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“Fanning Radio, Fanning 

Radio. This is Dirona on 16.”

For several hours we’d been trying to contact Fanning Island, a remote 
atoll about 1,000 miles south of Honolulu and our  rst foreign port 

since leaving Hawaii. The atoll is part of Kiribati (pronounced ‘Kiribas’), 
an archipelago strung across the Paci c Ocean near the equator. 

Before leaving Hawaii, we’d corresponded with a customs of cial in 
the capitol city, Tarawa. They had advised us on entry procedures 

and requirements, copying their counterpart at Fanning Island. Our 
instructions were to contact Fanning Radio on VHF channel 16 when 

entering Kiribati waters, but so far we’d had no response.
Not wanting to miss slack water in the entry channel, we proceeded 

through without radio contact and anchored off the main village 

with our Q  ag  ying. A small skiff soon arrived with four people on 
board: customs, immigration, biosecurity, and the boat’s operator. After 

inspecting our boat and paperwork, everything was in order, but the 
immigration of cial levied a $500  ne for not having exit stamps on our 
Ducks In A Row
passports. The of cial in Tarawa had stated that we only needed a Zarpe, 
or clearance paperwork, for the vessel. (The U.S. doesn’t require any 

formal clearance processing for departing U.S. pleasure craft and their 
crew, but we did speci cally obtain the required Zarpe in Honolulu.)

We asked if one of the of cials was Jonathan (not his real name) 
and the customs of cial looked very surprised and said yes. We showed 

him the email thread with Tarawa and this persuaded the immigration 
of cer to drop the  ne and process our entry. When we later went 

ashore, we learned that the island’s generator had broken down long 
ago and the entire island had been without power since. That is why 
The importance of logistics for world travel.Story 
we couldn’t reach them by radio, and all those emails from Tarawa 

copying Jonathan were never seen.and 
Traveling around the world in a small boat is romantic and exciting. 
But any sort of marine travel between countries brings the challenges 
of clearing in and out, obtaining spares and provisions, refueling, and in by 

our case, travelling with our cat, Spit re. In this second of three articles, Jennifer 
we’ll discuss what we learned during our trip around the world to make 
the logistic complexities fade into the background so we could enjoy 
the trip. The  rst article (56,000 Miles and Counting, PassageMaker James 

April, 2017) covered planning and various aspects of being underway; 
the  nal installment will cover how we rigged Dirona for the trip.Hamilton

Clearing In and Out

Prior to departing Hawaii in early 2013, we had plenty of experience 
traveling into and out of the U.S. by boat, but only to and from Canada. 

Neither country requires clearance for departing pleasure craft, only 

entry processing, and we’d always had CANPASS or NEXUS cards, so 
were able to clear through over the phone in most cases. Even upon 

returning to the U.S. from St. Lucia after nearly four years away, we 
still were able to clear entirely over the phone through Florida’s Small 

Vessel Reporting System
Every other country we visited around the world, however, required 

departing pleasure craft to formally clear out of the country and arriving 
pleasure craft to present exit paperwork from the previous port. Most 

clearance processing was done in person, typically aboard the vessel. At 
a minimum, we needed clearance from both customs and immigration. 

We typically also needed biosecurity clearance for our cat, and possiblyDirona in spectacular Hall Arm in Fiordland, New Zealand 

May/June 2017 6362 May/June 2017

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