Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Mexico, USA (Heron, Elephant Butte lakes); Arizona (Lake Pleasant)
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Re: How "afraid" should we be of sailing?
Which foreign waters? Some destinations are safer than home, some aren't.
And so much depends on the preparation, attitudes, risk management, training, and behavior of the sailor.
Go to a dodgy neighborhood late at night on some Caribbean islands, get drunk, try to score illegal drugs, act arrogant, talk trash, insult the locals, flash a lot of cash... something bad just might happen. Read up about your destinations, make friends with locals, be sensible, keep a low profile, act sensibly, and the odds get much better.
As for shady officials, being informed and respectful of local customs goes a long ways. Values and customs differ throughout the world... which would be a wonderful thing for children to learn.
Now pick a place you might like to visit and read up on it in places like Noonsite.