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Old 12-07-2019, 12:15   #1
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Entering foreign port m.o.

Hello! I am a new guy to this forum - just a wanna-be, learning the ropes literally and figuratively. Here is one question out of a thousand.

In case of emergency or some need, what is the m.o. of entering a foreign port? Can you just waltz in - and then what? And what about the uninhabited islands, like Agrihan in N.Marianas - normally, it takes a ton of paperwork to visit even for the locals and Americans. What's the inside info?


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Old 12-07-2019, 12:29   #2
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Re: Entering foreign port m.o.

It varies widely depending on where you are and where your boat is flagged. - has all the particulars and should be able to answer most of your questions.

They have information on Agrigan here, from someone who visited recently:

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Old 12-07-2019, 15:16   #3
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Entering foreign port m.o.

In a genuine emergency you can request and generally receive permission to anchor or dock in a country for which you have no prior advance notice of arrival. They may direct you to a particular port and berth. They will be very unhappy with you if your emergency is not life threatening.

Just showing up unannounced at some place that is not a port of entry is risky, especially in these days of heightened surveillance due to drugs, smuggling and conflict. Though there are a couple of famous sailing YouTubers who have openly vlogged about stopping at outlying islands before clearing in because they didnít want to bother sailing to windward after clearing in to return.

Otherwise, most countries require an emailed or phoned advance notice of arrival, followed by radio call on arrival at an offical port of entry. As pointed out before, is your friend.
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Old 13-07-2019, 02:07   #4
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Re: Entering foreign port m.o.

In 12 years of cruising we have stopped in at hundreds or more foreign ports from Russia to Colombia.

First you need to know what is required to enter a country. In Russia we needed a visa but most we just stop by and clear in. But you must do your research. From Montenegro to Croatia is beautiful little bay in Croatian waters that people stop by before clearing in. The Croatian CG watches that bay and give huge fines for boaters who stop by for a quick swim.
But we never tell anyone we are coming -- we just show up and some times telling does no good anyway. We had a terrible experience in Egypt and we had even contacted an agent before had - it was a disaster and we never got cleared in and just left.

We sailed into Israel and the research said contact Haifa RCC 25nm out or so and we did - they knew we were there - run ais - and we just sailed into Herzilya with no issues - ok so a gun boat came out to say hi - same thing when we went into Russia -
We do call on channel 16 but most times get no answer - but we do call several times just to be sure. Only time we did not a port capt gave me a lecture and then coffee -
just our thoughts and opinions
chuck and svsoulmates
Somewhere in the Eastern Caribbean
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Old 13-07-2019, 03:11   #5
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Re: Entering foreign port m.o.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, flybynight.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 13-07-2019, 14:54   #6
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Re: Entering foreign port m.o.

As Jammer said each country is different. Now that communications technology aboard boats has improved more countries are requiring notice before arrival. Australia will fine you big bucks if you show up without prior announcement. Many countries are also very strict on having a visa in advance. Russia was so strict in 2003 that we decided to stop in Estonia and take a bus to St. Petersburg. And still the Russian visa was expensive but at least we did not have to predict the day of arrival months in advance.

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