On to the more serious subject of Pirates. My crew seems more versed about this stuff than I am. Probably because I'm just not that worried about it. From what I have been convinced to read I've found that the pirates around Africa and parts of S.E. Asia (Philippians and Straight of Meleca) tend to be armed with Ak-47's and RPG's while riding in 600hp speed boats. The good news is that they tend to hit large cargo ships often fo rthe ships safe and sometimes for the whole ship and cargo. Small pleasure craft are only targets of oportunity. The caribbean seems to still be centred on small time criminals that can't pull off the ship hijackings. Poor fishermen with machettes. Not a pleasant idea but it's still not a common occurance. The IMO reports higher levels of pirate activity worldwide but the caribbean shows some of the least increase in activity. There are pirates in the caribbean that are carrying AK-47's and have very fast boats but they are rare. Groups like these tend to go on a bit or a rampage and then get caught. So watching the most recent reports is your best option for avoidance. For the time being it seems to be a case by case basis. Some of them you can't out run ( even in a mac) and some of them you can't out gun (even if you are american
. The IMO recommends traveling in groups, more than 50 miles offshore when possible, and they do not recommend fighting back unless you think you're going to be killed. I feel it's not a serios risk if you use your head. Watch the news. Talk to the cruising community, the locals, the local police/coast gaurd.It seems to freak out pirates when they see you on the radio as they aproach too. In my mind pirate attacks are like shark attacks. Not very common and if you truely want to be 100 percent safe then stay at home.