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Old 04-04-2017, 12:24 PM   #1
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Default Customs in the 1980's

An odd request. This old gal sailed from Victoria to Miami in the eighties. I am now writing a fiction book and it has a boat sailing the west coast. Our boat had no computer then and I am struggling at times with remembering particular facts. I remember smaller ports (Neah Bay) having a phone on a pole. But I do not remember San Francisco. Can anyone shed any light on customs in the 80's? Radio channel as entering? General info of means of contacting customs and such in the eighties. Any old sailors out there? I was captain. Thanks
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Old 04-04-2017, 02:37 PM   #2
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I can't help with specific information, however, I imagine Customs, and any other agencies relevant to your tale, will have an archivist/historian who will be able to find answers to your questions. Also a trip to the local office may well turn up someone who has been with the service for forty years and who may be able to relate stories which could sit well in your manuscript.
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Old 04-04-2017, 02:45 PM   #3
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Thank you Auzzie👍
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:46 PM   #4
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If you checked in at Neah Bay, did you even have to check in afterwards with customs?

I wasn't in the Bay area in the 80's but there is a USCG station right there at the north end of the Golden Gate bridge--called USCG Station Golden Gate and then there's the large one behind Alameda Island on its own little island. That one, USCG Alameda, might be able to assist.

Other "sure thing" would be to get a copy of the Coast Pilot 7 (region 7 includes your area of interest) that was current for the region 7 during the year of travel. That will have info about which USCG stations include customs and if there is anything unusual it will be noted as well. The old editions of the Coast Pilot should be available somehow just not sure how.
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:14 PM   #5
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Apparently I did not check in every time I pulled into port. Ooops, got a $5000.00 fine in San Diego when I requested clearance papers for Mexico. Went somewhere with tears and got it reduced to $300.00 before I could leave. Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skitterbug View Post
Apparently I did not check in every time I pulled into port. Ooops, got a $5000.00 fine in San Diego when I requested clearance papers for Mexico. Went somewhere with tears and got it reduced to $300.00 before I could leave. Thanks for the info.
How did they know when you pulled into port? I mean did you tell them when you actually KNEW you were non-compliant?

A friend of mine, in the 80's or early 90's did a similar thing--he checked in to Washington state (from Canada) thinking he was checking into the USA. Seems there's some odd thing (back then) where Canadians could check into Washington state w/o checking into the USA. Had to do with so much back and forth border crossings up there. Like you, he got a hefty fine when he arrived in San Diego because he didn't realize he'd never really checked into the USA. In his case, hefty was $600 and he had to stop in San Diego, pick up a job and work a while before he could go on with his cruising. I don't know how he got a work permit when he was in the dog-house with customs, but he did.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:35 AM   #7
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Several Coast Pilot 7 books from 1842 to 1976 on EBay. Good luck.
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:13 PM   #8
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Maybe I should be called skatterbrain instead of skitterbug, my reply got posted elsewhere, sorry,
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