have to:
  • throw my food overboard
  • throw growing plants & veg overboard
  • throw my girlfriend overboard (she's Korean so more restrictions apply)
  • wait out storms offshore amongst reefs just to arrive when the customs offices are open and not get charged extra for 'out of hours'
  • go hundreds of miles off course to reach a designated 'port of entry'
  • spend between 1-7 days in a dirty industrial port waiting for clearance
  • spend average 150 to make landfall anywhere outside the EU
  • in some countries (e.g. Chile) have to give a fixed journey schedule to the authorities when what I really want is to just go where the wind blows
  • miss out on some destinations altogether (e.g. Argentina don't allow return trip to the Falklands)
  • have my wooden boat and guitar damaged when visiting my cousins in Australia (termite paranoia)
  • pay just to drop anchor in many places
  • some places (e.g. South Korea) have officials board my boat and invade my privacy whenever they feel like it even if I've already checked in
  • bribe officials
I'm beginning to go back to my previous idea of travelling with my tent and my bicycle. However it seems there are plenty of people on this forum who are cruising anyway. What's your experience? Does the red tape ruin the experience altogether? Can you get away with sneaking into foreign countries or stick to remote areas?

I have British/Argentine dual citizenship.
I am quite happy to help out with recycling

I also have dual nationality - British for administrative conveniance. and Jersey by the grace of god
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Old 20-12-2010, 08:35   #4
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haha here we say: 'British by birth, but English by the grace of God.'
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Old 20-12-2010, 08:44   #5
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In our sailing voyage around the world, I never found the requirements for entry into any country to be onerous. Even entering into Egypt wasn't that big of a deal. There were 40 pages of stuff that needed to be filled out, but for a small amount of money, a local person happily filled it out. We never gave a person a bribe anywhere in the world. We never tipped officials who expedited our passage. We sailed twice to Australia without a problem.

When I get close to a new destination, I routinely heave to until daylight. If a country has expensive penalties for arriving on the weekend, I simply slow down and smell the roses rather than sail like a bat out of hell which would make me arrive at the wrong time.

Overall, we have found that entering and leaving foreign countries to be a relatively easy and uncomplicated procedure frequently requiring less than an hour of interaction with officials of the country. We also smile a great deal and say nice things about their country, and usually about an hour later all of the entry/exit procedures are finished.

I don't look for problems or anticipate that entry or exit will be a big deal, and that's the way things usually turn out.

I don't focus on the negative things that people say about particular destinations. Many of their negative experiences are related to their attitude and aggressive stance that they pursue in their interactions with officials.

I have driven Land Rover Defenders from the Iraqi border to the Yemeni border, and I have had a uniformly pleasant adventure traveling in the Arabian sands - authorities have always treated me with respect.

I sailed around the world on my catamaran over an eleven year period, and my interactions with officials have always been positive and helpful. That includes officials in Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan, and Egypt during our trip up the Red Sea. I sailed twice to New Zealand and twice to Australia, and our interactions with officials were always positive.

The cruising world where I live is different from the one described in many negative blogs and commentaries. Maybe I am just a lucky person.
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Old 20-12-2010, 08:48   #6
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I find that most folks give what they get, so I always give nice.
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Old 20-12-2010, 08:52   #7
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This is the problem with the internet ...too much info. Get your boat and your girlfriend and go .If 20% of what you have listed happens to you you will be the unlukiest person i know .

www.byamee.com
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Old 20-12-2010, 08:52   #8
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Thanks that's great info, in fact I'm very good at saying nothing, being polite and grinning to get my way (I do it with my clients with great success)

I think you're right, maybe I've read too many regulations (the last 12 hours solid!) so now I need to hear what it's like in reality.
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Old 20-12-2010, 08:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thames View Post
I want to go off the grid and live a cheap, self-sufficient life, but it appears that before I arrive in a new country I'll have to:
  • throw my food overboard Antipodes
  • throw growing plants & veg overboard Antipodes
  • throw my girlfriend overboard (she's Korean so more restrictions apply) FOR SURE in the Antipodes
  • wait out storms offshore amongst reefs just to arrive when the customs offices are open and not get charged extra for 'out of hours' Antipodes
  • go hundreds of miles off course to reach a designated 'port of entry'
  • spend between 1-7 days in a dirty industrial port waiting for clearance Southern Hemisphere
  • spend average 150 to make landfall anywhere outside the EU Stateside/Bahamas
  • in some countries (e.g. Chile) have to give a fixed journey schedule to the authorities when what I really want is to just go where the wind blows What dya expect... your an Argy
  • miss out on some destinations altogether (e.g. Argentina don't allow return trip to the Falklands) Thats if they let spies outa the Falklands
  • have my wooden boat and guitar damaged when visiting my cousins in Australia (termite paranoia) Your choice
  • pay just to drop anchor in many places not that many outside UK
  • some places (e.g. South Korea) have officials board my boat and invade my privacy whenever they feel like it even if I've already checked in Go to Nth Korea then... they'll not bother.... 24gun salute on entry
  • bribe officials Hang on a mo... where's me bludi uniform
I have British/Argentine dual citizenship.


Hoi n de Polloi
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Old 20-12-2010, 08:57   #10
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Old 20-12-2010, 08:57   #11
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djmarchand's response wasn't very helpful. And to say that the the OP's attitude doesn't seem suitable is rubbish. He hasn't even been cruising yet; he was simply attempting to find out what people experience in the way of red tape.

I didn't even understand the intent of rebel heart's response.

The thoughtful and informative response by maxingout is what you hope for when posting on a forum.
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Old 20-12-2010, 09:03   #12
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Old 20-12-2010, 09:06   #13
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Thanks James and Triton and maxingout and other helful responders.

So do you really have to throw your supplies away?
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Old 20-12-2010, 09:09   #14
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I agree with the orginal post. But just figure it's not that big a deal in the big picture. If it is guess will just focus on places less trouble to check into. the world's a big place. Even flying into places on vacation sometimes it sounds like a be hassle, but turns out not to be.
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Old 20-12-2010, 09:16   #15
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Thanks James and Triton and maxingout and other helful responders.

So do you really have to throw your supplies away?
Yes, you do have to throw your supplies away. No big deal.

When you sail to New Zealand, you don't put a hundred pounds of fresh steak in your freezer and put five hundred pounds of fruits and vegetables on board. You know ahead of time what isn't allowed in Australia and New Zealand, and you don't stock your yacht with those items before setting sail.

The first time we sailed to New Zealand, the town of Whangarei had circulars/advertisements in Tonga. The printed literature stated what we could and could not bring to New Zealand. Furthermore, they stated that if we made Wangarei our port of entry, they would pay all of our entry fees. I don't know if this policy is still in place.

You live out of cans and boxes of pasta on the trip to Oz and New Zealand. You have enough fresh fruits, veggies, and eggs on board for a five or ten day trip, and the rest you eat out of cans. We hardly ever had to surrender any food to the Ozzies or Kiwis. It's not rocket science.

People who lose $1000 worth of food on arrival have not been doing their homework and haven't been planning very well.
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