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Sailing to USVI Questions #199771
07/11/2019 09:55 AM
07/11/2019 09:55 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 117
Mt Prospect, IL
S
SeeDiver Offline OP
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SeeDiver  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 117
Mt Prospect, IL
We're planning on spending several days around ST John at the end of our BVI trip.
We've not taken a boat through Customs in years, so we have some procedural questions:

1) After clearing out at Great Harbor Jost van Dyke, can we remain overnight before heading to Cruz Bay? Can we go ashore after clearing out?
2) Do we need to bring the boat into Cruz Bay for Customs, or just the crew?
3) I remember some discussion of where to tie the dinghy for Customs, but it escapes me.
4) When we enter US waters, do we need some sort of seal on the holding tanks, or is placing the valves in the closed position sufficient while moored?
5 Is there a good place to spent the night with easy access to Cruz Bay for Customs, and perhaps shopping and dinner?
6) any recommended dining spots?

Thanks for any advice or assistance


Roger

Cenosillicaphobia - Fear of an empty glass


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Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: SeeDiver] #199779
07/11/2019 10:47 AM
07/11/2019 10:47 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,445
BVI
Zanshin Offline
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Zanshin  Offline
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Posts: 1,445
BVI
1. Yes, you have 24 hours to leave the BVI after clearing out. Sometimes the C&I folks can be picky, for example when clearing out at 2pm and you tell them you are expecting to leave at noon the next day they might request (demand) that you come back tomorrow. So I usually tell them that I'm planning on leaving at sunrise (so before their office opens) but quite frequently I oversleep wink Yes, you may still go ashore after clearing out.
2a. Cruz Bay is still closed for customs and immigration, you need to go to Red Hook or to Charlotte Amalie I've just read that they are open and working from a trailer. When I went to the USVI from the BVI two months ago I was told that Cruz Bay was closed and I'd need to clear in on St. Thomas. I'd verify that they are open with someone who has done so recently.
2b. The boat doesn't have to be in the bay as C&I - but you are required to go ashore with crew to clear customs and immigration immediately upon arrival, and dropping the hook or picking up a mooring counts as arrival. So you would need to be able to justify the added distance and prove timing if you are asked.
3. I don't know about Red Hook, but you can tie up to the shoreline dock close to the Charlotte Amalie office (which is in the ferry terminal building on the ground floor in the back)
4. No seal, but your holding tanks should be closed.
5. See 2a, but yes - a $5 taxi ride from all of the protected anchorages to the north will bring you into town
6. The restaurants have changed since the hurricanes so I can't help there.

Addendum: Everyone aboard must be either a U.S. Citizen, LPR, or have a tourist or similar visa for the USA, that means any Europeans aboard who are used to flying with an ESTA will not be able to travel to the USVI via sailboat. They can always take the ferry, the ESTA works for that. The good news is that when you return to the BVI you don't have to clear out.

Last edited by Zanshin; 07/11/2019 10:55 AM. Reason: Added ESTA & Visa
Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: SeeDiver] #199781
07/11/2019 10:54 AM
07/11/2019 10:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,345
An island state of mind
tradewinds Online content
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tradewinds  Online Content
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,345
An island state of mind
Cruz Bay has been open for C&I for over a year now. We cleared in there last June.

Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: SeeDiver] #199782
07/11/2019 11:04 AM
07/11/2019 11:04 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 219
Charlotte
K
Knotthead Offline
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Knotthead  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 219
Charlotte
Mooring balls in Caneel Bay and on closer to entrance to Cruz Bay are not a bad dinghy ride. Can be wet if you have a loaded down dinghy and I would probably not do it at night without good lights. You can tie up at National parks Dock close to customs, shopping, and restaurants.

Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: Zanshin] #199783
07/11/2019 12:03 PM
07/11/2019 12:03 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 117
Mt Prospect, IL
S
SeeDiver Offline OP
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SeeDiver  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 117
Mt Prospect, IL
Thanks for the answers.
I've loaded the CBP Roam app on my phone, and if the charter co has provided the sticker, i'll try it. (It's US Flagged)
Technology at work...

One crew is a GBR citizen with a Permanent Resident Card, so it should work. If not, an afternoon in Cruz Bay will be fun anyway.

I understand mooring balls may be discounted with my Lifetime National Parks Pass.


Roger

Cenosillicaphobia - Fear of an empty glass


[Linked Image]
Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: SeeDiver] #199785
07/11/2019 12:36 PM
07/11/2019 12:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 668
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
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cwoody  Offline
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Posts: 668
Middleburg, VA
Originally Posted by SeeDiver


I understand mooring balls may be discounted with my Lifetime National Parks Pass.



1/2 price with senior pass.
If you pay at the floating pay stations, it is sort of honor system. Put your senior pass number on the payment envelope with cash and leave in box.
Keep the receipt in case Park service does show up to check.

Overnight Mooring & Anchoring 2018
Regular overnight fee $26.00/night
Senior/Access Pass $13.00/night

Here is a nice link to help in your planing.... VI Marine Visitor


Chuck W.
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Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: SeeDiver] #199790
07/11/2019 05:18 PM
07/11/2019 05:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 265
Perdido Key, Florida
C
cbinparadise Offline
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Posts: 265
Perdido Key, Florida
We were just there the last 2 weeks of June. Best meals we had were at Oceans 362 & The Terrace. We also had some good Mexican at Greengos as well as a burger at Skinny's. It was crowded due to Carnival so we cooked at the house a lot which we have never done. Parking was a huge issue.

Last edited by cbinparadise; 07/11/2019 09:28 PM.
Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: SeeDiver] #199791
07/11/2019 06:35 PM
07/11/2019 06:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 927
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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Posts: 927
USVI
Best plan is to pick up a western mooring outside Cruz Bay STJ - dinghy to NPS dock. - No need to clear out when you return to BVI
Wonderful peaceful quiet sheltered bays on both N and S STJ shore - Many NPS moorings
great snorkeling at some offshore cays as well. Durloe Cays, Lovango, Mingo,Thatch, Congo, Whistling, Waterlemon Cays or The James's off STT
Rendezvous Bay is one of my Favorite anchorages, well inside, in an obvious sand bowl in seagrass field
Cruz Bay is a walking town with lots of dining/drinking/shopping options - public dinghy docks next to ferry dock.
No marinas or yachting services available on STJ

Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: SeeDiver] #199815
07/12/2019 10:13 AM
07/12/2019 10:13 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 47
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CDavis2 Offline
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CDavis2  Offline
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If you end up using the Roam app make sure that the Cruz Bay office is open before you submit the check-in request. We have used the app several times but it seems to go into a black hole if you submit it when they are still closed. I don't remember the exact hours but we found out the hard way that they open later and had to get the check in overridden after showing up in Red Hook. I was mildly chastised by CBP when I asked why they would not check for pending check ins when they open up. Roam app is a game changer on the US customs side and I highly recommend it. Sure would be nice if the BVI had something similar.

Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: SeeDiver] #199819
07/12/2019 11:17 AM
07/12/2019 11:17 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 55
St. Thomas, USVI
CYOACHARTERBASE Offline
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CYOACHARTERBASE  Offline
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Posts: 55
St. Thomas, USVI
Please search postings from BAARDJ about ROAM being used by non US citizens. Do not submit if a) your crew has any non citizens (period - no exceptions for green cards, visa, etc.), b) you are not physically inside of US waters and, c) the Cruz Bay office is actually open.

Last edited by CYOACHARTERBASE; 07/12/2019 11:17 AM.
Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: CYOACHARTERBASE] #199821
07/12/2019 11:34 AM
07/12/2019 11:34 AM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 12
Durban South Africa
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Bernard Offline
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Bernard  Offline
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Durban South Africa
We were able to use the ROAM app to clear into St John in January 2019 and all four of us were on South African passports with USA visas.

Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: CYOACHARTERBASE] #199831
07/12/2019 02:04 PM
07/12/2019 02:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 668
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
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cwoody  Offline
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Posts: 668
Middleburg, VA
Originally Posted by CYOACHARTERBASE
b) you are not physically inside of US waters and, c) the Cruz Bay office is actually open.


In May we headed back to the USVI from Jost. We sent in our roam request around 10am on a Thursday. Both b and c above could be answered yes.
I received my "PROCESSING" number from the roam system and waited.... and waited....
We moored in Frances Bay and finally around 3pm (before the office closed) I called the customs office in Cruz Bay.
I was told that the ROAM office could have been busy, and I was asked for my "PROCESSING" number and told to call back in 15 minutes.
Two minutes later the ROAM approval came through on my phone. Sometimes a gentle reminder is required.


Chuck W.
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Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: cwoody] #199832
07/12/2019 02:36 PM
07/12/2019 02:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 37
dcareri Offline
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dcareri  Offline
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Posts: 37
Submit no earlier than 10:00am since the nice person on the phone told me that when I called to inquire about our request that has be “processing” since 8:00am. Funny thing is I submitted another time at 6:30pm after they were closed, fully expecting to have to submit again in the morning and promptly got the approval at 8:am the next morning. So looks like it is variable. However we’ve used ROAM probably 8 times in the last year and love it even with the delays.


Dennis
S/V Toes in the Water
Lagoon 450
Re: Sailing to USVI Questions [Re: SeeDiver] #199871
07/13/2019 07:28 AM
07/13/2019 07:28 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 514
Georgia & South Carolina
D
Deepcut Online embarrased
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Deepcut  Online Embarrased
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Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 514
Georgia & South Carolina
Originally Posted by SeeDiver
Thanks for the answers.
I've loaded the CBP Roam app on my phone, and if the charter co has provided the sticker, i'll try it. (It's US Flagged)
Technology at work...


You should have the boat documentation on board. Check with ROAM site... Not sure it requires owner to be the one registering the vessel. And can utilize ROAM while awaiting sticker by having the number. IIRC, the registration fee is minimal ($25-35?).

The ROAM program is great and I too have used about 6 x past year.


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (Lagoon 42)

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