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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-29-2007 02:15 PM
Newport41 Some good points windmagic, It's a great time to go cruising isn't it
01-29-2007 10:21 AM
cockeyedbob 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?
01-28-2007 08:50 PM
wind_magic 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.
01-28-2007 06:21 PM
Newport41 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.
01-28-2007 06:02 PM
Newport41 Woe is me. Perhaps we could start a Macnet so they would have somewhere to go. Shunned by sailors and powerboaters alike and they don't even know it. Poor little gaffers.
01-26-2007 04:51 PM
camaraderie Kernix...Cruisers in the Eastern Caribe used to spend hurricane season in Grenada, Trinidad and Venezuela to stay out of harms way and satisfy the requirement to be out of the hurricane "box" from 7/1 to 11/1 each year. After Ivan hit Grenada...the insurance companies marked that out leaving Trini and Venezuela the only spots left to hang out for the season while remaining insured. The spate of violence in Trini earlier this past year and the increasing lawlessness in Venezuela has many 100's of cruisers wondering where to go to wait out the season. Thankfully, things in Chaguramas seem to have settled down.
The piracy is almost always close to shore and while boats are at anchor. And piracy generally means either boarding and stealing things while owners are off the boat OR the more dangerous boarding with owners aboard for the same purpose. It is very rare that any physical harm comes to the boater but it is still wise to stay out of trouble spots and always remember to lock it or lose it.
01-26-2007 04:36 PM
Originally Posted by Kernix
Now even if off of So. America coast is where there is a lot of piracy, is it by sailboat or motor boats? And how close to shore? And if you are sailing down that way, why? To visit So. Amer. or to go around the cape to the Pacific? Can't you just go further out to sea?
Sure you can go further off shore... unless you need to pick up supplies, food, fuel or water...then you have to come into a harbor... some harbors are safer than shown by Cam's pretty map.
01-26-2007 04:19 PM
Kernix Now even if off of So. America coast is where there is a lot of piracy, is it by sailboat or motor boats? And how close to shore? And if you are sailing down that way, why? To visit So. Amer. or to go around the cape to the Pacific? Can't you just go further out to sea?
01-26-2007 04:12 PM
BADG Then again, when you know what they mean the make a lot more sense.
01-26-2007 04:11 PM
sailingdog If I Recall Correctly.


I generally capitalize the entire acronym, but generally don't use all caps otherwise.
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