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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #21  
Old 01-28-2007
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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.
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  #22  
Old 01-28-2007
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wind_magic has a spectacular aura about wind_magic has a spectacular aura about wind_magic has a spectacular aura about
My thought on this topic is that if piracy is getting worse, I'd like to know .. worse than when ?

The last corners of the world that were in anarchy are being brought under the control of world government. Afghanistan has troops all swarming around in it, central Africa is full of UN troops, Iraq has folks in it, etc. There are so many troops in the middle east now that Iran and Syria are wondering what to do about all the people in their back yards. Hell even Sierra Leone has a government and is trying to exercise it's fishing rights to collect taxes. People now just buy a plane ticket, fly to India, buy a backpack, and go "eco-touring" around south east Asia without a care in the world ... Alexander had to take an army with him to visit there! I mean you can go to Russia now, to China, to freaking Vietnam. If you wanted to you could get a ticket online and be in a comic book store in Hiroshima tomorrow talking to the shop owner about anime cartoons ... we used to bomb each other's shipping.

60 years ago the world was so war torn that it was pretty stupid to try to sail around it because you'd most likely get your ass shot off. 100 years ago you couldn't travel to a country like India without an armed escort, and you could pretty much forget north Africa or any place "exotic" unless you had some really good disguises and a lot of money. 500 years ago you couldn't travel to many countries without a whole army watching your back and piracy was such a problem that commercial ships had to have armed escorts everywhere they went. 1000 years ago, well, who knows, the world was such a different place then who even knows what it was like ... but you probably had a good chance of ending up laying bricks for the rest of your life, tending goats, or being "rower number 37" on some dude's victory barge.

The worst thing Mr. and Mrs. Smith have to worry about now is that the stock market might crash while they are out enjoying themselves, or that they can find their favorite snack crackers at the market. I mean one sailing couple is actually going around the world stopping at ports trying to find the best pizza ?!?!? People actually opt not to carry guns to defend themselves now, they don't even have a crew to fight off intruders, ideas that would have once caused much laughter and merriment at the philosopher's expense. Most "piracy" now is just some lame ass trying to steal your cell phone and outboard.

Some day if it all goes to hell we'll all look back and say ... wow, we sure had it good. We each have the opportunity to go anywhere we want in a very safe world, opportunities unparalleled in all of human history, yet most of us don't .. and for the most trivial of reasons. I don't think it's a question of looking back on your own life and saying "Why didn't I ?", it's a question of your kid's kid's kids looking back on your life and saying "Why didn't he ?", because the radar is almost totally clear right now and these chances may never come again. There is no indication that perpetual peace is in mankind's nature, and for this brief moment our stars are aligned.

Last edited by wind_magic; 01-28-2007 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 01-29-2007
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Well stated Wind! The only pirates I worry about are the ones we've got in congress and the state houses ... something about robbing you with a pen?
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Old 01-29-2007
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Some good points windmagic, It's a great time to go cruising isn't it
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