So, I have this crazy dream. I'd love to purchase a little sailboat, make my way down the East Coast, across the Carribean, down South America, and end up in the Falklands, maybe Tierra Del Fuego, and Antarctica if I really could develop some seamanship skills. As I think about the logistics, I realize, it's a bit of an undertaking, but from a skill level, it seems "do-able."
What has just occurred to me from a planning perspective, however, is that I have just totally schluffed off the important legal niceties, of oh, entering a foreign country! But then I realize, a coastline is way bigger than the secured portion of an airport.
So, here's the question. Let's say I've shoved across from Florida and sailed down to Brazil. Yes, that's a long trip, but I'm going to guess the islands are a bit more sophisticated when its comes to ports. When I show up in Brazil, what's to stop me from pulling into a harbor, getting out of the boat, walking into the town, and buying supplies?
At what point do I need to show my passport, do a customs declaration or in any fashion present myself to authorities as a gringo who needs to be admitted to the country?
In other words, how do I legally enter a country when I'm in a private sailboat?