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Old 19-06-2008, 13:02   #16
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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Its not about that... its about taking fellow cruisers sealed envelopes with drugs in them across boarders!
I know.

I'm sure there are cruisers who use drugs and maybe some who might try to send some home in a letter, but not with a fellow cruiser.

What I'm saying is that if you really are a fellow cruiser, that counts for something with me. Every place I've been there was a real community among cruisers - you were automatically and unconditionally accepted regardless of age, experience, boat or bank account size; and anytime you needed help, they were there for you - pretty much all of them. And, I (maybe foolishly) would trust those people not to deliberately place a fellow cruiser in jeopardy.

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Old 19-06-2008, 13:03   #17
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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Its not about that... its about taking fellow cruisers sealed envelopes with drugs in them across boarders!
Shhhhh! You're giving my secret away!! That's how I was going to keep the cruising kitty full, sending $5 baggies of coke through the mail to all my homies.

No, really, you're worried about a stranger giving you an envelope with drugs; the drug dealer would probably be just as worried that a stranger would pilfer his envelope. Far safer for a drug-mailer to just drop it in a mailbox with no return address. If you got caught at customs, you'd be able to tell them who, and from what boat the letter came from.

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Old 19-06-2008, 15:12   #18
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It is standard thing on the cruisers net every morning in Chaguaramas, Trinidad - people do it all the time, but I've always felt it was a bit odd - no telling what might be in that mail! I've never volunteered to bring it back to the states, but I've never heard of anyone having a problem.
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Old 20-06-2008, 01:22   #19
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As has been stated, mail delivery to & from most outports is VERY, very slow (sometimes months).
As a courtesy, many cruisers flying back to “civilization”, will offer to carry UNSEALED* (& inspected), STAMPED*, envelopes for deposit in a destination post box.

This is a relatively undemanding and innocuous favor.
Shaking hands with a stranger probably poses more threat to your health & security.

Many people don’t think to offer, or cannot be “bothered” to perform this simple & safe favour for a fellow cruiser. That’s their prerogative.

* Ie:
Having inspected the correspondence & envelope, there is little chance that you will be unwittingly carrying “contraband”.
When flying back to the USA, the envelope will be stamped with US postage, for deposit in the first available mail box (often at the destination airport).
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Old 20-06-2008, 03:33   #20
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In 40 years of travel back and forth from Latin America to the states I have never had a sealed addressed letter opened by customs. You watch too much television and appear to be hooked on sterotypes not backed up by experience. I would venture to say that cocaine is as available on the streets of Sydney as it is in Colombia, and the penalty for possession in Colombia is far more unpleasant.
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Old 20-06-2008, 03:53   #21
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If it's unsealed you would probably have lots of fresh reading material on a long passage.

When you can't trust anybody anymore for anything, especially something so simple as mailing a letter... well... it's time to hide on a deserted island void of any human contact.
S/V AbbyGale
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Old 21-06-2008, 22:57   #22
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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Its not about that... its about taking fellow cruisers sealed envelopes with drugs in them across boarders!
No, it is about that. If you're worried about taking drugs for someone, then just don't do it. In two winters in the Bahamas and being involved in boating and cruising for many years, I've never heard of anyone being caught with someone elses illegal drugs in mail. Maybe you're hanging around with the wrong cruisers. Then again, it does say you're in Panama
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Old 21-06-2008, 23:41   #23
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Meaning, you do no thave to stop for the USCG, or Customs, or anyone else,
I'd like to see ya try it ;-) :-)

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Old 22-06-2008, 00:04   #24
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In the 6 years I was in Mexico I was on both sides of the issue too many times to count. Often we took flat mail from San Carlos Sonora to Nogales AZ by car when we had to go back to the states. US residents in San Carlos did the same. Often it's the only way to guarantee the mail gets there. The Mexican mail is horrible. We picked up mail including parts and packages at a collection Point (an Insurance agency) in Nogales to take back. If you don't do for one another just forget it. Mail gets forwarded to departed boats by others going in their direction, and their whereabouts is determined through HF radio SSB and Ham). Downwind Marine in San Diego also does it for cruisers in their trips up and down the Baja.
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Old 22-06-2008, 06:16   #25
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I amazed at the paranoia expressed by some people here. Especially in the days before email and internet services, we have had lots of people to carry mail back to the US for us and post it there. In many third world countries, the mail is so corrupt and unreliable that you would need to use a courier service like DHL or UPS with a tracking number to even have a chance for the mail to go through.

Its one thing to ask someone whom you don't know to carry a parcel or package, but flat, stamped mail is about as riskless as it comes. We always leave it unsealed for the carrier to inspect. These days the use of mail is limited, but this year I did give a driver's license change of address letter and a letter with a $9,000 check to a cruiser's guest in Trinidad, and they were posted from Texas.

The Galapagos is a prime example--if you don't insist the post office there cancels the stamp while you watch, it gets peeled off your mail for reuse, and the mail goes in the rubbish... even having the stamp canceled is no guarantee, as all of our postcards mailed there were never delivered.

In Fiji, thepost office opened my wife's nurse's license renewal application looking for money, but it did get delivered.

At the Starbuck's in Phuket, I started talking to an American there on business about the possiblity of taking mail, and he literally ran away from me, so I know the paranioa is out there, but didn't realize it extended to cruisers.
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Old 22-06-2008, 06:41   #26
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Personally, I am hoping to join the family of cruisers one day.
I sincerely hope someone will take my mail when I am in a place where the mail service is questionable.
I would also do the same for any cruiser.
I would never dream of doing anything that would compromise another cruiser. Of course that goes for all I encounter today too.
One of my problems today (and everyday) is that I am sick and tired of being in a "society" that preaches one thing and acts another way.
My hope is to "move" to another "society" that I will better enjoy.
Asking too much, I guess.
I understand how you feel Mark, as I remember what happened to you just before you left........or was that someone else?
Anyway, I don't have much Religious Faith, but I continue to have some Hope, though that is dwindling at an all-to-fast rate. When that is gone then death would be preferable.
I am hoping for better times.
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Old 22-06-2008, 07:07   #27
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Keep this in mind, a friend once carried a letter, "too important to mail", back from Caracas for someone, about two months later he was looking through his briefcase when I heard "oh sh!t", he had just come across the letter!
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Old 22-06-2008, 07:18   #28
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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I amazed at the paranoia expressed by some people here.

My little blue tablets are meant to stop that... but I guess someone must have swapped them

Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
I understand how you feel Mark, as I remember what happened to you just before you left........or was that someone else?

Wasn't me. Or wasn't me personally. But I did sail as crew on a boat in the Med and notice a marijuana joint floating in the head! The cretin was so stupid to try and hide it by flushing it instead of just tossing it overboard. So I don't have much faith in the imbecile druggo community. But if others do just because some drug taking tool is taken on a yacht as a crew then so be it, I stand corrected. Thought I do note Don does say unsealed mail.

It does sound weird when I hear it over the VHF.

For the Aussies that don't give a damn about her: Schapelle Corby doing 20 years in Indonesia after taking her brothers boogie board through customs is on suicide watch.

Of course she is guilty, and you and I would be treated differently.

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Old 22-06-2008, 08:07   #29

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"The Galapagos is a prime example--" The are bad apples all over the world, but that job in the Galapagos is probably a huge plum for somebody's nephew. I would suggest that you drop a line to the US Postal Inspectors. No, they don't have jurisdiction--but they can file a complaint with the international postal union, and if the problem is not remedied, they can take take sanctions against Ecuador's postal system. Someone at a much higer pay grade in Ecuador will make a phone call to "Junior" and tell him to stop putting the stamp money in his pocket, and start posting the mail.

Or possibly find a more desolate and distant rock to assign Junior to.<G>

You'd be doing a favor to a lot of travelers.

For the paranoid mail carrier...really FLAT mail, with no bumps in it, sealed or unsealed, would be an odd way to ship drugs. Other than tabs of acid, what can you disguise as flat paper anyway?!

And now a word from our fine elected officials:

Some of the laws that govern the carriage of US Mail, in particular the private carriage of mail outside of the postal system. (Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and he makes other arrangements.<G>)

IT IS APPARENTLY ILLEGAL UNDER US LAW TO CARRY UNSEALED FLATMAIL. The law wants it to be SEALED to be legal. But like everything else, I'm sure this is just the tip of an iceberg. Just make sure lick 'em all up before entering US waters. Except the envelopes that are really large acid tabs.<VBG>

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