We've met a lot of cruisers here in the Caribbean
who are bypassing the US on their way back to Europe
from the Caribbean
, for a few reasons, the least of which is health care
Our immigration laws for legal
visitors on yachts are quite strict and for some countries, quite expensive for just the application process with no guarantees of entry.
The restrictions on anchoring
and limited cruising areas where yachts are welcomed if they are not spending mega-bucks at marinas
and the like are also becoming well known to foreign cruisers. Ridiculous laws like needing a fire extinguisher in an outboard
dink (NH I believe) are also a huge deterrent, as is the frequent harassment by law enforcement over the most trivial things.
When I purchased this boat
in City Island, NY, I had planned to cruise Long Island Sound
, but by the time I got to RI, I was so frustrated by the moorings in every port (except Stonington) with no place left for visiting yachts to anchor
, I gave it all up and sailed to the Caribbean.
Few down here carry life jackets in inflatable
dinghies (with multiple inflated chambers??), anchors, flares or more than a flashlight at night, to get to and from shore except, of course in the US Virgin Islands
. I can't think of any injuries or fatalities that any of this equipment
would have prevented, even among the bareboaters.
After a taste of the laid back cruising experience of most of the rest of the world, who would want to subject themselves to our over regulated, over populated and in many places, down right unfriendly cruising areas?
When I circumnavigated, no country I visited cared how we were equipped or what safety gear
we carried; we were on a vessel registered in another country and it was our responsibility to adhere to the laws of our country of registration
and of no interest to them.
I'm sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear, but with the internet
today, it's all too easy to get an accurate picture of the places one wants to cruise and cruising the US is not particularly appealing to many.