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Old 03-27-2006, 04:33 PM   #1
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Default At wits end!!

Looking for safe passage for my wife and child. My wife is a journalist and had to flee her native Sierra Leone for safety. Cannot return there. They are refugees in Dakar, Senegal subject to deportation. Starting to have problems being there. We have found safe haven in Belize, CA. We have been denied transit visas to change planes in US, Spain, Portugal, England and France. No African passports allowed. They can leave from Cape Verde Islands. Looking for April or May. No visas needed for Jamaica, Barbados or Belize. Does anyone on this forum know of a way by private sail or commercial carrier to get them to one of the above destinations or other Caribbean Commonwealth nation?

Thanks
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:05 PM   #2
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Tom, most of the cruising sailors who will call in to the Cape Verdes will be doing so enroute to the Caribbean or Brazil, coming from Europe and the Med; the bulk of these passages will be made between November and January altho' some will make this passage up until the early Spring. Consequently, I'm sorry to say your chances of finding passage - aside from the more fundamental question of whether this would be a good idea for all concerned - are already diminishing.

Are the exit visa denials for Spain and Portugal including their offshore Atlantic Is.? I ask because many yachts leave from the Canaries (Spain) for the Caribbean, and Meidera (Portuguese) is a waypoint many boats hit after they leave Europe but before arriving in the Canaries.

Jack
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:21 PM   #3
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Tom,

Sorry to hear of your predicament.

I agree with Jack (as usual) in that it may not be such a good idea to put you family on a small boat (assuming you can find one) as the environment will be very different from what they are used to, unless they have done some sailing of course.

To be honest with you, going via Europe is out (and that includes the canaries and Madeira) as a Schengen visa is needed, except for the UK but they have their own rules and are usually just as strict. Having said that, if your family are just in transit at for example Heathrow they will not need a UK visa as they will not enter the country. They will be required to show through tickets to their final destination at the airport where the journey begins.

If you can not route them via the UK or Europe what about another African country? I know that that will probably be difficult. WHen I flew from Windhoek to banjul a few years ago the easiest route wes via Johannesburg and Paris! But it is worth a try in a desperate situation. There are flights from Johannesburg to South American destinations. Maybe you can route your family from Dakar to Jo'burg, Rio and then northwards? Expensive? yes, but in dire straits then we pay up.

Good luck with it. I hope you find a solution.

Stephen

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Old 04-13-2006, 09:41 AM   #4
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From salvor; try this on for size; many years ago I ran into this problem in belize myself, I built the famimly a small boat. the husban flew over with a skipper, long story short, they abandoned the vessel off shore at the end of trip. the family is doing well1
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