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Old 07-08-2018, 21:58   #1
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Clearing Out and Next Port

When I left American Samoa I was not sure I could make it to Tonga because of the wind direction. So I put my next port in Fiji. I did make it to Tonga but didnít clear in, I stayed a few days and then went to Fiji.

My question is, what are the options when clearing out if youíre not entirely sure where your next port will be?
(Mostly because of weather)

P.S
Before I left American Samoa I asked the officer there what would have happened if it didnít say American Samoa on my papers when I arrived from Bora Bora. He said they would not clear me in...


Thanks,
austin
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Old 07-08-2018, 22:22   #2
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Re: Clearing Out and Next Port

For places that care about the prior port clearance papers they will usually understand a weather related change of destination. We have done this before with no major issue.
If your change of destination makes no sense, then you might have some explaining to do. It's certainly less of an issue than stopping for a few days and not clearing in.
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Old 07-08-2018, 22:26   #3
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Re: Clearing Out and Next Port

I don't think it would make any difference... big ships get a 'change of orders' all the time....

It used to be - and probably still is - quite common in the dry bulk and tanker trades to be bound 'LEFO' .. 'Lands End for Orders' .. meaning that you could fetch up anywhere from Ireland to the Baltic depending on where they wanted your cargo.

I think your 'officer' in Samoa defaulted to the standard bureaucratic response... ie when in doubt say 'no'....
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Old 07-08-2018, 22:28   #4
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Re: Clearing Out and Next Port

The officer in American Samoa gave you bad attitude, not the correct answer. As an American vessel, they would have cleared you in even if you had NO zarpe. You should have cleared in and out of Tonga. The question you have to ask yourself is did you cause his bad attitude?
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Old 07-08-2018, 22:33   #5
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Re: Clearing Out and Next Port

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
I don't think it would make any difference... big ships get a 'change of orders' all the time....

It used to be - and probably still is - quite common in the dry bulk and tanker trades to be bound 'LEFO' .. 'Lands End for Orders' .. meaning that you could fetch up anywhere from Ireland to the Baltic depending on where they wanted your cargo.

I think your 'officer' in Samoa defaulted to the standard bureaucratic response... ie when in doubt say 'no'....
Hmmm, can I use LEFO while in the Pacific? I like it.
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Old 07-08-2018, 22:47   #6
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Re: Clearing Out and Next Port

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The officer in American Samoa gave you bad attitude, not the correct answer. As an American vessel, they would have cleared you in even if you had NO zarpe. You should have cleared in and out of Tonga. The question you have to ask yourself is did you cause his bad attitude?


He didnít have a bad attitude at all, very nice. If anything, Iíd say that he was probably new and possibly inexperienced. Everyone in AS was extremely nice and helpful.
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Old 07-08-2018, 22:49   #7
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Re: Clearing Out and Next Port

Thanks for all the replies.

Iím asking because Iím thinking ahead to Seychelles to Madagascar. Iíve heard itís a tough sail and similar to that of AS to Tonga... Iíve been told it can be easier to go to Mayotte first or even Africa. But it would be nice to just point based on wind and see where it takes us.
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Old 07-08-2018, 23:26   #8
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Re: Clearing Out and Next Port

1. I think cruisers should always check in.

2. Quite a few jurisdictions allow a cruiser to clear out to "ocean".

In fact doing so is routine in some jurisdictions, such as those that ban gambling, prostitution, and other activities within their borders or have swingeing duties on recreational drugs, but tolerate cruise ships that cruise to "nowhere" and open the roulette tables and the duty free recreational drug counter once past the 3 mile/12 mile limit.

Even without visas etc, most all jurisdictions (exceptions exist) will provide safe harbour in the case of foul weather. In some jurisdictions, you may first have to have a radio conversation, to the extent of declaring imminent danger to life and property if you do not make harbour. Do be careful doing so, because some jurisdictions consider use of that French abbreviation for "come and help me" to be an expression of your agreement that you will abandon ship. You can choose a proword lower on the scale.
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:45   #9
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Re: Clearing Out and Next Port

When on our trip from BVI to San Felipe, Mexico, we ran into ocean current and winds against us when we left Panama. We asked for "curtesy entry" over the radio and we received it. This allowed us to refuel and get some supplies only. We received this curtesy in Costa Rica and Acapulco, Mexico. We did go into La Paz checked it and imported the boat and checked in to Immigration before proceeding to San Felipe.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
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Old 08-08-2018, 13:49   #10
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Re: Clearing Out and Next Port

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When on our trip from BVI to San Felipe, Mexico, we ran into ocean current and winds against us when we left Panama. We asked for "curtesy entry" over the radio and we received it. This allowed us to refuel and get some supplies only. We received this curtesy in Costa Rica and Acapulco, Mexico. We did go into La Paz checked it and imported the boat and checked in to Immigration before proceeding to San Felipe.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
Why would you need a courtesy entrance in Acapulco if your destination was Mexico? Why not just clear into the country?
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Old 08-08-2018, 15:00   #11
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Re: Clearing Out and Next Port

We had people we knew in La Paz that would do our import papers into Mexico . Sometimes it is who you know that will make things easier.
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Old 08-08-2018, 17:34   #12
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Re: Clearing Out and Next Port

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Originally Posted by fuentes View Post
When on our trip from BVI to San Felipe, Mexico, we ran into ocean current and winds against us when we left Panama. We asked for "curtesy entry" over the radio and we received it. This allowed us to refuel and get some supplies only. We received this curtesy in Costa Rica and Acapulco, Mexico. We did go into La Paz checked it and imported the boat and checked in to Immigration before proceeding to San Felipe.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
My experience was quite the opposite. I was going from Panama to Hawaii, and was running low on fuel off Costa Rica, so I called Herradura Marina to see if I could come in and get fuel and leave. Their response was that they could not sell me fuel unless I was checked in. Checking in would have cost me $500, plus another $200 for a night at the dock, so I declined.
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Old 08-08-2018, 18:49   #13
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Re: Clearing Out and Next Port

The marina told us the same thing. We contacted capitania de puerto by radio. A person answered. It was a Sunday. He suggested to go all the way in to Punta Arenas. There we made contact the next morning (Monday) with the person from the radio call. He cleared it with capitania, we got our fuel and supplies and happily left that same day.
We continued with the same wind and current situation, so we did the same thing with Acapulco. We missed a storm in Tehuantepec by four hours. The wind condition was better after that, but we still filled up in Acapulco. From there it was a straight shot to La Paz.
I was asked earlier why we did not check into Acapulco. We did not have the temporary import permit (TIP) at that time. We anchored out in La Paz and called the person that was going to do all the paper work. We met the next morning at 8:30 am, gave her the paperwork. We got a taxi that took all of us to Immigration. There the crew that were not Mexican, obtained there visas. By 5:00 pm the lady (very attractive but married) gave us our paperwork. We, crew and boat, were now legally in Mexico. I was now on my way home to the north part of Baja. What a trip!
Maybe speaking Spanish and having spent all of my life in Latin America you get a feeling on how to get things done. We did the same thing in Panama and crossed in three days. So many people become confrontational and angry. That is not the way you are going to get things done. Anyway that is the way I do things. Maybe it will not work for everyone. Have a nice day. If you did not, don't blame me.
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