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Last time I checked, Venezuela, Brazil, Honduras and Jamaica are not popular cruising destinations.

Marathon... or anchoring in the "remote" ICW... not quite in the same league. Taking your boat to downtown Detroit is safe as houses. You are not going to be pirated or mugged before you manage to check in.

To stay safe, stay away from lawless places. It is simple.
 

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benesailor, you're going to have to provide some data to support your assertion that, "Homicide and petty theft are on the rise worldwide." I can find no stats, data or research to support this statement. All the research I've read, and just gone looking for, shows the opposite. There are definitely local rises in both categories, but the trends globally are both downward.

I've seen data to suggest property crime rises around tourist zones, especially those embedded in poor parts of the world. So it may be true that many of the places most Westerners cruise to are seeing increased property crime rates.
Crime statistics, like all statistics, are sometimes hard to draw valid conclusions from. For example, when noticing that homicides were going down, in many areas, some researchers noticed that attempted homicides were going up in the same areas and wondered how that could be?

One of the hypothesis's that was promoted was the fact that the decline in homicides coincided with the addition of specialized trauma centers in the areas, suggesting that just as many people, or more, were getting stabbed and shot, but that improved trauma care was turning the same criminal act from a homicide to an attempted homicide.

When I worked in New Orleans back in the 90's, it was the homicide capital of the US. But, many of the people who were being murdered, were known by us to be murder suspects themselves (at about double the rate we were arresting and incarcerating them). Not surprisingly, after a few years of murderer fratricide, murder statistics began to go down. Naturally, a lot of us drew the conclusion that the murder rate had gone down, not because of anything we or society did, but just because the murderers (mostly drug dealers fighting over territory) were killing themselves off.
 

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Crime statistics, like all statistics, are sometimes hard to draw valid conclusions from. For example, when noticing that homicides were going down, in many areas, some researchers noticed that attempted homicides were going up in the same areas and wondered how that could be?
I've never heard that explanation Group9 (that those in the drug trade were killing themselves off), but wouldn't bet against it -- in specific areas. I've mostly seen general decline in crime rates mostly tied to aging population demographics. Old people don't commit as much crime as the young (although I wonder if this is only true for 'blue collar' crime. I wonder if it hold true for 'white collar' crime. Hmmmm).

As you, and others say, most violent crime is perpetrated within groups: families, friends and "business" relationships. That's why I don't think homicide rates mean a whole lot when it comes to judging safety for us cruisers. I think we're far more likely to be victims of property crimes. These can escalate into violence, of course, but most robbers just want an easy score. Just make it a bit too hard, like with Gary's alarm or Omatako's general approach, and most will move on.
 

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Last time I checked, Venezuela, Brazil, Honduras and Jamaica are not popular cruising destinations.
Well, not necessarily... The Bay Islands of Honduras, for example, is pretty popular, especially with so many cruisers bugging out of Belize in recent years.

I enjoyed my time there, it's affordable, the water is beautiful, the life ashore interesting... But I still found it to be pretty sketchy, and was reluctant to leave the boat unattended in many places, and given the uptick of social problems from the mainland migrating out to the islands, and the recently increased incidents of violence against cruisers in the years I was there, I won't be returning...



To stay safe, stay away from lawless places. It is simple.
Absolutely right, it really is quite simple... Amazing how uniformly clustered in proximity to the Equator those "lawless places" on the seas tend to be... :)

 

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THIS THREAD IS IRRELEVANT to cruisers and travel by sea...
 

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I dont want to add too much to this thread since it would be considered BIASED im second country on the list

to note to date there has only been 1 cruiser related crime and that was when booze was involved and both parties got sent to jail...one local and one foreign...

to this date there has been nothing more than a couple of petty thefts related to local cruising grounds...

and regarding the STATS those stats are heavily skewed and are just numbers

its a war out there between the gangs...and say 20 people die a day here

of those 20 15 are related to gangs...

2 or so domestic violence etc...

2 or so are from accidents...

sad numbers but when you think about its completely and utterly irrelevant to any cruiser contemplating these destinations

having said this there are places that are utterly ugly to cruise in and Id have to check that list to see if its on there...

the best way to tick a country or destination off a list is to have LOCAL knowledge and preferrably a native speaking guide or citizen that can explain to you and guide you through their country and destination.

going on wikipedia and looking up murder rates is not how to go about that!
peace
 

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Well, not necessarily... The Bay Islands of Honduras, for example, is pretty popular, especially with so many cruisers bugging out of Belize in recent years.

I enjoyed my time there, it's affordable, the water is beautiful, the life ashore interesting... But I still found it to be pretty sketchy, and was reluctant to leave the boat unattended in many places, and given the uptick of social problems from the mainland migrating out to the islands, and the recently increased incidents of violence against cruisers in the years I was there, I won't be returning...





Absolutely right, it really is quite simple... Amazing how uniformly clustered in proximity to the Equator those "lawless places" on the seas tend to be... :)


often called HOT BLOODED down here
 

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I've never heard that explanation Group9 (that those in the drug trade were killing themselves off), but wouldn't bet against it -- in specific areas. I've mostly seen general decline in crime rates mostly tied to aging population demographics. Old people don't commit as much crime as the young (although I wonder if this is only true for 'blue collar' crime. I wonder if it hold true for 'white collar' crime. Hmmmm).

As you, and others say, most violent crime is perpetrated within groups: families, friends and "business" relationships. That's why I don't think homicide rates mean a whole lot when it comes to judging safety for us cruisers. I think we're far more likely to be victims of property crimes. These can escalate into violence, of course, but most robbers just want an easy score. Just make it a bit too hard, like with Gary's alarm or Omatako's general approach, and most will move on.
When my sister in law asked me if I thought Scott Peterson killed his wife, I told her, "If your sister gets murdered, there is a 99.9 per cent chance statistically, that I did it. So, yes, I think Scott Peterson probably murdered his wife." :D
 

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On the issue of worldwide trends in violence, read up on Harvard Prof. Steven Pinker's conclusions.

Believe it or not, the world of the past was much worse. Violence has been in decline for thousands of years, and today we may be living in the most peaceable era in the existence of our species.
Steven Pinker: Why Violence Is Vanishing - WSJ.com

Not really relevant to the issue of cruisers and violent crime, but it sheds a positive light over the whole discussion.
 

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Well, not necessarily... The Bay Islands of Honduras, for example, is pretty popular, especially with so many cruisers bugging out of Belize in recent years.

Absolutely right, it really is quite simple... Amazing how uniformly clustered in proximity to the Equator those "lawless places" on the seas tend to be... :-
I thought about excluding the Bay Islands from my post but I couldn't cover my butt from every angle, Smarty Pants. You did not go to mainland Honduras because it is lawless. You went to the Bay islands because there is a semblance of law and order.

For example, the last two boats I talked to recently who had been to Brazil both had first hand experiences with violent crime (one person was pirated before they could even check in to Brazil..). So Brazil is off the list.

There are places with high murder rates where there is relatively good law and order. Jamaica and Detroit's murder rate are very high but law and order in both places is pretty good compared to Brazil, which has a lower murder rate. Yes, I have taken my boat to Detroit and Jamaica. But will never take it to Brazil.

The Bahamas have a high murder rate but it is a very safe place to cruise because there is generally good law and order. The safe places are far more plentiful that the lawless places. You can cruise the "hot" tropics without being a victim of violent crime. Just avoid the lawless places.
 

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Boroko, do you know where these events occurred in Brazil? I've never heard of a case involving sailboats anywhere on the coast south of Rio and only a few cases that occurred in Bahia. The Amazon on the other hand ....
 

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On the issue of worldwide trends in violence, read up on Harvard Prof. Steven Pinker's conclusions.



Steven Pinker: Why Violence Is Vanishing - WSJ.com

Not really relevant to the issue of cruisers and violent crime, but it sheds a positive light over the whole discussion.
Well, there is no doubt that the world was a much more violent place a few hundred years ago. But, there seems to have been a lot of movement, up and down in the last fifty years, in rates for various crimes (at least in the US). And, a lot of varied opinions on why.

United States Crime Rates 1960 - 2012
 

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Major issue with all these statistics is so called ascertainment bias. For instance, if place is lawless enough and population has sufficient distrust of gov't/police they will not bother to report crime and authorities will not canvas to find out about events due to their fear of their own population. Statistics will be artificially low. However, if victims are offered secondary gain ( victim services or other compensation) statistics will skewed the other way. So need to look at other statistics ( estimate of error etc.) to interpret data. In short more "believable" in "first" world countries. As I believe Neville Chamberlain said "lies, lies and statistics".
When faced with this I expect to fall back on "Take my wife----PLeaseeeeee"
 

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BTW, if you believe a loud siren noise is enough to scare away any would-be robber, why do you believe their reactions would be any different when spotting you? Presumably you'd be yelling rather loudly. Surely the most likely outcome would be them fleeing rather rapidly ... unless of course you had them cornered or trapped. A trapped animal is always more dangerous.
Mike the great thing about the IR alarm system is that it works when you're not aboard, which the bad guys can easily tell because your dinghy is not tied off to the boat. Most of the cruisers had outboard motor locks on the dink engines, but not all were the kind that are protected from bolt cutters.

As for sleeping sound, nah! I don't think that's the problem. Many cruisers had generators situated on stern platforms to prevent the possibility of exhaust fumes accumulating in the cockpit, thereby making them easily accessible to anyone who quietly sneaks up in the middle of the night, unplugs the plugs and lifts it off the platform. Because theft of generators has become a wide problem, Honda now sells a theft-proof handle cover that locks it securely to your rails and the only way someone could remove it is by cutting the rail in half, which I guess is not out of the question, though.

Mike, I'll be back in Boot Key Harbor in 2015 if my body parts continue to function somewhat normally. And, I'll be hauling all my music gear with me again, which cost a lot more than all the other electronics on the boat combined. Bose amps are the best of the best, but they don't come cheap.

Cheers,

Gary :cool:
 

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Well, there is no doubt that the world was a much more violent place a few hundred years ago. But, there seems to have been a lot of movement, up and down in the last fifty years, in rates for various crimes (at least in the US). And, a lot of varied opinions on why.

United States Crime Rates 1960 - 2012
The recent trend has been downward, too.


Falling crime: Where have all the burglars gone? | The Economist


No matter, there will always be the doom and gloom folks who want everyone to believe that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. But that's a bad way to go through life, in my view.

Bearers of good news are often advised to keep their mouths shut, lest they lull people into complacency. But this prescription may be backward. The discovery that fewer people are victims of violence can thwart cynicism among compassion-fatigued news readers who might otherwise think that the dangerous parts of the world are irredeemable hell holes. And a better understanding of what drove the numbers down can steer us toward doing things that make people better off rather than congratulating ourselves on how moral we are.

As one becomes aware of the historical decline of violence, the world begins to look different. The past seems less innocent, the present less sinister. One starts to appreciate the small gifts of coexistence that would have seemed utopian to our ancestors: the interracial family playing in the park, the comedian who lands a zinger on the commander in chief, the countries that quietly back away from a crisis instead of escalating to war.

For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment that we can savor—and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible.
 

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Not too worried when on the boat sleeping as can lock myself in. But worry when off the boat. ? was thinking of modifying storm boards for the companion way. At present have detachable doors with puny keyed lock. Those doors also have removable lexan inserts with permanent screens. Was thinking when off the boat for a day to insert storm boards and locking those. Any suggestions on how best to do this? Been web searching ss hardware and to date can't find a lockable hinge where I could attach one piece to side of companion way and the other to anchor to board. It would need a right angle in the tang. ?Sources?
 

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I don't see how it's irrelevant. Even if it's mostly confined to drug wars and ghettos, why would you want to cruise in a country that is lawless in the interior or plagued by drug wars and ghettos?

It's the same as people that say you'll be fine in Detroit and St. Louis, just avoid the bad areas. I've been to all those dangerous American cities and I felt terrible having to hide and dodge all the sketchy areas. And the drug gangs, they don't stay within their drug borders all the time, sometimes they go to the nice parts. I find it very uncomfortable.

A lot of the fun of cruising is the freedom to explore, but how fun is it, to go to Honduras when you can't go to a lot of the country? I haven't sailed to but two countries, but the places I sailed in those two were very safe, and it was nice to be able to take a hike, or a bike ride and just explore wherever and whenever I wanted.

This is why I have never really wanted to go to the Caribbean. I've always wanted to go to the South Pacific. I'll bet most SP countries have a number in the low single digits.
 

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So you don't go to Honduras, such is life. You pick your spots. When we were in southern Africa we were in Mauritius, South Africa, Lesotho, and Namibia. Didn't have enough time to do them full justice. Were considering Madagascar, Mozambique, Senegal, and Gambia but things did not work out. The fact we did not go to Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, and whole bunch of other countries did not upset us. It is a big world with lots of interesting and reasonably safe places to go. The fact that there a few dozen you should not go to is really not very important.
 
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Boroko, do you know where these events occurred in Brazil? I've never heard of a case involving sailboats anywhere on the coast south of Rio and only a few cases that occurred in Bahia. The Amazon on the other hand ....
Sure. One was in Natal. Reported by the French boat 'See You Later Alligator'. I hope to see a crew member from the other boat tommorrow. If I do I will report back.

Yes, I have heard the southern Brazilian coast is much safer... bur one needs to transit the risky north coast to get there from the Caribbean.
 

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This is why I have never really wanted to go to the Caribbean. I've always wanted to go to the South Pacific. I'll bet most SP countries have a number in the low single digits.
You might be in fantasy land. The truth is that in the South Pacific, just like in the Eastern Caribbean, there are places you should avoid.

I met a tough Jamaican lady once who worked on a cruise ships. She had been all around the world. She said her least favorite place in the world was the South Pacific because she finds the people so intimidating.

Polymesians and Melanesians cam be very intimidating if you make a cultural mistake. They used to eat all comers, remember?

See my screen name "boroko"? Google "Boroko Police Station" for laughs. I haven't Google'd it lately but bet it will be educational. In the SP. Shoot first, ask questions later.

Food for thought.
 
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