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  #31  
Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
James Baldwin's sensible solution is to keep the attackers out of the cabin
Looks great!!! And you still get full air-flow to keep cool.

Also you can be safe inside and squirt wasp spray/ tear gas etc out with the wind behind you.

in this particular attack it would not have been useful because the attack was a dinner time when the secure door would not have been in place.

I think a good way is to have proper defensive things close at hand.

here is a certain boats set up that I may have seen:


CS Gas "Tear Gas" is attached to the companionway with velcro. Perfect position for instant use if the owner looks out into the cockpit. This gas would fill the cockpit making it untenable to stay there.


The Gang Warefare size Tear Gas in a gell form so it can be sprayed into the wind. The gell was invented for use in nightclubs where Security people can squirt one person but not everyone else. Its range is quite large and would get to the stern of the boat from the secure position locked inside


Even the Duck has his own tear gas in gell form. In bed the velcroed small cylinder is quiety and instantly at hand to squirt up and out through the hatch above, directly into the wind.


Mark
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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 10-05-2013 at 09:51 AM.
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  #32  
Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

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Honestly speaking, how much do you worry about security? Do you go to bed each night concerned that you might be the next target? Are you traveling with family? How secure do they feel?
I've spent four seasons on the Caribbean and in most places I do't give security a second thought. In some places(e.g. St Vincent being one), heightened vigilance and higher levels of situational awareness are wise. Places with more than sporadic violence (e.g. Hugh-land) are best avoided altogether.

Quote:
What is the consensus among your fellow cruisers in those areas regarding the level of threat?
Consensus among cruisers? Are you kidding? It's the lack of consensus and broad diversity in the community that makes them such a charming bunch.
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  #33  
Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

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Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
This is disturbing news. One of our favorite charter trips is St Lucia to Grenada. We've had absolutely no problems in the area and try our best to treat everyone well, understanding the lay of the land, a place where we are the visitors. That said, there are bad actors everywhere (including back home, but back home we have the local knowledge). It is interesting, on the news even on the Cape there are stories everyday of violence, but somehow it is more disturbing when it happens someplace we like to visit.

Any local advice of where the trouble hot spots are, and how do you long time cruisers stay out of trouble in the Grenadines.
From St Lucia down to Grenada there are three places I currently avoid plus one I am careful about.

Vieux Fort anchorage St Lucia. Theft from boats.

Chateaubelair St Vincent [ Local Gov. is working to make this a safe place but I don't anchor there anymore which is a pity as the anchorage on the North side is a pretty one.] Lots of ganja is grown in this area. I would not advise hiking without a local guide.

The south west portion of Admiralty Bay Bequia. There is some one who swims out from the beach and robs boats. Also there have been two instances where guns have been used.

I am careful about anchoring in the main harbor in Canouan. There have been several instances of stuff being stolen from boats at anchor. The story goes that it is down to one guy who gets caught, spends a month or two in jail, gets out and does it again.
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  #34  
Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

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Originally Posted by TQA View Post
From St Lucia down to Grenada there are three places I currently avoid plus one I am careful about.

Vieux Fort anchorage St Lucia. Theft from boats.

Chateaubelair St Vincent [ Local Gov. is working to make this a safe place but I don't anchor there anymore which is a pity as the anchorage on the North side is a pretty one.] Lots of ganja is grown in this area. I would not advise hiking without a local guide.

The south west portion of Admiralty Bay Bequia. There is some one who swims out from the beach and robs boats. Also there have been two instances where guns have been used.

I am careful about anchoring in the main harbor in Canouan. There have been several instances of stuff being stolen from boats at anchor. The story goes that it is down to one guy who gets caught, spends a month or two in jail, gets out and does it again.
Much appreciated!
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  #35  
Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

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Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post

The myth that wasp spray is a good, or even better alternative to other products that are self defence specific is not something that should be perpetuated.

But that's just my humble opinion, your mileage may vary.

That being said, anyone, and I mean ANYONE who has been in the immediate area while "wasp spray" is being used and can compare it to being in the immediate area while pepper spray and/or mace, etc. was in use will support the hypothesis that CHOOSING insecticide over another proven method of self defence spray is just plain silly.
Rob,

I have no way to "prove" which is better and I'm not advocating for either. My first choice was Fox pepper sprays until customs authorities seized them. They did not seize the insect sprays I also had on board. So if you have to cross a risky place and you don't have a can of pepper spray squirreled away somewhere, wasp spray may be the answer.

My guess is that the dude at the CIA may have had experience with both products. He liked the combination of wide availability, spray pattern and range, and relative effectiveness of wasp spray.

As for the links you posted....cruisers are not likely to encounter a bear except in Alaska, Canada or elsewhere in the high Arctic, where large caliber firearms are permitted, even required in some places. Relying only bear spray (to say nothing about some people who feel safe with a "bear bell" pinned to their shirt) would be silly when more effective firepower is available.

As for the Okla. self defense instructor, he's selling something to people who apparently have the option to buy either. Some people will only have access to wasp sprays. Also, most self-defense courses suggest you spray and run away. Running away from a drug crazed guy with a machete whose just boarded your boat is not an option. If you're going to put up any resistance at all, you'll need to follow the advice of the CIA guy and spray for immediate effect and then follow up aggressively with a baton, baseball bat or other blunt object.

I really like the heavy wire grate shown several posts above. I'm going to have one made for BR's next trip through the Caribbean.
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  #36  
Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

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Originally Posted by RichH View Post
I carry something very similar to this: IRISH BLACKTHORN WALKINGSTICK CANE SHILLELAGH BATA 31 INCH LONG HEAVYWEIGHT | eBay

Walking sticks are legal in all countries in the world ... and you never have to get into inane discussion of their real intent.
Rich, isn't that an Irish three wood?
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  #37  
Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

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Originally Posted by bfloyd4445 View Post
sounds like Russian roulette to me. You can never be sure of the trouble area at any one time and place can you?
Usually you can, inside the U.S. and abroad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
That said, there are bad actors everywhere (including back home, but back home we have the local knowledge).
Therein lies the rub. Getting together with other cruisers is a good way to gain insight into the tactical environment you are approaching. So is calling the Counsel in your own closest embassy and asking.

As far as the value of advice from a CIA security person, CIA has two sorts of security people: physical and personnel security on one hand and security protective officers. Based on my familiarity with the training regimens for both I wouldn't think they know any more about non-traditional defensive mechanisms than anyone on the street. They only know what their training covers and that is quite specific.
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  #38  
Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

We choose a suite of options, including avoiding risky locations, bad weather lee shores, and thin water. I've been a pedestian on the streets of many port towns. The line between a 'safe neighborhood' and a rough one is thin. The spice market in Doha was colorful, but we didn't feel it was dangerous. Jacksonville FL did.
In Christianstead, St. Croix, we had a flat tire. The police zoomed up behind us, jumped out, informed me of the low tire, then ran across the steet to break up a wife beating in progress. We had to wait for the rental company to bring a spare tire. We felt vonerable on a rough street.
The only place that we were boarded by strangers was while docked in Annapolis MD.
We confronted a woman peeing in the cockpit!
Would she have deficated? I don't know, but she said that I scared the $h!# out of her.
No, I didn't shoot her, she left quickly pulling up her pants.
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Last edited by AnnaDor32; 10-05-2013 at 01:43 PM.
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  #39  
Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

We stopped in Chateaublaire some years back.. it didn't 'feel' right, only one other boat in sight so we 'checked in' and moved on further down the coast. We've often heard off and on that areas of St Lucia are ill advised. This is the first incident we've heard of at Frigate.

There's no forgiving ANYONE, ANY AGE, taking a machete to another person, as far as I'm concerned they've clearly crossed the line and anything they receive is on them.

When we have cruised the island chain our hosts work hard to get along with the locals. They use the boat boys, including dinghy watchers (it costs little and hopefully generates goodwill) It's not hard to imagine that word of mouth travels quickly and your boat may become 'off limits' for pilfering. Of course whether that scenario would have prevented such a blatantly violent criminal act is debatable.

On the flip side, we've observed cruisers rejecting the boat boys, loudly announcing that they are crooks etc in local watering holes.. equally easy to think that would breed resentment and perhaps make you a target... I remember another incident where, after we had a delightful walk around Charlottetown in Nevis, at the dinghy dock the owner of a 100+ foot motoryacht was telling everyone that would listen that there's 'nothing here'..

I'm certainly not saying these latest victims acted as the latter - there's no info I've seen about that, and seriously criminal elements anywhere don't need provocation.

The whole situation is one that could naturally breed resentment among locals living with little.. cruisers must be seen as wealthy to them.. even if they really aren't. Many boats are probably worth more than what some of these people might earn in a lifetime. It's almost surprising that they are as generally friendly as they are, and it's nice to be able to add to their local economy.

It's a sad story, hopefully they have the right offenders and they are dealt with appropriately. It's a wonderful cruising grounds, it would be a shame to have to look over your shoulder all the time. We lock the boat, lock the dinghy, etc. as a general precaution and in 5 or 6 visits have happily not had any issues, or even any real scares.
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  #40  
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

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Originally Posted by ShoalFinder View Post

I'm realize that your idea of the caribbean is sun and waves and steel drums and kum ba ya. The guy holding the machete isn't on a lifetime vacation. Your feelings don't dictate his motives.
Well, being as Mark is currently one of the few here actually posting to this thread from the region, has been there for quite some time, and not to mention has a little bit of voyaging known as a circumnavigation to his credit, well... I'm willing to bet he has a pretty good "idea" of what cruising in the Caribbean is, and what it is not...

Perhaps even a better one, than from some of us posting to an internet sailing forum, from 'safely' inside of Fortress America... :-)
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Last edited by JonEisberg; 10-05-2013 at 02:04 PM.
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