Requesting permission to enter the harbor of Figueira da Foz

In the morning Women on Waves visits the harbormaster of Figueira da Foz and officially requests him to authorize their entrance into the harbor.

Figuira da Foz is a small holliday and university town close to Coimbra where most of the volunteers are based. The berthing place is perfect, small, and there is a railway station in walking distance. We have rented a nice house closeby for all the volunteers.

Usually, the captain of the ship only calls the harbor to ask for permission to enter, when the ship arrives at the harbor, and the answer is given immediately. According to national and international regulations and agreements all commercial vessels are entitled to free passage and entry of harbors.

However, the harbormaster claims that they do not have a berthing place for us in the harbor, since the ship is not a fishing or a cargo vessel. This is a very strange nonsensical answer, and we call the Dutch embassy for advice. After a long discussion the harbormaster finally advises us to fax an official request with all the ships documents. Which we do.

In the middle of the night the captain of BORNDIEP receives the following fax:
On behalf of the Portuguese Maritime authorities, we inform the following: referring to the request of authorization for the ship BORNDIEP to enter into Portuguese territorial waters with destination to the Port of Figueira da Foz we inform you that under the provisions of Section III Part II of the 1982 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention, namely the articles 19 and 25 and the Portuguese law, that request was denied.
Sunday morning at the beach
The 29th of August, 2004, supporters and volunteers gather on the beach of Figueira da Foz to coordinate their actions in the coming weeks. Photo by Willem Velthoven for Women on Waves.
berthingplace figueira

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