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Old 24-08-2012, 19:27   #16
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

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Gee it's a good thing that Chicago is not a Big Sailing destination !! And I wonder if any of these shootings were in a Marina ??? not to many I would guess !! Just sayin I don't really go to the part of Chi- Town that has shooting problems !! Or any other City that has shootings !!LOL
Last weekend there was a shooting/murder about 5 blocks from the local marina's. And the same night, a gunpoint robbery at one of the local yachtie hangout bars.

This is one of the safest cities I've ever lived in, and that was just one night.

But I guess if you never leave the marina, you'll probably be alright
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Old 25-08-2012, 05:12   #17
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

We sailed the Pacific Coast of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez from Oct 2010 to Mar 2012. We logged about 4000 miles and besides petty theft of unsecured dinghies and Outboards, saw no violent crime in our time in Mexico. With that said, like everywhere else in the world, there are people that will try and hurt you...

We also knew that you don't leave your boat in Z-Town for hurricane season. It is a wonderful anchorage in the cruising season, but is not a safe harbor in Hurricane season, regardless of your mooring size.

The owner said he left his boat on a mooring he never dove and didn't hire a boat sitter.

His option would have been to sail about 600 miles north or south and been in a safe harbor for hurricane season or paid someone to move it for him.

He also could have sailed ten miles and left the boat in Ixtapa Marina for the season, which is very sheltered, but expensive for Mexico, about $1500 per month.

Althought it is a terrible thing to lose a boat.... The owner rolled the cheap dice and lost!
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Old 25-08-2012, 07:28   #18
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

Warning to all: Any foreign flagged cruising boat ,no matter how modest, will be viewed as owned by the wealthy 1% of the world. Many of the locals in your quaint anchorage would do anything to help others in distress;but remember your dingy motor represents a year of hard labor and opportunity to improve ones life in a land that provides no opportunities for that 99% ever.
Back in the hippy dippy days, many first worlders had wonderful encounters with the locals in remote areas, we were amusing , novel and borderline destitute.That novelty is now gone and the locals are now even more painfully aware how unfair their circumstances are and that your craft and contents made of unobtainium could easily provide some relief for them and their families.
It is a tribute to the innate hospitality of these poor folk that Somalia is still an exception; but it is naive to subscribe to the mythology that there is only only innocence behind every broad smile. Familiarity can breed contempt, and I suspect some of that innocence has been lost with the arrival of the internet and the ak-47.
Even the enlightened Captain Cook finally wore out his welcome back in the good old days, and ended up on somebody's plate in the appropriately named Sandwich islands.
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Old 25-08-2012, 10:49   #19
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

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The is no innocence anywhere anymore. You should also avoid the USA for its violence.19 people shot in overnight shootings across Chicago - chicagotribune.com

Caelestis,
I would certainly avoid the South and West Side of Chicago at all costs as Civilization has left and anarchy enforced by drug gangs has reined. Even the city marinas in Chicago, although safe along the waterfront, have potential for violence against the person once outside their safe confines as have been recorded by the many robberies, assaults and thefts to vehicles of boaters. But, unlike Mexico, if you cruised the shores of Lake Michigan and your boat lost its mooring, you would not be salvaged by unscrupulous locals and live in fear of incarceration by the local authorities. Mexico has changed and I have experienced it first hand. And, many of the respondants to this subject are correct when they say that any boat cruising Mexico's waters signifies wealth and opportunity as it does in any other Third World Country. I also agree that poor judgment reined by leaving his boat on a questionable mooring during a volatile season without daily supervision but, the end result would not have occured anywhere is the U.S., Europe or Australia/New Zealand. When in the Wild West, remember if wasn't named wild because it is tame. We need to vote with our dollars and only visit countries that welcome our presence. Otherwise, there should be no outrage, only sympathy for those who ignore the danger signals.
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Old 25-08-2012, 11:07   #20
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

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The owner said he left his boat on a mooring he never dove and didn't hire a boat sitter.

Actually, what he said was that he hired a boat sitter, and the boat sitter was one of those who sawed his mooring chain off so the boat would go on the rocks to be "salvaged".
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Old 25-08-2012, 22:27   #21
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

My drift of Michael's story is he may have felt he was over reacting with his suspicions and was looking at the option of heading back to the US to shake the money tree to cop enough coin to repair the drive line. Lets face it...if someone blatantly told him or any of us that these sleaze-balls were cartel/extortionists, we would move on. My friend tole me that 25 miles south from there is a haul-out facility.
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Old 25-08-2012, 23:01   #22
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

It helps to have money. Sad but true.
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Old 26-08-2012, 00:32   #23
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

Correct!...If your resources starts getting low, then you need to access your situation and make changes accordingly.
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Old 26-08-2012, 00:54   #24
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Even the enlightened Captain Cook finally wore out his welcome back in the good old days, and ended up on somebody's plate in the appropriately named Sandwich islands.
For an interesting rethink of the reasons for Cook's killing read "Mr Bligh's Bad Language". Quite enlightening.
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Old 26-08-2012, 04:38   #25
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

I didn't read the owners BLOG report, I went with the Lectronic Latitude article when I commented, which qoutes the owner stating he did not check the mooring before leaving Z-Town, but in his BLOG describes it in great detail. Also in the owners BLOG he describes where he left his boat, which is the most unprotected place in the Bay, facing open ocean! He blames the Port Captain for forcing him to moor the boat there without accepting any self-responsiblity for his own decision to leave the vessel in a very dangerous position.

I feel for this guy and the circumstances he found himself in, but if you ask anyone who has cruised the Pacific coast of Mexico if they would leave there unoccupied boat in Z-Town Bay on a mooring during hurricane season they would respond "are you crazy!"

Paying a boat sitter is not the same as having someone on the vessel standing watch... Typically, boat sitters contract to physically check the vessel once per week and more during storms.

This owner also states in his BLOG that he was no stranger to losing a vessel, as he mentioned this is the second boat he has lost to these cricumstances, which makes me wonder what he was thinking?

He could have avoided all of this by simply paying someone to tow his boat 10 miles north to Ixtapa, 180 miles north to La Cruz or 105 miles south to Acapulco and left the boat in the protected Marina or on the hard for the season, instead of leaving it facing open ocean in an place known for large swell and the threat of hurricanes.

As far as the money demanded by the locals, regardless of the circumstances... If this had happened in the US, he would have been responsible for salavage fees up to 80% of the value of the vessel. So the locals demanding money for salvage and refloating the vessel, was resonable under maritime law and probably would have been paid by insurance, if he had it.

Yes, Mexicans are poor by US Standards, they only make $100-150 per week, but not all of them are out to steal from you. Just like all poor Americans don't burglarize your homes.

I would suggest that those of you that are slamming Mexico, take a visit down there before making your opinions. You might find a very different Mexico than what is reported by newspapers, especially when you get away from the border or big cities and travel along the cruising routes of the Pacific Coast and Sea of Cortez.
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Old 26-08-2012, 08:23   #26
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

there were 2 large storm events while halcyon was in zihua--i dont believe the boat was sawed off the mooring but that the storm events did the work for the looters. a friend of mine lives there and was trying to get me to summer there--i refused to sail there for summer--choosing instead to summer in la cruz de huanacaxtle.
a 51 formosa on a 1500 pound mooring WILL break loose.


mexico is a great cruising ground-- just do not leave your prizes in dangerous areas. or on moorings that are too light for your equipment.
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Old 26-08-2012, 08:47   #27
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

Mexico
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The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens about the security situation in Mexico. General information on the overall security situation is provided immediately below. For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, which can vary, travelers should reference the state-by-state assessments further below.

This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Mexico dated April 22, 2011 to consolidate and update information about the security situation and to advise the public of additional restrictions on the travel of U.S. government (USG) personnel.
General Conditions:

Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day. The Mexican government makes a considerable effort to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) have targeted U.S. visitors and residents based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes.

Nevertheless, U.S. travelers should be aware that the Mexican government has been engaged in an extensive effort to counter TCOs which engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. The TCOs themselves are engaged in a violent struggle to control drug trafficking routes and other criminal activity. As a result, crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and can occur anywhere. U.S. citizens have fallen victim to TCO activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery.

According to the most recent homicide figures published by the Mexican government, 47,515 people were killed in narcotics-related violence in Mexico between December 1, 2006 and September 30, 2011, with 12,903 narcotics-related homicides in the first nine months of 2011 alone. While most of those killed in narcotics-related violence have been members of TCOs, innocent persons have also been killed. The number of U.S. citizens reported to the Department of State as murdered in Mexico increased from 35 in 2007 to 120 in 2011.

Gun battles between rival TCOs or with Mexican authorities have taken place in towns and cities in many parts of Mexico, especially in the border region. Gun battles have occurred in broad daylight on streets and in other public venues, such as restaurants and clubs. During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area. TCOs use stolen cars and trucks to create roadblocks on major thoroughfares, preventing the military and police from responding to criminal activity. The location and timing of future armed engagements is unpredictable. We recommend that you defer travel to the areas indicated in this Travel Warning and to exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the northern border region.

The rising number of kidnappings and disappearances throughout Mexico is of particular concern. Both local and expatriate communities have been victimized. In addition, local police have been implicated in some of these incidents. We strongly advise you to lower your profile and avoid displaying any evidence of wealth that might draw attention.

Carjacking and highway robbery are serious problems in many parts of the border region and U.S. citizens have been murdered in such incidents. Most victims who complied with carjackers at these checkpoints have reported that they were not physically harmed. Incidents have occurred during the day and at night, and carjackers have used a variety of techniques, including bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. There are some indications that criminals have particularly targeted newer and larger vehicles, especially dark-colored SUVs. However, victims driving a variety of vehicles, from late model SUVs to old sedans have also been targeted. While violent incidents have occurred at all hours of the day and night on both modern toll ("cuotas") highways and on secondary roads, they have occurred most frequently at night and on isolated roads. To reduce risk, we strongly urge you to travel between cities throughout Mexico only during daylight hours, to avoid isolated roads, and to use toll roads whenever possible. The Mexican government has deployed federal police and military personnel throughout the country as part of its efforts to combat the TCOs. U.S. citizens traveling on Mexican roads and highways may encounter government checkpoints, which are often staffed by military personnel or law enforcement personnel. TCOs have erected their own unauthorized checkpoints, and killed or abducted motorists who have failed to stop at them. You should cooperate at all checkpoints.

Effective July 15, 2010, the U.S. Mission in Mexico imposed restrictions on U.S. government employees' travel. U.S. government employees and their families are not permitted to drive for personal reasons from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior of Mexico or Central America. Personal travel by vehicle is permitted between Hermosillo and Nogales but is restricted to daylight hours and the Highway 15 toll road (cuota).

U.S. government personnel and their families are prohibited from personal travel to all areas described as “defer non-essential travel” and when travel for official purposes is essential it is conducted with extensive security precautions. USG personnel and their families are allowed to travel for personal reasons to the areas where no advisory is in effect or where the advisory is to exercise caution.

For more information on road safety and crime along Mexico's roadways, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

State-by-State Assessment:
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Old 26-08-2012, 12:19   #28
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

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i dont believe the boat was sawed off the mooring but that the storm events did the work for the looters.

It's hard to say. Reading the blog and the owner talking with the "locals" indicated that there were saw marks on the chain. We can only take things at face value and form opinions from that. The blogger told of locals on shore wanting money to watch your dinghy was nothing more than money for them not stealing it and laughing about it. That was the part that made me believe what had happened was fact. There was another case a few months back where the couple did not show up with a Zarpe and had their boat confiscated. I'm not sure that was ever resolved. Likely, it is the Port Captains new office.
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Old 26-08-2012, 12:30   #29
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

with the weather events of late and the saw--is possible either could have happened--but the weather was not conducive to a heavy boat remaining on a light mooring....
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Old 26-08-2012, 13:00   #30
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

The guy probably bought the chain used anyway.
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