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Old 21-11-2020, 09:46   #1
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The BVI's, a word of caution

It's being reported that the BVI government is impounding and fining any boats sailing in their waters. Do not cross into their territorial waters without express permission from the BVI government. Fines are reported to be $20,000 to $50,000.
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Old 21-11-2020, 09:58   #2
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

Indeed.

BVI territorial waters are open to traffic from 5am to 6pm, intra-island ferries may operate from 5am to 8pm.
Movement across maritime borders is prohibited.
The BVI is currently under a night time curfew (2am to 5am), and private boats are not allowed on the waters after dark.

“... Persons operating vessels within Territorial waters must do so between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. except for ferry operators who may travel between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Persons are prohibited from operating a vessel within the maritime exclusion zones except where authorised by the Joint Task Force and restrictions remain from operating a vessel across the Territorial borders except where authorised by the Governor in consultation with the Minister for Health and Social Development ...”
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Old 21-11-2020, 10:37   #3
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

https://bvi.gov.vg/media-centre/boat...exclusion-zone
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Old 21-11-2020, 10:50   #4
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

I take it that would include a transit?
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Old 21-11-2020, 11:00   #5
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

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I take it that would include a transit?
According to Jon Kretschmer, it even includes accidental straying into territorial waters while transiting, dumping holding tanks etc. He posted that today
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Old 22-11-2020, 10:18   #6
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

Whatever happened to “The Right of Innocent Passage”?
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Old 22-11-2020, 11:58   #7
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

The BVI may have just committed suicide as the Charter Capital of the World. Its latest on "Opening for Business Dec. 1st" is a shambles of unexplainable, contradictory and illogical rules and regulations. Who in hell would go there and risk fines and even jail time and vessel confiscation?

I've been there four times, so no more until they are on their knees begging for tourism and charter businesses to return.
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Old 22-11-2020, 12:04   #8
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

Is it Covid-19 protocols or are they destitute and desperate? Several years of very low tourism from hurricane damage, than Covid protocols, in countries 95% dependent on tourism, the laws might be to protect the well intended.
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Old 22-11-2020, 12:15   #9
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

Kd9truck, it doesn't matter what their reasoning is, they have screwed the pooch, killed the golden goose. I donated money to BVI workers after Irma but no more. They made their beds, now let them sleep in them.
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Old 22-11-2020, 12:39   #10
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

So the government of the BVI should give up on trying to protect their own citizens, and let passing cruisers do whatever they want during this pandemic? Never mind that most every country on Earth has implemented many restrictions to protect their citizens, despite substantial economic consequences. The BVI should ashamed of doing anything that limits the choices of independent-minded cruisers? Isn't that a little self-centered?
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Old 22-11-2020, 12:41   #11
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

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Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
Kd9truck, it doesn't matter what their reasoning is, they have screwed the pooch, killed the golden goose, and dicked themselves with the dangling dong of destiny. I donated money to BVI workers after Irma but no more. They made their beds, now let them sleep in them.
Yes, but is the rabbit truly pregnant??

I agree with you that impounding vessels and offering stays in the local penal system reach a great distance to chasing tourism away. I am not versed in what is going on (I am going to research it now though) in the BVI, as I was not planning a trip there in the immediate future, but the outcome of this level of "STAY OUT!!" will be interesting to see, as it may spread to other areas that are vital stopping points for those with smaller vessels (and thus less stamina in terms of food and water stores, room for spares, etc.) who are attempting to cross the pond via these stopping/resting points. I wonder what they will do to someone attempting to hole up for maritime safety (hurricanes and the like)??
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Old 22-11-2020, 13:07   #12
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

A lot of anger here. Perhaps the islands would be better off without those who feel so entitled. We have been in the BVI every year since 1978, at least once per year. I believe they are looking at it as a matter of life and death, which it is. There are very limited health care services in the BVI. It is their country. Obviously, they have a different approach to this health crisis than the U.S.
I think that that their feeling is that they will protect their health first. Then, after a relatively short period of time - 8 months - which were primarily low season/hurricane season they will be open with few restrictions, none onerous.
Beginning next week charterers will need a negative Covid test before the flight and again upon arrival.
Take a taxi directly to the charter yacht which must be provisioned for 4 days. Leave the dock directly upon arrival And stay on the boat for the first 4 days, something most of us do anyway. You can go to Benures, the Bight, Little or Great Harbour, Deadman’s, Manchioneel or wherever you prefer. Snorkel,dive, use the SUP, kayak, swim, get drunk, whatever. With water makers on most charter boats now, for us the biggest and only difference from the usual 4 days would be air fills for our SCUBA tanks. There may be a work around for that with tank exchanges brought out to the anchorages.
Then, after 4 days, a third negative Covid test. With that you can do what you usually do - reprovision, get airfills, go out to dinner, get drunk, et cetera.
I like it. Quieter, less crowded, more likely to get serious, careful sailors instead of party animals. They can party back home just as well as in the BVI.
It seems to me that the folks in the BVI are taking a thoughtful, careful approach, looking at the Lomb term physical health of their people as well as their charter-yacht based economy.
As a boat owner and an older one at 73, I applaud and appreciate their approach. There is an old saying that patience is a virtue.
In the U.S. there is an obviously different approach. I am guessing the person posting this is from the U.S.
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Old 22-11-2020, 13:39   #13
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

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Originally Posted by frantzjoe View Post
A lot of anger here. Perhaps the islands would be better off without those who feel so entitled. We have been in the BVI every year since 1978, at least once per year. I believe they are looking at it as a matter of life and death, which it is. There are very limited health care services in the BVI. It is their country. Obviously, they have a different approach to this health crisis than the U.S.
I think that that their feeling is that they will protect their health first. Then, after a relatively short period of time - 8 months - which were primarily low season/hurricane season they will be open with few restrictions, none onerous.
Beginning next week charterers will need a negative Covid test before the flight and again upon arrival.
Take a taxi directly to the charter yacht which must be provisioned for 4 days. Leave the dock directly upon arrival And stay on the boat for the first 4 days, something most of us do anyway. You can go to Benures, the Bight, Little or Great Harbour, Deadman’s, Manchioneel or wherever you prefer. Snorkel,dive, use the SUP, kayak, swim, get drunk, whatever. With water makers on most charter boats now, for us the biggest and only difference from the usual 4 days would be air fills for our SCUBA tanks. There may be a work around for that with tank exchanges brought out to the anchorages.
Then, after 4 days, a third negative Covid test. With that you can do what you usually do - reprovision, get airfills, go out to dinner, get drunk, et cetera.
I like it. Quieter, less crowded, more likely to get serious, careful sailors instead of party animals. They can party back home just as well as in the BVI.
It seems to me that the folks in the BVI are taking a thoughtful, careful approach, looking at the Lomb term physical health of their people as well as their charter-yacht based economy.
As a boat owner and an older one at 73, I applaud and appreciate their approach. There is an old saying that patience is a virtue.
In the U.S. there is an obviously different approach. I am guessing the person posting this is from the U.S.
I'm the original poster and a US citizen. We've recently sailed to the USVI'S from Hampton VA. We did not sail in their waters, we landed in Magens Bay, St Thomas specifically to avoid sailing through their waters upon arrival. Had we landed in Francis Bay, St John we would have done so, we didn't.
The BVI'S can do what they want within their territory, my post was just to inform other cruisers of the risk if they stray into BVI waters.
I'll leave others to argue the covid risk to the people's of the BVI'S if a boat should happen to stay into BVI waters.
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Old 22-11-2020, 14:47   #14
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

Before the barnyard barristers go off the deep end.

Hard pressed to see how any entity can refuse innocent passage. As long as there is a documented attempt to make contact. Me? I would record a video of me trying to raise them on the radio.

These islands have the right to shut down. Had it happen in Grand Turk in March and had Provo radio dead mike me. Made Bree attempts to contact them and dropped anchor for a fast repair.
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Old 22-11-2020, 15:19   #15
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Re: The BVI's, a word of caution

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Whatever happened to “The Right of Innocent Passage”?
The right of innocent passage allows ships to travel, in other countries territorial waters, if it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal state. A vessel, in innocent passage, may traverse the coastal state’s territorial sea continuously and expeditiously, not stopping or anchoring, except in force majeure situations.
A global health pandemic might qualify as a threat to the security of the BVI.
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