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Old 10-01-2009, 01:34 AM   #1
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Planning to travel the world along coast lines. Is a Visa required for every county I will sail offshore, if I am closer than the international limits? Is the international limit 12 miles?
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:29 AM   #2
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If you wave at a country as you sail past it, you've not been in the country, and don't need anything. The passport you carry (i.e., your nationality) determines whether you need to obtain a visa in advance for every country you plan to set foot in. Some countries issue a visa upon check in to citizens of certain countries (US citizens have usually enjoyed this freedom more than most other nationalities), but you must know what countries require you to have a visa before you arrive there. Most times you can get this information on the internet, visiting each country's website.

??

J
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:52 PM   #3
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If you wave at a country as you sail past it, you've not been in the country, and don't need anything. The passport you carry (i.e., your nationality) determines whether you need to obtain a visa in advance for every country you plan to set foot in. Some countries issue a visa upon check in to citizens of certain countries (US citizens have usually enjoyed this freedom more than most other nationalities), but you must know what countries require you to have a visa before you arrive there. Most times you can get this information on the internet, visiting each country's website.

??

J
are there any hostil countries like russia near the bearing straits where a boay must stay

a giben number of miles away fron the coast?
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:14 AM   #4
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are there any hostil countries like russia near the bearing straits where a boay must stay

a giben number of miles away fron the coast?
Look at the chart. The Bearing Straits separate the US (Alaska) from Russia. No other countries involved.

The right for a vessel to pas through the Straits is fond in two sections of UNCLOS (United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea HERE)

Part II, Section 3, contains the rules applying to Innocent Passage; the right of which is established in Article 17.

However, Part III concerns Straits used for International Navigation. Both are appropriate in this case.

States may not make any ruling other than, for example, the safety of navigation. This ruling may force you to use a separation scheme or report to a Traffic Reporting System but your right to innocent passage through territorial waters may not be revoked by the coastal state.

So, getting back to your question, what do you mean by hostile and why do you suppose Russia is a hostile state?

Aye // Stephen
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:47 PM   #5
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Look at the chart. The Bearing Straits separate the US (Alaska) from Russia. No other countries involved.

The right for a vessel to pas through the Straits is fond in two sections of UNCLOS (United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea HERE)

Part II, Section 3, contains the rules applying to Innocent Passage; the right of which is established in Article 17.

However, Part III concerns Straits used for International Navigation. Both are appropriate in this case.

States may not make any ruling other than, for example, the safety of navigation. This ruling may force you to use a separation scheme or report to a Traffic Reporting System but your right to innocent passage through territorial waters may not be revoked by the coastal state.

So, getting back to your question, what do you mean by hostile and why do you suppose Russia is a hostile state?

Aye // Stephen
I read that russia is very protective of it

s coast, but perhaps that is in reference to actually landing at random areas.

What are the international coastal limits anyway? How may miles?
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:33 AM   #6
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I read that russia is very protective of it

s coast, but perhaps that is in reference to actually landing at random areas.

What are the international coastal limits anyway? How may miles?
Landing at "random areas" is not permitted by any state as far as I know. You have to clear immigration and customs at specifically notified places. Thereafter you may be at liberty to land anywhere but that is entirely at the discretion of the coastal state.

If you believe that any country denying you the right to land anywhere is hostile then, I am afraid, we are living in an extremely hostile world.

To you latest questions, international coastal limits are established in UNCLOS. I provided the link in my last post. Read the appropriate parts of the text. It is well worth the effort. Generally though, territorial waters extend from the base line to 12 NM out to sea. After this we have the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) which is not under the sovereignty but well under the jurisdiction of the coastal state in respect of the minerals found in or on the sea bed and the resources in the water column above it. Outside the EEZ a state may have a contiguous zone of up to 150 NM, which in effect is an extension of the EEZ. Thereafter comes the high seas.

To return to the original question, which was about straits, you should look at the English Channel as a good example. At its narrowest point there are only territorial waters - either French or British. As the Channel widens towards the west you come to a point where the width of the channel exceeds the breadth of the territorial waters of both countries and there you find the remaining stretch of water divided into British and French EEZ.

I hope this answers your question but, again, I would recommend you to read UNCLOS.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:07 AM   #7
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I for one cannot understand why such a voyage would be contemplated! Generally coastlines are the most dangerous places to sail for reasons of shipping activity, fishing boats with their lines and floats plus proximity of the shoreline, when, not if, inclement weather is encountered. Constant vigilance would be required!

One generally does'nt need visas but ships papers would be required to go international.

I also cannot see what the point is in doing such a dangerous venture. Most countries require an ocean to be crossed to get there in the first place.

We've got a young girl over here right now about to sail around the world non-stop, heaven forbid, for what? The publicity, the adventure, the acolades on return? She's done well to get this far after bumping into a bulk carrier first night out but she has very little understanding of what may and will lay ahead on the worlds oceans.

I would rather not go to sea to see the sea!
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:03 AM   #8
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Landing at "random areas" is not permitted by any state as far as I know. You have to clear immigration and customs at specifically notified places. Thereafter you may be at liberty to land anywhere but that is entirely at the discretion of the coastal state.

If you believe that any country denying you the right to land anywhere is hostile then, I am afraid, we are living in an extremely hostile world.

To you latest questions, international coastal limits are established in UNCLOS. I provided the link in my last post. Read the appropriate parts of the text. It is well worth the effort. Generally though, territorial waters extend from the base line to 12 NM out to sea. After this we have the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) which is not under the sovereignty but well under the jurisdiction of the coastal state in respect of the minerals found in or on the sea bed and the resources in the water column above it. Outside the EEZ a state may have a contiguous zone of up to 150 NM, which in effect is an extension of the EEZ. Thereafter comes the high seas.

To return to the original question, which was about straits, you should look at the English Channel as a good example. At its narrowest point there are only territorial waters - either French or British. As the Channel widens towards the west you come to a point where the width of the channel exceeds the breadth of the territorial waters of both countries and there you find the remaining stretch of water divided into British and French EEZ.

I hope this answers your question but, again, I would recommend you to read UNCLOS.

Aye // Stephen
There is a line from Herman melville in his book "Moby Dick"

The owner of the whale ship asks Ishmael why do you want to go whaling?

he states, "To see what it is like and to see the world", the owner tells him to stand near the bow and look out at the sea and tells him, This is all you will see of the world, my lad!

You can't see the world if you are far out at sea. This is why coastal sailing is more interesting, my lad!
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:29 AM   #9
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Much has changed since Melville's days. When he wrote Moby Dick there was only territorial waters and nothing else except international waters.

A Dutchman, Grotius, on the basis of Roman legal principles, contended that the seas cannot constitute property because they cannot be occupied in the sense in which land can be occupied and that they are therefore free to all nations and subject to none. In the 18th century another Dutchman and jurist Cornelius van Bynkershoek, formulated the important principle of international law; that the waters adjoining the shores of a country within the range of artillery on land are not included in the juridical meaning of the term high seas but are instead under the territorial sovereignty of that country (The canon shot principle). This principle was later adopted throughout the world. A distance of 3 nautical miles was generally accepted. This limit was challenged in the 20th century when many

countries claimed a limit of 6 or even 12 nautical miles.

In the late 18th century, several attempts to curtail free navigation on the high seas were made by such powers as the United Kingdom, which in time of war sought to stop all trade of other nations with its enemies. A notable example of the assumption of such rights was the British blockade of western European ports during the Napoleonic Wars.

However, a more modern, and yet still fundamental supporting document for the concept of ownership of the seas, and also what is under them, was the Truman Proclamation made by the USA
(hostile state?) just after the end of the Second World War.

The Truman Proclamation was made on the 28th September 1945. It declared, ‘The Government of the United States regards the natural resources of the subsoil and sea bed of the continental shelf beneath the high seas but contiguous to the coasts of the United States as appertaining to the United states, subject to its jurisdiction and control.’

The limitation expressed in the Proclamation was to the continental shelf as such and makes no reference to a limit measured in nautical miles or other unit of distance.

The United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, convened in Geneva in 1958, defined rights of navigation and fishing on the high seas in time of peace. It approved articles defining the continental shelf and innocent passage of foreign ships through territorial waters and straits. Innocent passage was defined as maritime transit that “is not prejudicial to the peace, good order, or security of the coastal State”. Despite protracted discussion over the question of

territorial water limits, differences remained unresolved even during the subsequent second Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1960.

The continuing disagreement over the width of territorial waters posed new threats to the freedom of the seas. In 1952, Ecuador, Chile, and Peru extended their claims to a distance of 200 nautical miles and seized many foreign ships engaged in fishing without their permission. Several other nations also began to extend their offshore zones well beyond 12 nautical miles to exercise control over their fish stocks, commercial catches, and natural resources.

This also fuelled the so called Cod Wars. These were intermittent skirmishes between British and Icelandic fishermen (West German fishermen were also involved but. Lacking governmental support in Bonn, withdrew from the conflict), backed by their respective navies, or rather the Icelandic Coast Guard and the Royal Navy, over the right to fish, primarily for cod, in the waters off Iceland.

The first “Cod War” was sparked off by a 20 km fishing limit off the Icelandic coast unilaterally declared by Reykjavik on 1st September 1958. The conflict which followed brought the Royal Navy into action against Icelandic patrol boats as they attempted to impound British trawlers

inside the limit. In May 1959, the Icelandic vessels began firing live shells at British ships; though none was hit, this caused a major diplomatic incident.

Talks between the two governments in October led to a compromise which held until 1972, when Iceland imposed a new exclusive fishing zone of 80 km, disregarding a ruling against the measure by the International Court of Justice. As a result a new Cod War broke out in September1972 with the sinking of two British trawlers by an Icelandic patrol boat, and in the following month Iceland set up a boycott of all British goods. On 29th August, an Icelandic

patrol boat engineer was killed in a collision with a Royal Navy vessel, before talks once again paved the way to a compromise between the two nations.

Three years later, a third Cod War began with an incident between a British frigate escorting trawlers and an Icelandic patrol boat, which led to the Icelandic government breaking off diplomatic relations with Britain. Finally, on 1st June 1976, Britain and Iceland signed an agreement in Oslo allowing foreign trawlers limited access to the Icelandic cod fisheries, which settled the issue.

Although Iceland’s stance through the three cod wars is understandable as the country was basically protecting its sole natural resource, with the exception of geothermal power, the country was legally on very thin ice. Just as interestingly, Britain was defending what was seen as a basic right enshrined in international law. As so often has happened in the past, Britain won the battle but lost the war as a 200 mile exclusive economic zone later became the internationally agreed limit of national jurisdiction over marine fisheries.

When Britain also imposed a 200 nautical mile E.E.Z., Nordic countries which had previously supported Iceland in her disputes with Britain found themselves in a difficult position. Having supported Iceland’s claim for a 200 nautical mile E.E.Z., they could hardly object to Britain making a similar move and thus lost access to many valuable fishing grounds in the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

The increasing number and intensity of international disputes resulting from such unilateral actions, as well as other maritime problems, such as rights to exploit newly discovered minerals in the deeper seabed, caused the UN to begin the third Law of the Sea Conference in 1973.

A treaty adopted at the 1982 session of the Law of the Sea Conference approved a 12-nautical mile territorial limit for coastal nations and a 200-nautical-mile “exclusive economic zone”, which includes control over fishing rights, marine environmental protection, and scientific research in that zone. The 1982 convention covers the full range of ocean law subjects, including rights on the high seas and rules governing seabed minerals development beyond

national jurisdiction.


The countries of the world are interested in the sea in respect of their safety and in terms of what they can extract from it - minerals and marine living resources. If no one but cruisers used the seas then I am sure there would be no limitations at all on voyaging and, more particularly, landing. But this is not the case. We have a situation where the majority of coastal states have a 12 NM wide territorial sea, a 200 NM EEZ and, in some cases, a contiguous zone up to 150NM. This is the legal situation and you have to take it for what it is; like it or not.

However, as I pointed out previously, you do have rights in UNCLOS, such as the right of innocent passage. This does not include popping ashore for a look around, anchoring for a couple of days in a nice bay or fishing. If you want to do any of these things you should contact the embassy of the coastal state and find out what requirements the coastal state has and what permissions and permits or visas you need. In this respect, the U.S. has one of the world's strictest regimes!

Not wishing to be rude but the bottom line is if you are going to step ashore you obey the rules of the country; if not then the rules of innocent passage apply. It is better to learn that the easy way here rather than the hard way, sitting in a dirty third world jail with a confiscated yacht.

Aye // Stephen

I should just point out that much of the above text (italics) is from a paper I delivered on maritime sovereignty at a symposium in Cape Town in February 2006. As such it may not be freely reproduced (well, except by me of course). Please respect that.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:44 PM   #10
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Fred, I think you are asking the wrong questions, and you don't seem to have a clear idea of what you really want to do. Or at least it isn't clear enough for us to provide you with more than rules and regulations.

Start again.

So long as you do not set foot on land, you are not in the country. Sailing past it is no different than driving past a parking lot - unless you go in to park, you don't have to pay. Unless you physically enter a country, you're not in it and don't need visas, checkins, whatever. You don't exist as far as that country is concerned (but perhaps you DO exist to pirates and fishermen, so keep reading).

You will find, however, that coastal cruising isn't much fun, since in order to cross the great span of oceans you have to go very far north or south or too close to countries you'd rather not know about, and that is cold, and/or dangerous, and/or difficult. So.

Draw up a plan of where you want to go, and the route you wish to take. Get out a map of the world and draw the lines of your proposed sailing. THEN you can ask some specific, pertinent questions that somebody can answer. All the rest is theory and "depends". I am not going to tell you what places are cold, what places are dangerous, what places are difficult until you tell me if you expect to be within 20 miles of it.

Fair?

Let's start again.

J
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:39 PM   #11
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However, as I pointed out previously, you do have rights in UNCLOS, such as the right of innocent passage. This does not include popping ashore for a look around, anchoring for a couple of days in a nice bay or fishing. If you want to do any of these things you should contact the embassy of the coastal state and find out what requirements the coastal state has and what permissions and permits or visas you need. In this respect, the U.S. has one of the world's strictest regimes!.
First, thank you for a great read!

Second, and not to open yet another can of worms, it has been my understanding that the right of innocent passage includes the right to anchor to protect the safety of the vessel - e.g. to ride out a storm or get crew rest. Is that correct?
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:12 PM   #12
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.... the right of innocent passage includes the right to anchor to protect the safety of the vessel - e.g. to ride out a storm or get crew rest. Is that correct?
Yes, that is correct providing that you really can substantiate the claim that your anchoring is for the safety of the vessel. In this category you could include waiting for a tide if you are dependent on high water for crossing some shallows. You could also include medical emergency or sheltering from a storm.

You can not include resting the crew as safety of the vessel as this would indicate that your vessel was not manned in a safe and secure way. According to the world's differing merchant shipping acts, which include yachts unless specifically excluded from certain articles, vessels must be manned in a safe and secure manner which means that the crews have to be large enough to enable them to be sufficiently rested when going on watch. I know this legislation was written with merchant ships in mind but, there again, that is the way it is.

To go on to what Jeanne wrote; if we knew more of your plans perhaps we could give you information related to the places you want to visit.

Also, as Jeanne mentioned, whilst following coasts can be interesting it is also associated with risks. Will you follow a coast even if you are bucking a strong current, such as the Humbolt if heading down the west coast of South America? Would you risk having a lee shore? If sailing from continent to continent would you be prepared to go to high latitudes with associated fog and gales to cross the Pacific or Atlantic staying relatively close to shore?

Let us know a bit more about your ideas or plans and we can give more suitable recomendations.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:49 PM   #13
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You can not include resting the crew as safety of the vessel as this would indicate that your vessel was not manned in a safe and secure way.
I realized that I have hijacked this thread but this is interesting stuff. Thank you for your information.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:19 PM   #14
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Yes, that is correct providing that you really can substantiate the claim that your anchoring is for the safety of the vessel. In this category you could include waiting for a tide if you are dependent on high water for crossing some shallows. You could also include medical emergency or sheltering from a storm.

You can not include resting the crew as safety of the vessel as this would indicate that your vessel was not manned in a safe and secure way. According to the world's differing merchant shipping acts, which include yachts unless specifically excluded from certain articles, vessels must be manned in a safe and secure manner which means that the crews have to be large enough to enable them to be sufficiently rested when going on watch. I know this legislation was written with merchant ships in mind but, there again, that is the way it is.

To go on to what Jeanne wrote; if we knew more of your plans perhaps we could give you information related to the places you want to visit.

Also, as Jeanne mentioned, whilst following coasts can be interesting it is also associated with risks. Will you follow a coast even if you are bucking a strong current, such as the Humbolt if heading down the west coast of South America? Would you risk having a lee shore? If sailing from continent to continent would you be prepared to go to high latitudes with associated fog and gales to cross the Pacific or Atlantic staying relatively close to shore?

Let us know a bit more about your ideas or plans and we can give more suitable recomendations.

Aye // Stephen
The whole thing is too complicated in our modern world. I do not want to go sailing with a lawyer.

Thanks for setting me straight. Some things are best left to dreams.

I will trade my boat in for a power boat and just travel around manhattan island.
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