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sunfish?junior?
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On the front cover of Feb Sailing is "cruising Adventures Mexico, Venezuela , Cap Cod" I am trying to learn to sail better with the hopes of cruising. I will read for hours. Sometimes it does not add up. How do you sort out what is true and what is not ?
Venezuela looks to me like it is having an Arab Spring. Students are shot in the street, protest rage violence is in the wind. On page 29 of Sailing two Beneteau yachts sail into Venezuela's water. I will grant you they are north at offshore islands. Nice and isolated. A good place for a pirate to call home ? Others on sailnet have indicated to steer clear of Venezuela. I would tend to agree.
What do you use as a litmus test ? I know you can find trouble if you look. How to avoid trouble and stay updated is the key.
Lets use Venezuela as the test subject.
Thanks, Lou
 

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We have visited the Venezuelan islands of Los Roches and Las Aves and have spent a great deal of time in Trinidad, Grenada and the ABC's, the nearest Caribbean islands to Venezuela where we have talked to dozens of cruisers who have visited Venezuela and to Venezuelans who keep boats outside of Venezuela.

The consensus, while not unanimous, is that Los Roches and Aves are safe to visit but that the rest of Venezuela especially the mainland should be a avoided and given a wide margin when transiting.

However, we do have friends who keep their boats in Venezuela because it is very cheap when you buy Bolivars with $'s on the black market.

If you search the back issues of Caribbean Compass you will get a fair idea of the problems. Noonsite.com also has details of attacks.

Venezuela: Is It Safe?

http://www.noonsite.com/General/Piracy

Our recent transit of the Venezuelan coast was intentionally in 25 to 30 knots and 8-10 ft seas because we knew the weather would keep the pirates at home.

Our 'litmus test' is that if there are reports of attacks we just avoid such places and if a place does not appear safe we leave. The best example is Vieux Fort in St Lucia were a Brit cruiser was murdered recently. It was rejected by us, two years ago, as an anchorage just on general appearance.
 

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Litmus test is your chance of death.
The last cruiser murdered there was just a few months ago. Shot dead. Simple. Girlfriend kicked off the boat by the autorities. Boat confiscated. Great, eh? Get shot dead and lose the boat.
Death being a permanent affliction you would have to wonder why a person has worked all their life to retire and as soon as they do they actively look to be killed.

Got me stuffed.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Safe places to visit come and go and now people are not going to Venezuela - it is just not worth it to take the risk. Even transiting from Trinidad to/from Grenada can be risky as you are so close to the coast of Venezuela.

Best thing to do is research an area before you go (not years before - things change, Colombia is much better now than it was). There are lots of interesting places to go, you just pick the nicer ones.
 
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Bombay Explorer 44
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I cruise in the area St Maarten to Trinidad.

At the moment I would not visit Venezuela or sail within 50 miles of the coast. I know of people who still visit and seem to do so safely but to me the risk is just too high.
 

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The day we left Trinidad, a friend on Explorer was brutally beaten and robbed just 8 miles west of Trinidad, on a trip to Venezuela. He was a very experienced cruiser. A month before that a man was murdered on his boat in Los Roches. Venezuela has changed and only a fool would venture to or near that country (the last incident between Grenada and Trinidad was 2007, by the way). We've visited Vieux Fort several times on the other hand, and never felt in danger or had any problems. All the locals and even the officials there were exceedingly friendly. What happened there was a one time occurrence, not a crime wave and the gentleman that died was NOT shot. Nor was the incident at Union Island likely to be repeated, another favorite spot of ours.
I had to get a CWP to safely escort my crew from the schooner to their cars, on the Charleston SC waterfront some years back.
Bad things CAN happen anywhere; some are isolated incidents, some areas, like Venezuela, are just not worth the risk, especially when the country is in the midst of an upheaval. Would ANYBODY on this site sail into Syria these days?
Attention to one's itinerary is important, but fear-mongering and wildly inaccurate posts are not to anyone's benefit. You can avoid great spots like Union Island, but it's your loss, not for the perpetrators of a horrific crime, that are in prison and should be for many years to come.
 
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sunfish?junior?
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like all the responses here. You all have "been three done that" I can trust the advice I am getting form all of you. I am picking Venezuela Because it is in a great location with so much to offer and all of that has changed. Columbia is better than it was. Someone on this site might go to Syria just wait lets see? They will post later and tell how nice it is. Nuts with extreme views show up all over. lol.
When did Venezuela become the plague? How will we know when it is better ?
I did like and thank you Yorksailer for the link. Markofsealife I know you have been to many a port Do you pick up a sea sense that is like street smarts ?
I am trying to explain or compare. Lets just take Washington, DC., New York City., Miami A public attraction for the world. Lots to see and do. At night and a few blocks off the right streets and you are not so safe. I am not sure you can compare a city to a nation.
Will Venezuela get better soon or become a fire that spreads outside its borders like Somalia ? How safe is Trinidad next to Venezuela? Not trying to live in fear. Just learning and trying to get a sea smart feel.
Good day, Lou
 

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When did Venezuela become the plague? How will we know when it is better ?
I did like and thank you Yorksailer for the link. Markofsealife I know you have been to many a port Do you pick up a sea sense that is like street smarts ?
As you get closer to a place you get better information.

Trinidad had, i think it was, 14 murders in the first 14 days of this year. It is a dangerous place outside Chagaramas. Sure you could stay in chagaramas but that defeats the notion of getting out and seeing the people.

Venezuela will be a while before it gets better, I think. The military are very involved in industries that pays the soldiers wages so they are fully supporting of the government. And I dont think the crime will go down before the system of government changes. And thats a big change over some years.

Theres so many nice places to visit that are also safe and friendly. There is no reason to go to a dangerous place.
 

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sunfish?junior?
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have to say thanks once more for the links. I did not know the problems went back so many years. It seems like the last info is from Sept of 2013 ?
Is anymore information that is new or from this year making news?
Regards, Lou
 

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sunfish?junior?
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do we have a site that points out the safest places ? I intend to start In the Great lakes then the Keys I know I will get sea smarter with time.
Good Day, Lou
 

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Two good websites:

The Bureau of Consular Affairs Travel Warnings

The ICC Live Piracy Map

I can't post links but you can google these.
 
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Do we have a site that points out the safest places ? I intend to start In the Great lakes then the Keys I know I will get sea smarter with time.
Good Day, Lou
Read the international news pages of your newspaper. All the dangerous places appear in there... Often.
 

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On the front cover of Feb Sailing is "cruising Adventures Mexico, Venezuela , Cap Cod" I am trying to learn to sail better with the hopes of cruising. I will read for hours. Sometimes it does not add up. How do you sort out what is true and what is not ? ...
Lets use Venezuela as the test subject.
Thanks, Lou
One thing to note is that many of the major sailing magazines (any magazine for that matter) can accept an article from a freelancer and not print it for 12 months because that's usually how far ahead they have the layout planned. A year ago, the conditions in any particular country could have been different.

Much better to rely on local knowledge from people who have visited recently.
 

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Lou, the following link gives a good indicator of the relative safety of potential destinations. We have found that it correlates with our anecdotal impressions during 6 yrs of cruising the Caribbean.

Free Cruising Guides (link omitted)

If you need more information please PM me.

Phil
I can't make that website work - it won't accept a registration and there is no contact information I can find. It looks like a good resource, potentially...:confused:
 
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