Saturday, February 16, 2008

Anchoring out near Sackets Harbor

I check the Hunter Owners Web daily. The latest question is quoted below.

"We are just moving our boat to Lake Ontario for the first time & will be keeping her at Sacket Harbor. Any suggestions of good places to anchor out over long weekends? Any suggestions are welcome of good holding areas with protected harbors in case of weather. Thanks, Janice

Here is a link to that post if you would like to respond. CLICK HERE

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sailing is on my mind

There may be snow on the ground, but my mind has been on sailing lately. I guess it started earlier this week when I attended a Hospice Regatta meeting. I am on the steering committee this year, so will be spending quite a bit of time helping out.

Revenues for the 2007 Regatta topped $100,000 for the first time, and net proceeds exceeded $90,000. Topping that will take extra effort from our committee as well as from the participants in the regatta. There will be a special "Cruising" fund raiser on August 15th, followed by a clambake dinner afterwards. The regatta and picnic will be August 16th, and the Rochester Race on August 17th. Last year's host was the Rochester Yacht Club with the Genesee Yacht Club hosting this year.

I am told that the Rochester Hospice is one of five on Lake Ontario. Hospice has touched many of our lives, and what a better way to help pay them back for the wonderful work they do. As you may know, the Hospice racers solicit sponsors for their boats. I hope that the folks that read my blog can help out this year by donating towards this very worthy cause.

I have received my docking contract from Shumway Marine, so it is only a couple months before launch. The date hasn't been set yet, but I am sure there is plenty of prep to do as usual. I am also active in the GYC Cruising Fleet and the Lake Ontario Hunter Sailing Association. GYC is planning a two week cruise the middle two weeks of July. Ruth, me, and Ernie the dog, will also be attending the LOHSA annual Hunter Rendezvous. This year the event is moving from the marina in Port Credit, to the Port Credit Yacht Club. There are always many that attend this annual event, and perhaps we have outgrown the Credit Village Marina. I hope that PCYC can try to keep the group together. That is the best part of a rendezvous; meeting other Hunter owners and swapping ideas and sailing stories.

One more thought before closing. This blog is an invitation for my readers to join in. Since it is a blog, and not a forum, you cannot initiate your own thread. However, if you submit a comment to any of my blogs, I can always start a new thread under a new subject. Please feel free to take the step and write a comment or two. Look for the "Comments" link below each of the blogs.

Monday, February 4, 2008

All of these rules are driving me nuts!

It's that time of the year again. Time to research what is required for pleasure boats to cross Lake Ontario when entering the U.S.

You will not need a passport until June, 2009.

There have been many news stories about the new passport rule for air travelers, and the new identification rules for boaters. No doubt, it is official that if you enter the United States by air, you will need a passport. There are a few exceptions that you can read about on the Department of Homeland Security website.

Traveling to the U.S. by boat is another matter. U.S. citizens ages 19 and older must present documentation that proves both identity and citizenship. Identification documents must include a photo, name and date of birth.

Children ages 18 and under will only be required to present proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.

You can read about what documents are needed by visiting the website.

CBP has designated specific reporting locations within the Field Offices that are staffed during boating season for pleasure boats to report their arrival and be inspected by CBP. The master of the boat must report to CBP telephonically and be directed to the nearest Port of Entry to satisfy the face-to-face requirement, or report to the nearest designated reporting location along with the boat’s passengers for inspection.

There are three exceptions to the face-to-face inspection at a designated reporting location for Lake Ontario, NEXUS, Canadian Border Boat Landing Permit (I-68), and Outlying Area Reporting Stations (OARS).

The NEXUS Marine program is a joint Canada-U.S. initiative that offers facilitated customs and immigration clearance for recreational low-risk boaters entering either country through registration into the program. NEXUS is valid for 5 years and satisfies the boat operator’s legal requirement to report to a port-of-entry for face-to-face inspection in accordance with 8 CFR 235.1, but boaters must still phone in their arrival to satisfy 19 USC 1433.

The Canadian Border Boat Landing Permit (I-68) applicants for admission into the United States by small pleasure boats are inspected and issued an I-68 permit for the entire boating season. The I-68 permit allows boaters to enter the United States from Canada for recreational purposes with only the need to report to CBP by telephoning in their arrival.

Outlying Area Reporting System (OARS) is another norther border method for boaters to report entry to satisfy 19USC and 8CFR requirements into the United States from Canada. The OARS program uses videophones, typically located at public marinas, which boaters may use to report to CBP.

Don't forget the infamous decal. You need to purchase a decal if you operate a private vessel that is 30 feet or more in length that enters the United States.

Costs of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) User Fees is $27.50 (U.S.) per calendar year for a vessel 30 feet or more in length. You can read all about this requirement by clicking here.

So, are you confused yet? It's not as bad as it may sound. I have heard a few horror stories when crossing, but by far most reports are possitive.

Read the Canadian side of the story. Click here.