Knives and NON US laws

Discussion in 'Knives & Edged Items' started by ampaterry, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    West Tennessee
    We just went on our first cruise in November, courtesy of our daughter and her husband! We went on Carnival lines, the West Caribbean cruise which left Tampa Bay and cruised to Grand Cayman, Kozomel, Belize and Roatan before returning to Tampa Bay a week later.
    I always carry two knives; a nice Scrimshaw Schrade lockback with a 3 5/8" blade belt-knife, and a Spyderco Clipit Delica 2 7/8" blade lockback in my pocket. Checking the Carnival cruise site on line, I found that both knives would be OK, because their restriction is only on blade lengths over four inches, so I took both with me. We went through the boarding routine in Tampa which went a lot faster than I expected, and I of course set off the metal detector alarm. Emptying my pockets for their inspection, they opened and measured both of my knives, proclaiming them fine for me to take with me - although they asked me to close them, because they were unfamiliar with the lock-back mechanism.
    Everything is hunky donkey.
    We arrived at Grand Cayman, our first port of call, two days after leaving Tampa. Grand Cayman is circled by reefs that prevent large ships from coming close to the island, so they anchor out further and the island sends out power boats to ferry passengers in to the island. We had two shore excursions scheduled there, and we left the ship an hour early so we would have PLENTY of time to look around and relax before the first one started.
    Immediately upon landing, there was a big sign requiring all knives be checked by the island security officer. I dutifully presented both knives to him, and he informed me that the belt knive had too long a blade, and I would have to - - THROW IT AWAY in a garbage can before leaving the dock to go in to the island proper. This knife was an award I received from my employer many years ago, and there was NO WAY I was going to throw it away, and I told the security guy that. I asked him to hold it for me until we departed; he refused, saying he was not allowed to do that. I said I would take the next boat back to the ship and leave the knife in my room. He said the ship would not let me board with it, but would merely send me back ashore to discard it. I told him they had cleared it in Tampa when we boarded, and he said they had made a mistake. This guy did not have a ruler or any kind of a gauge, he was just laying the blade across his hand and proclaiming it was too long. I suppose his hand was calibrated by the NIST, so that was OK.
    By now, Judy is going out of her mind envisioning us in a foreigh jail, two Americans, without constitutional protections. I told the officer I would take my chances with the ship, and boarded the next boat back. Presenting my argument and knives to Carnival security, they smiled and said go ahead and leave them in my room; they were fine with it. I did, and we returned to the island with SECONDS to spare before our excursion started. The Grand Cayman security guy asked about the knife, and I told him Carnival said it was fine, and I had left it on the ship. He smiled and said fine.
    For the rest of the cruise, both knives stayed in our room safe each time we left the ship.

    Personal opinion?
    This officer wanted that Scrimshaw Schrade, and was willing to lie about the rules to get me to throw it in the garbage, where he would retrieve it as soon as we left the area.

    Don't trust foreigh security guys.
    They lie.
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