homeland security

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by fester, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. fester

    fester Paddler

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    Does anyone have recent personal experience crossing into and landing in the U.S.
    There is a camera I.D. system in place at certain points of entry and I'm curious to know how paddlers coming over from Canada are being recieved by U.S. officials.

    I've been advised by U.S. imigration as to the hours of operation at Roche and to call ahead to aquire a clearance number etc., so am farmiliar with the routine. Just looking for feedback from people who have done this lately
     
  2. Helen

    Helen Paddler

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    I'm not sure if arriving by sailboat is comparable to arriving in a kayak, but we went about 6 times last year, mostly to Roche and once to Friday Harbor. It was fast and easy at Roche and slow and easy at Friday Harbor. If you are heading to Roche in the off season, it's best to call ahead to the office at Friday Harbor to make sure that Roche will be staffed. The same guy was at both places coincidentally... he asks Canadian Trivia Questions to make sure your a 'real' Canadian! Brush up on your hockey and geographic knowledge of Canada and you should be fine. He knows more trivia about our fair country than most of our countrymen/women. Luckily we knew the answers to all his questions and the kids had a good laugh. If you were looking for something specific about our personal experience... fire away.
     
  3. Dave_Barrie

    Dave_Barrie Paddler

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    The last time I went to Friday Harbour the only thing they asked is if we had any potatoes 8O
     
  4. glock

    glock Paddler

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    So there was Dave caught red handed trying to smuggle BC spud into the USofA. Actually the incidents of BC Spud smuggling is way up. It's become such a problem that Minute Men from Idaho are stationing themselves along the BC border and are keeping thir eyes peeled.
     
  5. Dave_Barrie

    Dave_Barrie Paddler

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  6. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Not sure I should be sharing this so openly, but what the heck. :wink:

    I've only paddled over once. I was planning to do a one night, overnighter on Stuart Island if the weather was good (or stop on Rum if it wasn't). I emailed US Customs, called US customs and a few marinas, and spoke / emailed with a few different people. No-one could give me a definite answer. Some said, off the record, not to worry about it, since I was in a kayak ( 8O ). Others said I had to check in at the customs office on San Juan Island - they didn't seem to understand the problem of adding about 30km, or 5 hours, of paddling to my journey. :roll: Still others said they didn't know what the procedure was for kayaks, and that they'd get back to me. They never did, and since no-one told me specifically that I shouldn't go if I couldn't get to a customs office, I went anyways. :? I didn't have any problems; I camped my night on Stuart Island (which was really crowded - I didn't enjoy it much afterall! :( ) and paddled back the next day (that's where this month's wallpaper is from!), all without incident.

    In retrospect, I'm a little surprised now that no-one told me I could report to customs by phone! I don't know if that's a new option or not, but there didn't seem to be any information about that at the time. In future though, I'll definitely use that option - it seems the most reasonable.
     
  7. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    ROTFLMAO!!!
     
  8. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    LOL. What have you been smoking?

    *****
     
  9. fester

    fester Paddler

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    A couple years ago a paddler who didn't check in was arrested, jailed, fined and subsequently deported by US officials.

    Maybe he was packin some yukon gold?
     
  10. Redcedar

    Redcedar Paddler

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    Victoria tv news mentioned that the US border patrol has radar capable of picking up kayak sized boats crossing into US waters from BC ... who knows it might even be true.

    Noam Chomsky's latest take on the US - off topic but important http://alternet.org/story/30487/
     
  11. Helen

    Helen Paddler

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    I believe that option was available until 2005. We used to phone customs before we left home, clear entry into any US islands, then on the return we had to tie up at Van Isle Marina and phone customs here to clear. In March 2005 the rules changed and all boaters without an annual I-68 form had to clear customs in person at their first port of call. If you have an I-68 you can clear by phone, but everyone on the boat has to have an I-68. (children can be listed on a parent's I-68). That would mean a lot of expense and paperwork annually for us, but wouldn't be too bad for just one person in a kayak. We also like to drop the hook at Stuart Isl, but have to clear at Roche first. If Roche isn't manned, we don't go.
    The U.S. government's I-68 (Canadian Border Boat Landing Permit) allows both Canadian and American people entering the U.S. on a boat to by-pass inspection. You must still "check in" by phone and everyone one board must have a valid I-68. You may only use this form to visit the designated border area for up to 72 hours (3 days). Customs or I.N.S. ports are becoming fewer and further between, so this is a considerable convenience. Boats longer than 30 feet may also require a U.S. customs decal.
     
  12. Helen

    Helen Paddler

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    Looks like I have created a new form... an I-6 8) !
     
  13. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Hee hee - I noticed that! Sounds much more friendly than an I-68 :wink: