Puerto Rico, San Juan

San Juan, Puerto Rico. 18deg 28’.58N – 66deg 05’.54W

1. The channel in is well marked and, given the potentially large vessels using it, quiet narrow in places under the Fort. It is recommended that yachts call ahead to the Port Authority on CH 16 or 14 for clearance to enter/leave; we received no response.
2. Three is plenty of space in the inner basin to take sails down if required.
3. The San Juan Bay Marina is at the end of a long inlet south of the entrance and past the main cruise ship “immigration and customs” buildings to starboard (Note: these also contain the private yacht entry point facilities).
4. The office is at the head of the bay with a safe dinghy pontoon (take the left/west channel between the pontoons) with the fuel pontoon at the head of the east channel.
5. Note: there is only 2.5m at the pontoon at high water and there is allow spot of 1.7m halfway down the channel (opposite the obvious shower building on the marina pontoon). There is water at the fuel pontoon, but you need your own hose.
6. There is a good anchorage just outside the marina, which is on the South side of the inlet with the private Club Nautico marina to the North (mainly for private sports fishing boats).
7. Customs and Immigration is not at the airport; it is in the very large cruise ship terminal approx. 1km along the road between the inlet and the local airport in the No 2 Terminal Building (large grey building).
8. We were advised by the Marina Office and the Customs staff that we should have telephoned the customs immediately on arrival; even after normal hours even if arriving from another USA territory. We didn’t as we had no number or knowledge of this requirement. We were told we could have checked in using a telephone app “CBP ROAM”; telephone 787-822-3557/6.
9. Cost of customs clearance US$37 payable at every US Port if you don’t have a cruising licence; with a cruising licence you only pay at the first port!
10. The US CBP service in St John (where we cleared in) told us we did not need to check in on arrival – clearly this was incorrect albeit only for customs.
11. We were moving on to the Turks and Caicos and initially said we did not need the cruising licence. A very helpful immigration lady explained ii was normally $100 but FREE to UK yachtsmen and last a year. Well worth having as it saves the $37 port fee at every US port!
12. The Old Town is a good walk away but the No 9 bus goes from a bus stop just across the road from the marina.

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