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Overnight in Waterlemon Cay without clearing into US customs
 
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tmcorbyons
Link to this postPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:37 pm    Post subject: Note Overnight in Waterlemon Cay without clearing into US customs

You know you're in trouble when you start an inquirery with, "I know this is a stupid question but...." So in keeping with that theme here's the deal. My son-in-law is arriving in the BVI some days after we pick up our charter. We need to pick him up at West End and I was thinking about mooring overnight in Waterlemon Bay (USVI) to avoid staying in either Sopers Hole or Cane Garden bay, two places we're not crazy about.

Going into Cruz Bay customs is a hassel, and so..... what about going into the bay, hoisting the quarantine flag and mooring but not touch land. If we left in the morning without clearing in/out just how long would we have to spend in Federal Detention?
Remember, before you go nuts with Righteous Indignation, I admited it was a stupid question.
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Calypso Me
Link to this postPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:37 pm    

Your charter company will likely void your insurance if they find out. IMHO your admission that it is a stupid idea is spot on. Depending on what ferry he is on I'd stay at Jost and run over first thing in the morning to Sopers. You could reprovision and pick him up, be back to Jost before cocktail hour.
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kentth
Link to this postPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:02 pm    

We have stayed at Sopers a couple of time, and had no issues. Really was not any different then any of the other anchorages. But if Sophers or Cane Garden are not to your liking, I would have to agree with Calypso. Option for somewhere on Jost.

Kent
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tmcorbyons
Link to this postPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:10 pm    

God,I hate reason. Then again it seemed like a good idea for a few minutes. Truth be known I've done it before,many years ago, before 9/11 and I always felt I'd gotten away with something. I suppose if I'd gotten caught it would have been ugly--though probably not as ugly as today! Thanks for your comments. I'll either go to Jost, most likely, or pick up a mooring near Caneel Bay and clear in properly and arrange for him to meet us in Cruz Bay.
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Calypso Me
Link to this postPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:22 pm    

Either way, it's beautiful clear water.... Lunch in Cruz Bay might be fun. You could meet your son in law there instead of Sopers.
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Auspicious
Link to this postPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:27 am    

tmcorbyons wrote:
I suppose if I'd gotten caught it would have been ugly--though probably not as ugly as today!


There are fines, the potential for imprisonment (probably unlikely unless you really tick someone off), and the boat is likely to be confiscated. The charter company would then come after you for both the value of the boat and for lost revenue. I think that qualifies as ugly.

You may or may not get caught, but the implications if you are would be most unpleasant.

Sometimes it helps to consider history and context. The quarantine flag has it's roots in the request of an incoming ship for medical clearance before other clearance officials risked themselves. It is/was the first step of inbound clearance.

So your original idea reflects entering a country (the tradition of free passage doesn't apply if you anchor) with no intention of properly clearing in. Flying the quarantine flag might be interpreted as intentional fraud to obscure your intended act.

While not specifically relevant to your question I have found that in many countries including SOME but not all areas of the US officials can be very accommodating if you make a good faith effort. For example, I pulled into Beaufort NC after a run from the Bahamas. We called the 800 number for US Customs and Border Patrol and announced our desire to clear in. The C&I officer was dispatched. The desk officer gave us permission to leave the boat for showers and lunch while we waited for the officer to arrive. Very considerate.

Bahamas Immigration once offered to meet us in a bar at Green Turtle Cay for clearance. The only thing they asked was being able to see the boat from the bar. We reanchored and headed in. *grin*

I wouldn't do anything without getting guidance from CBP (or the equivalent in other countries). Don't expect much flexibility in high traffic areas like Florida and NYC.
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:34 am    Post subject: Note Re: Overnight in Waterlemon Cay without clearing into US customs

tmcorbyons wrote:
You know you're in trouble when you start an inquirery with, "I know this is a stupid question but...." So in keeping with that theme here's the deal. My son-in-law is arriving in the BVI some days after we pick up our charter. We need to pick him up at West End and I was thinking about mooring overnight in Waterlemon Bay (USVI) to avoid staying in either Sopers Hole or Cane Garden bay, two places we're not crazy about.

Going into Cruz Bay customs is a hassel, and so..... what about going into the bay, hoisting the quarantine flag and mooring but not touch land. If we left in the morning without clearing in/out just how long would we have to spend in Federal Detention?
Remember, before you go nuts with Righteous Indignation, I admited it was a stupid question.


I could write a lot here, but you already have the answer, so all I really have to add is "It ain't worth the risk!"
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sail2wind
Link to this postPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:16 am    

We download and fill out the forms online. Unless there is a boat load of day trippers, customs is no more then 5 minutes. The hour each way from Waterlemon is the time consumer. Another customs dock on the east end would be a godsend fro those of us who love STJ.
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