Innocent Passage is a concept of maritime law that allows for a vessel to pass through the archipelagic and territorial waters of another state as long as no harm is rendered.
Covid concerns since March of 2020 mandated the closure of the US-Canadian border and, as of this writing, it remains restricted for the foreseeable future. Recreational cross-border traffic between Washington or Alaska and British Columbia is barred.
Last summer Jupiter remained in US waters and explored Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. After knocking up against the Canadian border in 2020 we long to sail north.
Currently foreign-flagged vessels may not enter Canadian waters for the purpose of touring, sightseeing, or pleasure fishing.CBSA Website
However, Canada Border Services Agency stipulates that foreign vessels may navigate through Canadian waters if the passage is direct, continuous, uninterrupted and by the most reasonable route.
This morning the crew arises at 0400, wracked with anticipation of testing these theoretical concepts at Port of Sidney Customs Dock. Weeks of planning and research together with a large measure of hope are parlayed.
The physical and metaphysical direction of Jupiter’s summer program totters on the shoulders of two CBSA officers who stalk the dock, summoned by our offshore call to Canadian Vessel Arrivals.
The Most Reasonable Route
Passports, Locator Forms, Crew Manifests and Jupiter’s geography-eating Float Plan are handed over and carefully examined.
The entire 620 nautical mile navigation of maritime British Columbia, which might normally be enjoyed during a month’s cruise, will be attempted in eight days.
No Unnecessary Intercourse
In times of unease and disease we must not be a threat to any Canadian soul, setting no foot upon their soil.
Rules are rendered, and we are asked to read aloud a statement of innocent intent. We are instructed by the border officers to have “no unnecessary intercourse” during our transit.