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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I are considering some week-long Bahamas cruises. How do we plan a safe voyage? We''ve heard stories of modern pirates and are wondering if there is any truth to them?

Louis
 

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You can be mugged in your own driveway!! Just be aware of your surroundings. Don''t show a lot of affluence when ashore ie. jewlery, large amounts of cash etc. Read and be aware of State Dept. travel advisory''s. Travel in company and always make sure that someone ashore is aware of your itinerary. Guns aboard are an invitation to trouble--do you really think you can shoot to kill? Most guns are used on their owners and they are a hastle to declare in most foreign waters. Having said all that, with rare exception, you will find the ports as well as people you encounter friendly and more than willing to ensure that your visit to their country is an enjoyable one--its all about the money you bring to the local economy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
In the Bahamas, the only place that I ever felt the least bit uncomfortable was in Freeport, and that is because it is "just like any major city" in that they have alot of people there...and with all the tourists and casino''s, well....discretion is the better part of valor. I have had others tell me they felt the same way in Nassau, and I have had Bahamians tell me the same.

On the other hand we stayed at Pineapple Cove on Eluthra and the rooms did not even have locks and the attitude of the people was completely different. The same was true of Green Turtle Cay....

I would not be inclined to take a firearm with me into the Bahamas. It is legal to do so, however....when you leave you had better have the same number of bullets as when you arrived or there will be tons of paperwork and interaction with local officials. And:
Would you actually "use it". Are you prepared to take a life, and deal with the consequences that followed? I think "extra flares for your flare gun" can be a far better deterrent anyway.

But one thing you have to be aware of...lock your boat when you leave it, use a combination lock. Also, do not allow "boat boys" onto your boat.....they are like "pickpockets" and may steal you blind. There are honest ones who render services for money....ask the local harbormaster or constable who is honest and reliable.

As to "pirates"..........not a concern. They are more myth than reality. gO T THE Bahamas and have fun!!
 

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Radio shack makes a small motion datector that can be mounted near the companionway that if anyone boards the boat at night it will be set off. Mine also will go off if anyone trys to take my dingy frim the transom.
SV
 

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I think folks reading this thread need to notice the limited geographic area referenced by the comments. There is in fact rabid piracy in select areas of the world (e.g. the Straits of Melucca), so much so there is a website dedicated to recording incidents so they can be tracked by insurers, shipping companies, etc. Closer to home, there have multiple boardings and attacks around the Caribbean Rim (off the Honduras islands and the N coast of Venezuela). Murders have occured up the Rio Dulce and boats routinely are reported missing, tho'' usually "found" at a later date (tho'' not always).

To put this in perspective, can you imagine driving your Jag into the heart of a depressed section of any U.S. city, leaving it unlocked with the windows down, and expecting to exclusively enjoy casual, friendly conversations. You''d have a far tougher time in the depressed city than out in the boonies of a developing country, but problems can pop up anywhere.

Some cruisers deal with this by installing wire mesh crib boards & hatch inserts so boarders can not physically get belowdecks. (Guns are not commonly carried by boarders, it appears, tho'' there have been clear exceptions such as when the Dutch teenager was shot & paralyzed). Whether one would enjoy cruising waters that require you to lock yourself inside your boat is a topic commonly discussed by cruisers as they move south & east towards the N coast of South America. Car alarms, motion detectors, dogs and other methods are routinely employed down here; it isn''t just for show. OTOH many cruisers resort to none of these practices and experience no problems.

This whole topic is very difficult to address with simplistic or broad answers; it''s a very situational issue but seems to concern cruisers of all nationalities.

Jack Tyler
Aboard WHOOSH, lying Port of Spain, Trinidad
 

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Discussion Starter #7
: jack_patricia
I see you Blue Water also.
The matter is boardings is a real concern as you know in "some" areas.
Areas I go {Belieze} can get bad at times, and certain places and Marinas one just dont go.
Most Sailors and Myself take resonable precaution for such. And as you might well know alot goes unsaid.
Years ago I think we might had a problem. As a boat approached in the Western Gulf as we was heading for the Canal.
We was becalmed that day even under lite sail up.
So we was under motor at about 3knt.
Frome "somewhere" Ive will never know a powerboat came within 50 yrds of us..
and made verbal demands {In Spanish} for liquior or beer. As we said we have none aboard one was heard to scream We will come and check ourselves.
At that time We had a 44ft Schooner with Bow Spirit.
I refused saying I was a missionary on our way to a village.. Boat appeared to be coming abit closer. So I just opened up the motor and turned to port directly towars them
They laughed and left...
Guns onboard?????
real tricky issue...
I will say cruising South America coast I would have one due to civil unrest in areas at times. But alot goes unsaid on any cruiser.
 

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Are their ways too sail with others that are going too the same approximate destination. I was wondering for security purposes if their are groups for such a thing ?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes there are often others that are going to the same place or area that you are contemplating. I''m not sure of exactly how to make contact with those groups....but the SSCA site and some others may be a start.
SSCA has a message board where you can post, and that might lead you to others with similar desires. Myself, I tend to do things in a solo fashion....so my knowledge in this area is limited.
 
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