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Old 15 November 2006, 14:10   #221
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Well done Richard are you going to emulate the boys in Antigua doing round the island trips ?
I think we should rename this forum Nautinet!
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Old 15 November 2006, 14:14   #222
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Custom & Excise

Hi All,

Andre,

Just watched the news report, perhaps that is why they were laying in waiting, they got bored tracking just "Yachties" across. I Look forward to reading the full report in Rib Int.

Richard, A tremdous inalgral trip,can't wait to get up close & personal soon

Well Done to all involved.
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Old 15 November 2006, 14:39   #223
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Freudian slip there methinks? (Mental note to self or note to mental self! )
My little joke to myself Alan!! You're wide awake btw. Is it the middle of the night or next week over there?

OOOps ...back on task. Part 2 next!!

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Old 15 November 2006, 14:42   #224
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A Nauti Weekend In Calais

Part Two : ‘Waiter, waiter!!! There’s a Snail in My Soup!!!’

The successful completion of the first phase of the operation brought great relief ! and all of a sudden a fierce thirst came upon us all! Andre generously insisted on picking up the dinner tab. Nothing for it but to get in some nice beefy bottles of red and practice our food ordering. Mike, being a multi-cultured sort, went for the snail option while Richard chose the less threatening vegetable soup. The rest of us ‘rosbifs’ thought about the weather and went for steak.

There was a bit of a delay on Mike’s snail order and he queried this while urging the rest of us to tuck in. The waitress was very puzzled (while we wondered if perhaps the snails had escaped and were heading for Sangatte themselves that very minute). Richard was meanwhile finding his vegetable soup a little chewy…and it wasn’t until the real veggie soup was produced by another waitress that he realized he was actually polishing off Mike’s squishy little friends!!!! It needs to be recorded that at no stage did he declare ‘I’m a celebrity, get me outta here!!!’

Outside the hotel the trees were flattening in the wind as it howled up the marina. The intrepid team went back to check the RIB and double-checked that the lock gates were due to stay open the following day (Sunday) until 7.15 a.m. (6.15 GMT). Not great news. Waypoints & passage plan checked, we decided to meet in the foyer at 6.30 (French Time). However there was no retiring early as everyone got into full flow, swapping tales of maritime adventures.

All Saturday night the wind didn’t let up. The EU flag outside spent the night trying to break our window and by dawn, Skipper Richard took the decision to wait for the forecasted break. This was a difficult call as the lock wouldn’t open again until 3.00 (French time) and there was a relatively long passage ahead on a wintry evening. Once the decision was made there was then time to chill, have breakfast, load up and double-check the boat’s readiness for sea.

Indeed we managed lunch as well, this time in the more authentic surroundings of a French quayside café. Aging Youth got through to Mike to wish us all well. Action Man Simon told us of his plans to kayak to Ireland and recommended a trip to the Scillies as a particularly beautiful destination. Most of the discussion centred around the trip ahead however and we listed possible emergency ports if needed. The hope was to make it to Brighton at least before nightfall.

5) Nauti’s twin beauties!
6) There’s something cheerful about a yellow boat!
7) There she goes! Berthing at Calais.
8) Plenty of room in here for Sarah’s kit!

...to be continued....
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Old 15 November 2006, 15:10   #225
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Yea...I guess so on all points...different country....mid-crossing pickup and all but with the cost of such an interception and the participants already shown to be solid citizens it still seems strange to me that's all that the data collected in one place is not available "on the radar" a short distance away.

Our "Genius" Homeland Security decided that in order for even a pleasure vessel to enter a US port..including St. Thomas and St. Croix and St. John in the US Virgin Islands from any Foreign port, they needed to fax or email the Coasties 24 hours in advance with a crew list etc. etc. etc. Most of the charter boats are located in Tortola in the Brit Virgins and the distance from St. John to Tortola is less than two miles at the shortest and there are literally thousands of pleasure craft darting around to all the smaller islands and beaches in both the US and British Virgins and where the hell do you locate a fax machine or email on most boats and you begin to get the point.

After a year of this non-enforcable nonsense they just relaxed the rules that you only need to show up with proper docs and clear in and out but it created havoc on the entire boating community until they did.

Same Genius decided that the ferry between St. Thomas and St. John needed better security so they erected chain link fence at both ports when next to the pier you can land anything on the beach unimpeded while ferry passangers are shaken down traveling from one destination in the US Territory to another in the US Territory. Osama has won......one could report.
Hi Tomas,

Firstly on the Customs people, I’ll reiterate what Andre said. Once they knew we weren’t desperate criminals, they were most courteous and friendly…. And that went for the Special Branch officers too! We were after all arriving in the dark, with a meeting RIB to guide us in, in winter! This was not the normal time for a jolly pleasure jaunt. From their point of view, there did seem to be something, ‘going on’. And there was….. We were bringing in a new boat. It just wasn’t illegal, that’s all and so I can fully understand their interest. The question is, what we learn for the future. Perhaps a courtesy call to Customs would be in order? At least that way we could perhaps reduce the cost to the taxpayer. Mind you – it was a good exercise for them wasn’t it!?

On whether they were tipped off by the French? NO! After we became on good speaking terms with the authorities, (right after I tongue-in-cheek apologized for not making their night more interesting and doing a runner), I did ask if the French had informed them. They said no, they just happened to pick us up on radar from their Cutter, (which is where the RIB came from). They then followed us down the coast with the road vehicles pushing hard to catch us. We just looked likely! OK, they could have just said that for ‘security reasons’ but the person I spoke to seemed very genuine.

And finally, on The USVI and the BVI. I did a trip to Tortola last year… and am hoping to get their again next year at the beginning of May, along with Ageing Youth. Fancy a beer in Pussers?


Mike C
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Old 15 November 2006, 15:19   #226
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And I'd just like to say that Nauti Buoy owes me one and a half of these!






By the way, Richard, did you get my PM and e-mail?

Mike
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Old 15 November 2006, 15:31   #227
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we were subject of a prank tip off

itt woz mi fult.

i rungid upp de cusstoms nobburs an towld dem dat ther woz sum irysh dessperardows wiv verardows ingayjin inn a bitt ov onist gunn runnin

az sewn az thay herd de missiz screachin worrabowtcheenoww, dat woz itt.

yew woz fukt

gArf
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Old 15 November 2006, 15:46   #228
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worraryalike :) :)



gArf you're in a class of your own!

Top Class.

K n P

Part 3 to follow tomorrow night Andre!
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Old 15 November 2006, 15:51   #229
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Part 3 to follow tomorrow night Andre!
Kathleen, your PM box as usually is full. Your story is great and once finished I propose you forward it with photos to Hugo at Rib International . Your story contains a lot of humor and facts of such a crossing. RI for sure will publish it

I just can't wait for part 3
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Old 15 November 2006, 17:44   #230
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I propose you forward it with photos to Hugo at Rib International
considder itt dun mi sun


i av sennt yugo dis pikk ov a eest yewropiun wor lawd smuglin a bote innto ingland.

gArf
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