Welcome to CFSA
We hope you enjoy your stay with us. We have answered a few of the questions you may have regarding the Victoria area but if we have left something out, ask anyone you may encounter around our Club.
Procedures When Transiting Esquimalt HarbourAll users of Esquimalt Harbour are required to follow the direction of the Queen’s Harbour Master (QHM). This includes, but is not limited to, checking in and out with QHM, staying out of any Controlled Access Zones (CAZ), monitoring VHF ch 10, 16 and following any instructions given by a representative of QHM or CFB Esquimalt. These procedures are put in place in order to ensure the safety and security of, not only Canadian Armed Forces personnel and their equipment, but all users of Esquimalt Harbour.
When entering Esquimalt Harbour and exiting the CFSA marina or any other location from within the harbour: Contact QHM via VHF Ch 10 and state:
During CFSA sanctioned events the controlling authority for that event may contact QHM on behalf of the group. For example: Race Committee, Junior Advisor and coach/instructor will call into QHM to inform them of the day’s event. This is to include an estimated time of completion. On long distance races skippers are to check in with QHM individually as they return to Esquimalt Harbour.
Your first two days stay at CFSA are free of charge, as are water and electricity (15 AMP) on the docks. Showers and washrooms are available in the lower level of the Clubhouse 24 hours per day and are also free. If you wish to extend your visit, moorage is available at a cost of 50 cents per foot per day with 7 day limit.
Please register your arrival at the Bar, or in the Foreshore Office in the Atco trailer located at the top of the ramp. If neither facility is open contact the Foreshore Chairman at 250-385-2467.
Don’t forget to ask for the code to the entrance gate and remember to fly your club burgee at all times.
CFSA clubhouse hours are:
Guests are invited to join in any CFSA activities but the Clubhouse is often rented out for private weddings, parties, etc., which are closed to the public. Cash withdrawal with Debit, Visa and Mastercard is available at the bar. Local phone calls can be made free of charge at the telephone located outside the foreshore workshop.
Where to Shop
There is a mall within walking distance of CFSA. Follow Maplebank Road to the train tracks and turn LEFT or go up to Admirals Road, past the Songhees Wellness Centre and turn LEFT. Follow the tracks or the road to Hallowell Road, (second street) and you will see Admirals Walk Shopping Centre. Here you can provision your boat at Thriftys (a member of Sobys) Super Market, visit a Pharmasave Pharmacy, visit the dollar store, or even take your best friend to the Vet. The Liquor Store is equipped to serve your every thirst and there’s a full service restaurant, the Apple Tree, to satisfy everyone’s taste. If you like Japanese food it’s available to from “Little Tokyo” (eat in or take out) and there’s even a Coast Capital Credit Union and the Admirals Walk Optometry Clinic to serve your every need.
Just past the Shopping Centre is a Chinese Food Restaurant and Bank of Nova Scotia, located at 100 Aldersmith Place. Hours are Mondays to Thursday, 9:30 am to 4 pm; Friday 9:30 am to 5 pm and Saturday 9:30 am to 3 pm. There is a bank machine on the outside of the building. There is also a DQ restaurant and a huge Canadian Tire and Rexall Stores – all within walking distance. Bags are available at all these stores – they also sell reusable bags for a nominal fee.
Avalon Dry cleaning and Laundromat is located at 1497 Admirals Road in the Admirals Walk shopping centre and is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm. Weekends it’s open until 6 pm. Do it yourself or have them do it for you. Telephone (250) 360-2536 for more information or visit them in the mall.
City Bus Service
If you’re a die hard shopper, downtown Victoria is the place for you. The Number 24 and 25 bus leaves Admirals Walk Shopping Centre regularly, with stops on Admirals Road. Follow Maplebank Road to Admirals Road, turn either left or right, and marked bus stops are not far away. Either bus will take you downtown, just ask the friendly bus driver where to get off. The stop at Broad and Johnson streets in only two blocks away from our downtown Bay Centre mall. For complete bus information you can check out the BC Transit web site at www.bctransit.com or pick up a current bus schedule on each bus. Exact change is required to board the bus and BC Transit bus are fitted with bike racks, so you can take your bicycles if you have them on the boat. Sheets of bus tickets are available from Thriftys Customer Service desk.
The Greater Victoria Public Library system has many branches but the closest one to CFSA is located in the Esquimalt City Hall building on Esquimalt Road. Their website, http://www.gvpl.ca, should answer any questions you may have. The Number 25 bus will drop you off within close proximity to the library (the BC One card is accepted here) and to the Recreational Complex.
For ambulance service dial 911. The Royal Jubilee Hospital (250) 370-8000 at 1952 Bay Street and the Victoria General Hospital (250) 727-4212 at 1 Hospital Way have 24 hour emergency departments. The Admirals Walk Medical Clinic (250) 380-9002 is located at 275 Old Island Highway, approximately 1 ½ miles from CFSA, and is open Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm.
Trotac Marine Limited (250) 386-2341 on Gorge Road East can provide all your boating needs. Note: Quite far from CFSA and most likely requires a bus (also requires transfers) or a taxi ride.
What to see in Victoria?
There’s lots to see and do in Victoria whether you like the arts, walking tours, symphonies, museums, etc. To ensure you know what’s happening while you are visiting, plan your itinerary by checking the web site of Tourism Victoria at http://www.tourismvictoria.com or just by entering “What’s happening in Victoria, BC” in your browser. A number of sites will come up.
Pleasure Boat Entry to US – New Process for 2016
May 19th, 2016
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has started to enforce the cruising license for foreign flagged vessels travelling in US waters. The cruising license has been around since December 31, 1969, but the enforcement of the license started in January of this year.
My husband and I are very interested in these new requirements, as we keep our Canadian-flagged boat in Point Roberts Marina in Washington State. For years now, all we needed to do was to report our entry into US waters to Small Boat Reporting using our NEXUS and to purchase an annual User Fee decal. This has now changed as of January 2016, with the enforcement of the cruising license.
I spoke with Officer Gill at Customs Border Protection (CBP) to clarify the process and he was very helpful and answered my questions. The CBP website also has some very good information and FAQs, but speaking to an officer in person helped clear up some of my remaining questions.
A cruising license is not a requirement for foreign-flagged vessels, but the license will save those of us who cross the border frequently some time and money. A foreign-flagged vessel without a cruising license must complete a CBP 1300 (Vessel Entrance or Clearance Statement) and physically report into a port of entry. The cost for the CBP 1300 is Navigation Fee of $19.00 US. This form must be completed for any movement within US waters. Boats also complete one when they clear/exit from US waters.
Bedwell Harbour Customs dock (photo by Les Williams, unchanged, CC BY SA 2.0)
Fortunately, Canadian boaters are eligible for a cruising license (some countries are not). A cruising license can be obtained when entering the USA. It does require physically reporting to a CBP port of entry; examples would include Friday Harbour, Point Roberts, Bellingham or Blaine. At this initial check-in, the CBP will inspect the boat and the skipper will pay the $19 Navigation fee for the CBP-1300. The skipper then has the option of also applying for the cruising license for which there is no extra cost.
The advantage to a cruising license is that a boat now does not have to pay the $19.00 Navigation fee each time it enters and departs (the technical word is “clear) from US waters. Without it, the vessel would file a CBP-1300 and pay the Navigation fee in order to proceed between ports of entry.
The cruising license we obtain will cover us for the entire Puget Sound area. CBP includes the San Juans, Anacortes, Bellingham, Point Roberts, Blaine, Port Angeles, Port Townsend and Seattle/Tacoma in its definition of Puget Sound ports. Without a cruising permit, skippers would be expected to report their movements within the area, and with cell phone coverage issues, this could be problematic.
For the BCA members who will be traveling down the Coast to San Francisco or San Diego, once they have their cruising license, no other form is needed. The vessels will still have to report (call in) as they enter each district on their way south. Here is a list of the ports of entry.
Many BCA members keep their boats moored year round in Point Roberts and have been in the habit of purchasing the $27 annual decal. With the advent of the new cruising license, this decal is no longer necessary. The crew of Cariba had already purchased a 2016 decal, so Officer Gill informed me that the initial Navigation fee for the first CBP-1300 would be waived.
So how does one get a cruising license? Well, if your boat is already in US waters, i.e. Blaine or Point Roberts, many cruisers have been able to go to the office at the Border with their paperwork and apply. Otherwise, on your first entry to the USA, you must present your boat at a CBP port of entry for inspection and application.
A cruising license is effective for one calendar year. As a foreign-flagged vessel, we are not eligible for successive licenses. There must be a 15 day period where the prior license has either expired or has been surrendered. This rule initially caused us some angst, as we interpreted this to mean that our boat must be out of US waters for that time frame. But Officer Gill explained that this is not the case; the prior license simply must have expired/lapsed for more than 15 days. One option though, may be to time a trip with the expiration of a permit. There is no charge/clearance fee, so we could leave with a valid permit that is about to expire and come back after 15 days. We would then obtain a new one on our entry to US waters.
A cruising license does NOT change a boaters’ reporting requirements via Nexus or other means to check in with CBP. If you have a current cruising license, you will need it when reporting your arrival in US waters, but you will contact CBP in your usual manner to check in.
Our boat is currently moored at Point Roberts and when I spoke to Officer Gill in late March, we had no plans to exit and re-enter the US until leaving for the May Rendezvous at Bedwell Harbour. He assured me that we did not have to get a cruising license and that we could day sail with no worries in US waters. Our plan is to go up to the Point Roberts Border crossing in early May to get our license. Alternatively, we could wait till we return and instead of using Nexus, we could go to the Point Roberts Customs dock and call 360 945 5211. A CBD officer will then come down with the paperwork for us to complete; but we could assist by printing off a CBP-1300 from their website.
Officer Gill said that this process is new to the CBP officers as well, and there will be a learning curve for all involved. I believe this is why the Point Roberts CBP office has been allowing boaters to come to the office to get their initial license. The small boat reporting service is also always available to answer questions, especially if you call them in off peak times.
I would like to thank CBP Officers Colin Giddens; and Supervisory CBP Officer – Seattle Honor Guard Commander and Supervisor, Harmit Gill, for taking the time to review and give feedback on this article.