To call or not to call?

It’s rare for foreign harbour authorities to want yachts to call them as a matter of course, and marinas in France, Holland and Scandinavia are often perfectly happy for you just to arrive then declare yourself. Back home, more and more authorities are interested in what yachts are up to, including certain commercial ports. Did you know, for example, that you are expected to call the Queen’s Harbourmaster before crossing the lower reaches of Portsmouth Harbour? Consult an up-to-date pilot book, an almanac or sometimes the chart, but if in doubt, give a shout.