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Tips on clearing into USVI at St. John
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:20 am    Post subject:  Tips on clearing into USVI at St. John

This topic comes up a lot, and since we always charter in the USVI and then cruise the BVI, we see C&I a lot. Here's a couple of tips.

Probably the best place to clear into the USVI is Cruz Bay, St. John. It's easy, and the closest option from the BVI. You can also clear into the USVI at the ferry dock in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, but this location is much further down-wind. If you're going to CA/STT, no worries!

There are no moorings available in Cruz Bay, STJ. Pick up a mooring just north of Cruz around the point. There are two moorings here for this purpose, and more to the east. All personnel aboard must be present at C&I, so you need to have everybody grab their passports, and get a copy of the boat papers to take with you. The ride can sometimes be a bit wet, so you should bring things you want to keep dry in a dry-bag.

(It used-to-be that you could take a mooring close to the Caneel Bay resort, dingy to their dock, and taxi to town. No more. Don't even think about it. They are very cranky about this now. They sent bouncers after us the last time we tried this. Plus, at $5/head you're looking at some significant cash to get everybody to and from the resort to Cruz. Not worth it.)

Once moored, dingy to the Park Service Building on the far left side of the harbor, or use either of the dingy docks that are located on either side of the ferry dock in the middle of the harbor. Walk straight to C&I to clear in, it's roughly in the middle of the bay, north of the ferry dock. From the Park-Service dock you walk right, and from the ferry dock you go left. If there's a ferry at C&I just in from the BVI, please do not co-mingle... the C&I staff gets cranky about this. If there's not a line, it should only take 10 minutes to fill out the paper work and clear customs.

If you will use the moorings in the USVI National Park, it's better to tie-up your dink at the Park Service building. You'll see where. You can pay for moorings right there, and further expedite your trip. From the Park Service building its also a short walk out of town to Mongoose Junction where you'll find many shops of all descriptions.

One last thought... always lock your dingy! In 25 years of cruising the USVI we've never lost one, but always lock them up!
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fuplayer
Link to this postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:36 am    

Good info and advice. Cruz Bay is the only place in the islands where we lock the dinghy. Too many folks over there wanting a free ride back to STT.
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fuplayer
Link to this postPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:46 am    

Just recently returned from a USVI-BVI trip. The beauty of this is we landed at STT around 3:30 pm, were at the dock at 4:30 pm and on a mooring at Caneel Bay by 6 pm. It probably helps that we know the boat well and didn't need much of a briefing before leaving the dock at Compass Pt. The only downside is Caneel Bay is probably one of the worst anchorages in all of the islands( rolly from the ferries), but the trade off is you get a night in Cruz Bay which I always enjoy. On our last day returning we left CGB around 7am and motor sailed back to Lind Pt. arriving there at 9am, dinked into Customs where there was no one but us checking in, and were back at Compass Pt by 10:30 am to check in the boat. Couldn't have been easier checking in and out. We were at the airport at noon. BTW our group ( 3 old farts from South Carolina) enjoyed meeting and talking with Walker at the Cow Wreck, although it was obvious he had been there a few days as they were low on Carib. Smile
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Auspicious
Link to this postPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:06 pm    

Can one still anchor in Cruz Bay to check in?
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:23 pm    

Auspicious wrote:
Can one still anchor in Cruz Bay to check in?


Not at all. There is no room. You must pick up a mooring north around the point (Western Caneel Bay) and dingy in. See recommendation above.
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robertsnole
Link to this postPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:46 am    

Do you need to check out of the USVI before clearing into Sopers Hole or Great Harbor, BVI?

Thanks
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:24 am    

As a US Citizen I've never had to check out of the USVI before checking into the BVI.
Also, if you're eventually going back to the USVI you can check in and out of the BVI at the same time... saving you time.
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leeguice
Link to this postPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:07 am    

To clear into the USVI ALL crew members must be present along with their passport and forms.
You must have the boat documents... be sure the charter company provides these to you.
Finally, the Cruz Bay agents have the right, if they choose to exercise it, to inspect your boat... you could be asked to bring it into the dock.
DO NOT BRING IN TRASH... big fine! You will be asked if you have any.
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:16 am    

They might ask you if you are bringing in vegetables, trash, or firearms.
Hopefully you will answer no to all of these!
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Kerry
Link to this postPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:25 pm    

..and some days they charge you for tying your dinghy up at the customs dock. Not always. Yesterday we paid $7.20 for tying up our dinghy there to clear in.
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:29 pm    

We don't park our dink there.
We usually tie up at the seawall near the Park Service building on the left side of the bay and walk to C&I.
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Capndar
Link to this postPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:23 am    

I have never been charged to tie to the customs dock....
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2manyboats
Link to this postPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:50 am    Post subject: Note Picking up folks, but not really clearing?

We are bareboating out of Tortola and need to pick up a couple in Cruz Bay the following day. If no one on the boat is getting off the boat, just two people getting on, should we go through the hassle of clearing? First time BVI cruise.
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:53 am    

2manyboats - absolutely, you should clear in.
Customs is all about a paper trail, and you don't want a gap in their, or your, paper trail.
This is the kind of thing that will be discovered later, and "ignorance is no excuse" as they say.
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2manyboats
Link to this postPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:59 am    

That's what I thought, although I was being given advice to the contrary by someone who ought to know better. Thanks!
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