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Old 08-07-2010, 18:37   #76
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This is from the Latitude 38 article too.

friends who live there and who have worked the charter season there say that almost everybody they know who has been there more than a year or two has had been robbed or had their home invaded.

And, the one I like the most:

but weíve always been very aware of where we were, who was around us, and how late it was. We treat it like itís a tropical Oakland.

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Old 08-07-2010, 19:17   #77
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We have quite a few friends here in St Kitts that moved here to "escape" the crime in St Martin... But now St Kitts is headed down a nasty path as well....
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Old 08-07-2010, 22:28   #78
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I lived for twelve years as a liveaboard in Alameda Calif. Alameda is an island that parallels Oakland, and I visited Oakland many times and never experienced any problems so I really don't know what Richard is refering to. Maybe paranoia from one who lives and works in Mill Valley and Marin county vs the unwashed masses who reside on the east side of SF Bay.

I've also spent a considerable amount of time in St Martin from 2002 to 2009, anchoring out on both the Dutch and French sides. Staying as long as three months and having considerable work done on my boat. Walking and taking the local taxies/buses to verious places on the island. True Customs is a pain with their fees and regulations but its their island. I have NEVER had any bad experiences either at St Martin, the entire Caribbean, from Panama to Grand Cayman to St Martin to Trinidad. Anchoring out as a singlehandler at every spot, never locking myself inside. no guns, tacks, or dogs.
The whole experience was an absloute hoot.

And, if I may, a word about the owner of Latitude38, Richard, as I have met him and his girl friend several times in St Barths and been interviewed several times by Richard and had those inteviews published.
His girlfriend has a 100 ton license and is his captian in all boat movements. They drive their cat over to St. Barths, from a charter fleet in BVI and sit at anchorages around St Barths for up to two months while Richard works from an upstairs Internet Cafe, on Latitude38.
Richard and his staff do an outstanding job with their magizine and Richard has excellent Sailing credentials from a long assocation with sailing. But as a long term full time cruisier - he lacks the insight.
.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:11   #79
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:23   #80
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I've deleted a few off-topic posts that were drifting off into crime statistics in cities, racial hatred, etc. Let's stick to the subject at hand, please.

Thanks!
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:01   #81
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But avoiding an island like St Martin - is not really going to do much as cruiser income is a very minor part of their total tourist income. And also because these attacks occur at random times with long period a relative peace and tranquility in between a large majority of cruiser wonder what the heck you are bitching about, they never had any problems.
This is especially true on the Dutch side - they have the international airport and cruise ship port. In general, yacht tourism is the second biggest source of tourism revenue in the Caribbean islands, but not so much in Sint Maarten. In a way it was kind of clever for the Dutch to impose daily anchoring fees in Simpson Bay. Everyone just checked out of Holland, moved a couple hundred yards, and checked into France. Then boat crime became mostly a French problem and local merchants weren't hurt at all - for shopping and dining purposes, the border is just an imaginary line.

However, St. Martin/Sint Maarten is one of my all time favorite places. I haven't been there on a sailboat in 8 years. But, one way or another I have been there for a few days every year since. Next time I go by boat, I'll be more vigilant, but I won't skip it.
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Old 09-07-2010, 13:17   #82
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I'm going to keep this short and sweet. Mike, get well soon. If you need a laptop for email, PM me or have a friend email, and I'll send you one. We take care of our own.
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Old 09-07-2010, 13:38   #83
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Your generosity moves me, Chris.
Thanks, from all of us!
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Old 09-07-2010, 13:46   #84
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Do you ever wonder if tourists (cruisers included) pose a systemic risk to poor, tourism sustained countries St. Martin?


When the economy is good, affluent tourists vacation in poor tropical countries. They bring in lots of money, which provides jobs, but also drives up prices. Then the economy starts to stink, so tourism brings in less money; jobs are lost and wages drop. Unfortunately though, the cost of living does not decrease in proper proportion to the locals' wages. So the locals can no longer afford to buy food in their own country, but the wealthy visitors can.

Poor people and poor countries get hit the hardest when the economy suffers. Lets just hope that when the economy recovers, my google and apple stock will sky rocket and those poor countries will return to sustenance living so I won't get robbed while I blow my $500/month cruising budget there. (sarcasm there)

I'm sorry to hear about Mike. I was mugged once (black eye, stolen laptop, in one of the safest cities in US) so I know its more than just physical injury. Its the feeling of personal violation. And Mikes case is much worse than mine was.
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Old 10-07-2010, 16:25   #85
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Sorry for Mike. It is terrible what hapend with him!
I just left St. Martin 6 weeks ago to sail in the Orinoco Delta. Now back in Trinidad / Chaguaramas there were 12 roberys in 7 days...
Crusing since 16 years, also in the caribbean. It gets every year a little worser. My plan B is now go to the Pacific or agani back to Europe....
All the best Mike!
Sorry for my bad english
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Old 12-07-2010, 17:31   #86
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Dog?

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defever, you don't need a weapon, or a pit bull, just a good natured dog. Mike was attacked in a relatively crowded anchorage, according to news reports. No dog worth a bucket of warm spit will sit quietly while strangers board your boat. They sense fear, and all people with ill intentions experience fear. Dogs will react accordingly. Like I said, board me with ill intent and the whole anchorage, including me, will be wide awake, well before the cabin is entered.

"Panama James" has a thread in here on spending time in a Mexican jail for his gun. You don't want to do that, trust me (and him). Get a dog and you will be fine.
Why would a cruiser want adog. Half the countries you can't get the mongrels into and what kind of man picks up dog **** every morning?
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Old 12-07-2010, 19:46   #87
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what kind of man picks up dog **** every morning?
Normal men. Are you so out of touch with the world?
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Old 12-07-2010, 20:21   #88
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.....what kind of man picks up dog **** every morning?
Isn't that what BBF's (best Best Friends) are for?
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Old 12-07-2010, 20:44   #89
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A large amount of cruising boats in the Caribbean have dogs on board and have very little problems. There are about 3 or 4 islands where they are not welcome so the dogs stay on board the boat. In the major stopping places for cruisers dogs are not a problem with the officials. If you get a dog as a puppy it can be easy trained to do his thing on a piece of astroturf or similar product. Since boat dogs are not usually huge they do not leave huge piles. And of course, the smaller the dog, the larger the bark.
- - Animals are very popular among long term cruisers for both company on those rainy days when going ashore is not desirable and also as sentries. Although they can be subject to sea sickness just like their owners, the med's are the same just only 1/4 size dose. And unfortunately the animals get used to the sea motion usually quicker than their human shipmates.
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Old 12-07-2010, 20:50   #90
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Why would a cruiser want adog. Half the countries you can't get the mongrels into and what kind of man picks up dog **** every morning?
Many People who have dogs consider them part of the family- the same as a new born I would clean up the Sh*^- but I have no use for a dog that is not trained well, just about any dog can be trained to poop in a place where you just need a bucket of water throwned on the "spot" and it washes overboard!
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