Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island - Page 5 - SailNet Community
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post #41 of 174 Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

Here is an honest question to those with experience down in the Caribbean. Is it really any more dangerous there then lets say our large cities here in the US? Every night on the news there are rapes, murders, robberies etc in every major market out there. Is it fair to color those places as dangerous?

Here in AK, you can get stomped by a moose and I know a couple that ended their lives by being eaten by a bear. But, is it really dangerous?

This is a terrible crime, but does it really mean that it is dangerous to travel in the Carib? Or is this an aberration that is outside of normal experience like a mugging in one of our great cities, or a moose stomping a kid on the way to the bus stop in Alaska. I ask as someone planning on traveling with my family there.

I would never want to keep someone from up here by scaring them with the most extreme tales. Is this one of those or do I have rosy glasses on?

Last edited by AlaskaMC; 10-05-2013 at 01:17 PM.
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post #42 of 174 Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

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This is a terrible crime, but does it really mean that it is dangerous to travel in the Carib? Or is this an aberration that is outside of normal experience like a mugging in one of our great cities, or a moose stomping a kid on the way to the bus stop in Alaska. I ask as someone planning on traveling with my family there.
In our limited experience it's an aberration. I expect Mark would agree. Under normal circumstances I think the various cruiser nets keep each other apprised of the areas to avoid, probably the criminal activity (mostly drug related) moves around a bit. I know the north end of St Vincent has long been avoided by cruisers for that reason. Whether this latest incident was anything more than robbery remains to be seen, drug related or drug induced?? who knows.

Our friends have been wintering 6 months/year there for 12 years now, incident free. They cruise much of the chain, generally from Carriacou to Barbuda and back, keeping the boat in Carriacou on the hard.
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post #43 of 174 Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

As someone said, dealing with threats in the Caribbean is not much different than anywhere else. The cruiser grapevine is very effective at getting the word out. Like anywhere the problem comes when you are attacked in a previously seen as safe place. I have not fealt particularly threatened in the Caribbean either on the boat or ashore. If you are going to view all the places you go to in fear, best stay home. Then you only have your familiar fears to deal with.

Edit - just remembered something. When we were in Colon, sometimes described as the most dangerous place in the Western Hemisphere, we did our business, arranging our canal transit, using the local bus from Panama City (rather the $100 cab) and doing some shopping and quite enjoyed the energy of the place. But, we followed the advice we were given about taking cabs, even in various nice-looking residential areas, not anchoring in the designated small craft anchorage, and not being in the city after dark. Two young guys who were delivering a new charter boat to Mexico were mugged at gunpoint after going to a nightclub. And yes, I know that cruisers were attacked on a boat anchored at the boat club a few months ago. There are no guarantees.

Heading back to Lake Ontario for this summer. Ainia is back in North America for the first time since 2010. Currently in Long Island Sound.

Last edited by killarney_sailor; 10-05-2013 at 02:03 PM.
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post #44 of 174 Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

Seems like educating oneself about the dangers of your chosen cruising grounds is of the most effective deterrents to invasion. A prudent captain should be aware of their surroundings and act accordingly.
By the way, how many of you sail boaters can even lock your cabin from the inside ? Not many I suppose. Even a barrel bolt could save you from invasion or at least give you time to prepare for one. What ever defense you chose will require you at least be awake before someone enters your boat.
ps. don't watch too many movies, it doesn't really happen like they lead you to believe.
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post #45 of 174 Old 10-05-2013
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Thumbs up Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

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Originally Posted by MikeGuyver View Post
Seems like educating oneself about the dangers of your chosen cruising grounds is of the most effective deterrents to invasion. A prudent captain should be aware of their surroundings and act accordingly.
By the way, how many of you sail boaters can even lock your cabin from the inside ? Not many I suppose. Even a barrel bolt could save you from invasion or at least give you time to prepare for one. What ever defense you chose will require you at least be awake before someone enters your boat.
ps. don't watch too many movies, it doesn't really happen like they lead you to believe.
That's a very good point. Item number on on the defense prep list should be an early warning sytem
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post #46 of 174 Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

"Well Captain Ron did say there were pirates in the Caribbean"
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post #47 of 174 Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

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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... :-)

Fair enough, but you make the assumption that I haven't spent a lot of time there. I lived in the Caribbean for several years and have travelled there many times since leaving, albeit not on a sailboat floating around in nice, tourist areas. I know what I'm talking about.

Get off the boat and go live in the typical ramshackle third-world neighborhoods that are several blocks inland from the nice pretty waterfront. After a few weeks you can tell me all about how lovely life is in most of those areas, particulary at night time.

I'm not saying that all of the islands are all dangerous, not by a long shot. But it is disengenous to put forth the romantic notion that it's all Gilligan's Island and sipping milk from coconuts. If you can see the cruise ships from where you are standing then you aren't anywhere close to the reality of the slum life prevalent in many areas there.

Situational awareness is key, no matter where in the world you happen to be. If you are anchoring for the night in St. Petersburg, FL you will think it's the greatest place around. If you wander a mile inland and sleep in your car in the Church's Chicken parking lot you might discover a whole new reality.
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post #48 of 174 Old 10-06-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

My summer sailing is limited to my local waters in New England. The job I do keeps me busy in the summer. The dead of the Northern hemisphere winter finds me traveling the world in warmer, less expensive places.

I have yet, in my life, felt the need to strap on a six shooter. If by chance I die tomorrow, regardless of the means on my demise, I die content in the fact that I have done little harm, bought many rounds, and had lots of laughs.

Yes, I have been robbed, lost my share of fights, ran for my life on more than one occasion and talked my way out of some crazy shite. Those of you who live in fear are welcome to your nightmares, fear, loathing, and extended existence in diapers.

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post #49 of 174 Old 10-06-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

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My summer sailing is limited to my local waters in New England. The job I do keeps me busy in the summer. The dead of the Northern hemisphere winter finds me traveling the world in warmer, less expensive places.

I have yet, in my life, felt the need to strap on a six shooter. If by chance I die tomorrow, regardless of the means on my demise, I die content in the fact that I have done little harm, bought many rounds, and had lots of laughs.

Yes, I have been robbed, lost my share of fights, ran for my life on more than one occasion and talked my way out of some crazy shite. Those of you who live in fear are welcome to your nightmares, fear, loathing, and extended existence in diapers.
+1, and I came about as close to breaking my personal policy against giving "Likes" as I have in a very long time.

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post #50 of 174 Old 10-06-2013
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Re: Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

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Well, Rob. I think your outlook is wonderful. I honestly do.

God forbid you wake up to find your wife's head cut in half by the guy who is now actively blocking your exit from the boat. Because that isn't some paranoid fantasy- it happened. Days ago. To real people. That's what this thread is about.

Just because some of us refuse to kneel down and spend our last few moments reminiscing about the good times we've had doesn't mean we are afraid. Far from it. I plan to have plenty more good times. And I refuse to watch my wife die because I am unwilling to fight back.
I kneel to no one. You mistake my solace for complacency. Let your God forbid you corner me. I'll gnaw through your flesh. Now get over it.

Peace.

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