CRUISING NEWS (The News Buoy)
This page contains news flashes and updates from cruising and sailing regions around the world that are of interest and importance to cruisers. The information from these news items will be added to the relevant, individual Wiki sections/pages.
Please post any news items here or email the full information to boardcaptain[AT]gmail[DOT]com for posting here.
Vanuatu and French Polynesia - (Posted 2 September 2014)
There has been an extension from 6 months to 18 months of the maximum length of stay that a cruising yacht is allowed to remain in Vanuatu before becoming liable to customs and import duties. More information from Vanuatu Customs and Inland Revenue web site. This echoes the recent extension from 18 months to 36 months of the maximum stay that a yacht can remain in French Polynesia.
Papua New Guinea - (Posted 2 September 2014)
There has been a major eruption of the Rabaul caldera in Papua New Guinea. Australia's National Airline, Qantas, has re-routed flights around the ash cloud.
Vanuatu - (Posted 13 August 2014)
August 2014 -- Yacht penalized for calling into Port Resolution unannounced. The skipper of a yacht of French nationality was penalised by Lenakel Customs for calling into the undeclared port of Port Resolution on the island of Tanna unannounced. The vessel was on its way from Tarawa, Kiribati to Bundaberg, Australia on 5th August 2014. further information posted by Vanuatu Customs and Inland Revenue here.
Greece - (Posted 29 November 2013)
November 2013 --Legislation has now been passed to impose a new cruising tax on all vessels sailing in Greek waters from 1 January 2014. Proposed rates are as follows: 7m - 8m: €200; 8m – 10m: €300; 10m – 12m: €400; Over 12m: €100/metre. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on the cruising economy in Greece.
As of August 2014 this new tax has not been imposed. Istioploos 09:41, 31 August 2014 (BST)
New Caledonia - (Posted 8th August 2011)
An inter-tribal dispute in Mare, the southernmost of the Loyalty Islands in New Caledonia, has resulted in 4 deaths. The dispute, which had shut down many of the airports around the country, resulted from a series of protests about the cost of airfares within New Caledonia. Local churches are working to defuse the conflict.
New Zealand - (Posted Jun 13 2011)
A further series of quakes, the largest registering 6.0 on the Richter scale, June 13 shook the already battered town of Christchurch.
New Zealand - (Posted May 2011)
Two recent major earthquakes, the latest on 22 Feb 2011, and measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, have left Christchurch city in a mess. Until normalcy is restored, it should be realized that some facilities aren't readily available.
Chagos (BIOT) - (Posted Dec '10)
Official policy of BIOT as from January 2011.
The rules governing mooring permits are due to change on 01 January 2011. The fee structure will move to a weekly fee of £50 and the maximum stay permitted will be 28 days. Applications for visits in 2011 that were received in 2010 are still subject to the old fee of £100 per month but the Commissioner will NOT authorize any permits of more than 3 months.
Turkey - (Posted Apr '10)
LATEST NEWS ON ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS FOR YACHTS
Turkey - (Posted Feb '10)
SUMMARY OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS FOR YACHTS
DUE TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN MUGLA ON 1 MARCH 2010
All boats must have black AND grey water tanks, both with deck fittings that enable them to be pumped out. There is to be no discharge into Turkish waters.
A "blue card" is to be issued by Harbour Masters and marinas after they have checked that both black and grey tanks are properly fitted and that no water from any sink, head, etc., runs into the sea. The card will show details of the yacht and crew.
All discharge must be done by pumping out at one of 30 stations sited strategically in marinas and harbours throughout the region.
The "blue card" will be digitally updated with the pumped out volume of both grey and black water.
The Coastguard and other enforcement agencies can demand the "blue card", read it electronically to determine when tanks were last pumped out and how many litres were pumped out. This allows them to check that you are not secret dischargers into the sea.
There are special regulations covering the Göçek area bays prohibiting the use of anchors. Use of fixed mooring buoys will be compulsory, for a maximum of 11 days (outside marinas). The number of vessels in the area may be restricted. Cooking on deck and ashore is prohibited.
Cape Verde Islands - (Posted Dec '09)
Caution - There has been a serious outbreak of Dengue Fever on the Cape Verde Islands.
The IO Net - Malaysia & Thailand, Indian Ocean and Red Sea - (Posted Nov '09)
We’re setting up an informal SSB radio net for yachts to share information and weather, aid communications, and provide mutual help. We’re also compiling a list of yachts with approximate itineraries, cruising speeds, etc. Please email us to be put on the list and to get updated times and frequencies.
The provisional time and frequencies are as follows:
- 0030hrs UTC (0830 in Malaysia, 0730 Thailand - to be adjusted as we move west)
- 8188 USB (a marine SSB frequency, so no Ham license needed)
The net will start on Wednesday, 18 November 2009. This will give people a chance to try out their radios and to see if this frequency and time works. Also, we can start to use the net as a forum to exchange information and ideas. We invite all yachts to participate – please give us a call and contribute.
Guy & Annika, yacht Street Legal
Email: guy.oury(AT)rocketmail.com - or for quicker response, m0dpu(AT)winlink.org
(for the latter, note that the 2nd character is ZERO not ‘oh’ and to get through the spam filter, insert //WL2K in the subject line). Please tell us your boat name, your name/s, flag, length, type, rough itinerary, speed under engine etc.
Samoa - Earthquake and Tsunami - 30 Sept '09
Samoa was rocked by an earthquake and resultant tsunami today. See a first-hand report from a cruiser at Pago Pago HERE
Venezuela - New Tax On Visiting Yachts - Sept. 2009
A new tax is now being imposed on foreign-flagged yachts on arrival in Venezuela (or leaving, if not yet paid). The tax is 1% of the yacht's value and an insurance valuation or bill of sale must be produced. A ZARPE will not be issued to yachts leaving if this tax has not been paid, even if they arrived before the tax's implementation date (1st Sept "09).
If you leave Venezuela waters and return, the tax must be paid again.
EDIT: It has been confirmed directly by the Venezuelan tax office that this tax ONLY applies to local citizens who import a boat. Foreign vessels can come and go as normal (adhering to local customs rules). Lighthouse 18:19, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Guatemala - [[Rio Dulce] - May 2009
From Daphne Becker - Tortugal Marina:
Good news for cruisers!
The Guatemalan Navy/Coast Guard is patrolling Rio Dulce in the area where most vessels are concentrated, which includes the following marinas: Tortugal, Tijax, Mario's Monkey Bay, Mar Marine, Nana Juana, Catamaran, Bruno's.
This 24 hour patrol began in October, 2008 and no further incidents have been reported within the patrolled area.
For the time being, it is best to plan to check into Livingston early in the morning and proceed up-river to anchor or pick up a mooring near one of the marinas mentioned above.
The organization of hotel and marina owners hopes that the government of Guatemala will extend this very successful program to other areas in Rio Dulce, such as the Canyon, Rio Tatin, and Livingston.
(French) St Martin - 26 July 2009
Starting Monday, 27 July 2009, the Sandy Ground Bridge (French side of St Martin) will only open twice a day at 8:15am and 5:30pm (like Sunday schedule), from tomorrow through August. In September, it will be completely closed and will not open as they are dismantling bits to ship off to Guadeloupe for maintenance.
Approaches to Seattle - July 2009
WARNING: The old Union Oil pier extending west from Edwards Point, just south of Edmonds, Washington, was dismantled and removed in February 2009 by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Virtually no trace of it remains visible from the water.
Fiji - 10 April 2009
Important Announcement effective 10 April 2009
Warning: On this date, the President of Fiji has abrogated the Constitution and has announced the implementation of the Public Emergency Regulations (PER) - effectively martial law. At this instance in time, the general public is yet to be made aware of the full ramifications, however, my opinion (not a fact, just an opinion), is if you have weapons on board, whether or not you intend to declare them, is to not take the risk of checking into Fiji; there is just too much nervousness on the part of the new Legal Order, and the military (of which the police is now effectively a branch) is empowered to do anything it feels is necessary, without repercussions, to preserve the public order .
Secondly, it has come to our attention that a visiting yacht was THOROUGHLY searched as a consequence of failing to properly complete the form C.2.C., being interpreted as an indication of potential wrong-doing. Nothing was found, of course (maybe a lost wrench in the bilge??), but to avoid any inconvenience, please do not leave blanks on the C.2.C. If something is not applicable, enter 'n/a' in the appropriate blank.
Lastly, discussions with the old/new Attorney-General have indicated that the government remains firm in its resolve to encourage cruising tourism, and I believe what was expressed was quite genuine. However, until things settle out a bit more, caution is strongly advised, as well as keeping any private opinions private.