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Geography Quiz
Greg
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:34 am
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Mexico and Canada are the only countries that have borders contiguous with the United States. Except for those two continguous nations, what country is the closest neighbor of the United States?

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miros1
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:51 pm
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The former Soviet Union, if you're including Alaska. Cuba if you're not. Either is in small boat range.

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Greg
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:07 pm
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Ta da! Obviously I'll have to work harder to stump The All-Seeing Miros! lol

It's 55 miles across the Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska. Cuba is 90 miles from Key West at its closest point. Both water crossings can be treacherous so I wouldn't recommend a very small boat.

Of course the amusing part is that Russia is America's closest non-contiguous neighbor, although the point of near-contiguity is so far from any major habitation that the significance of it is merely anecdotal.

Now I'm wondering: If you count US territories as well, would the answer be the same? (In that case, for instance, the US territory at Guantanamo shares a common border with Cuba.)

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Greg
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miros1
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:20 pm
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Greg wrote:
Both water crossings can be treacherous so I wouldn't recommend a very small boat.


Allegedly, Eskimos do the Siberia/Alaska crossing in kayaks, which are definitely in the small boat catagory.

And we all know what desperate people will build out of tires and scrap wood... The Coast Guard does a pretty good job turning people back at sea, but if your feet hit the beach, you can stay! That's enough incentive for lots of people.

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Greg
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Joined: 30 Aug 2004
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Location: Happy Valley
Post Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:27 pm
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I hadn't heard of Eskimos crossing all the way across the Bering Strait in their kayaks. It would require a very rare weather condition. Otherwise they'd have to deal with waves like mountains, which means at best they'd spend the entire trip totally soaked in sub-zero water.

Yeah, if I were stuck in Cuba today and knew just how close the United States is, I'd be building a boat. I think I'd try for a longer trip and head up to the Gulf Coast somewhere, hoping to avoid being picked up by the Coast Guard on the way. The gulf waters aren't as bad as the Atlantic (and nowhere near as bad as the Bering Strait) so if you're lucky you can make the trip in a boat that can cope with a six-feet swell.

I'd guess the most difficult part would be keeping the boat hidden while you're building it.

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