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Old 18-05-2015, 10:59   #16
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

I have heard that
l. The problem that existed several years ago is greatly diminished due to the international effort of several navies that now patrol the waters. . Although the recent upsurge in the conflict in the gulf may have created new problems .
2. Some cruisers are "resting over" in places like Langkawi or Phuket and forming convoys.
3. Cruising yachts are not significantly targeted by pirates because of the international attention it draws. They prefer tankers carrying multi million dollar loads of oil which they can ransom back to the insurance company or sell on the black market.
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Old 18-05-2015, 11:29   #17
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

My opinion, for what it's worth.

The region is significantly less stable now than a few months ago. ISIS activity, war in Yemen, etc I think is a very concerning.

With most commercial vessels traveling the area with heavy security, yachts are now a much more attractive target.

Don't see how yachts in convoy are going to better than solo unless the convoy is armed or escorted. Otherwise the only benefit I see is like fish in schools; you hope the predators get the other guy and you get away.

Even if the odds are better now than a few years ago, the downside is just too serious. Even if it's 100 to 1 or a 1000 to 1 that you won't have a problem, if you happen to be that one you'll regret it the rest of your life. 100 to 1 against running aground or losing a mast could be a bummer but not life changing. 100 to 1 against being kidnapped or killed is too much like Russian roulette for me.

Would much rather go south and work with the weather and forecasts then flip a coin with the pirates.
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Old 18-05-2015, 12:13   #18
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

My 2 cents worth... U can get by on luck many times in life. But in this very politically and religious zealot area of the world... Man it is dicey. What poster MarkJ Said is all over the news every day. One thing he didn't state is the ongoing political posturing the Iranians are doing with gunboats harassing US naval fleets. I'm not saying they are without cause. I am saying it is just one more frazzle to deal with. Being used as a hostage to press a political agenda is not my cup of tea. Iranians keep hostages for years or they shoot u and never seen again.

I was dating a Chinese girl who lived in Urumqi, China. It is far west China.
Several evenings we went out for long strolls in the city parks. There is a lot of friction between the Muslim Urgur residents and the Han Chinese. A Caucasian sticks out like a sore thumb. I had young Muslim men come close to me and give me death looks. it is visceral and it is not paranoia or wild imagination. It was absolute hatred. You can see it in their eyes. It is a look not to be taken lightly. The Muslims absolutely hate the western people. I have
Friends who've worked in Saudi Have the same experience. I know ex military state the same. Remember the US Cole that was shredded by Muslim jihadists on a small boat in Yemen? We have young Muslim men in USA with ISIS links doing unspeakable things. It is our world these days. We might have 20 members on this forum make the Red Sea crossing and rave about it. But it only takes one jihad guy who wants to make a name for himself and u r a sitting duck. Embassy help... Care to guess?
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Old 18-05-2015, 12:31   #19
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

Hi Burge, Having read some of the posts I am now convinced how easily some people wish to spread rumours. A French friend has reported that the Gulf is about as safe as it gets thanks to the presence of a US aircraft and its acompanying fleet which is on patrol there. Aden is also NOT controlled by the Houthis, it is a still an open port and this is very unlikely to change. Mark is not up to speed. Regardless, there is no real benefit to stop in Aden itself unless you require fuel. As for the stories of doom and gloom, people trafficking from Somalia to Yemen; this is old news and is no longer correct according to my friends who live in Yemen (particularly Aden). Sana'a is 400km's north of Aden and yes, Sana'a, the capital is under Houthi control and hence the reason the embassies closed.
Naturally you should make your own decisions but we have sailed this route around 8 times (wife says 7) in the past few years and the Red Sea is a good trip, as is going the RSA route. Just please don't give to much credibility to people who rely on internet gossip to dish out advice.
If you accept all the negative advice given in response to your posting you shall see both routes are too dangerous to sail !
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Old 18-05-2015, 13:13   #20
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden


Our 26 boat convoy with visitor.
Look at the guy in the front of the skiff. Is that a gun? Or is he just happy to see me?

Ships carry armed guards. You will not be able to afford to.

Note the spread of the convoy. Smart idea? Or sitting ducks?
Note the weather conditions. We motored for 5 days.

A satellite phone with data cable for weather taking you around South Africa is one hell of a lot safer.
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Old 18-05-2015, 13:19   #21
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

Starting my circumnavigation early next year. I've not even slightly considered the Red Sea route. Number one is the piracy problem. And don't be convinced by anyone who says "I did it and had no problems, therefor it's safe.". There are people who still cruise Venezuela because they haven't had a problem yet themselves. Just a matter of time. As well you'd need a good motoring range for the Red Sea's head winds as mentioned already. And if you dare, ask Fatty Goodlander about his experiences with Egyptian customs. NO thanks. I'll port hop along the South African coast pausing every 3 days to let the next front go through.
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Old 18-05-2015, 13:35   #22
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post

Our 26 boat convoy with visitor.
Look at the guy in the front of the skiff. Is that a gun? Or is he just happy to see me?

Ships carry armed guards. You will not be able to afford to.

Note the spread of the convoy. Smart idea? Or sitting ducks?
Note the weather conditions. We motored for 5 days.

A satellite phone with data cable for weather taking you around South Africa is one hell of a lot safer.
I repeat - junk. Yes, incidents certainly happen everywhere in the world and yes, commercial boats were/are targets in this area but this has dramatically reduced and it is rare that private yachts are attacked. Going anywhere in a convoy attracts attention. People shall come and look. You also need to be aware that in some parts of the world carrying a weapon is considered normal. Try reading about armed robbery in South Africa and attacks on people there. It is still a very popular destination and yet more people are murdered per day (47 per day reported in 2014; figures are higher for 2015) than the total number of yacht incidents over a ten year period in the Gulf. South Africa is reported to experience around 500,000 rapes per year, and yet you advocate taking your family there?
As for Saudi - what total garbage. Sorry to belittle your rumours but we have sailed both the east and west coasts, we have criss-crossed it by road and NEVER had anything but civility from the population or authorities. In fact the authorities were always very reasonable, helpful and generous.....and yes, we have the passport stamps to prove it. Our statements are based on what we experienced on several occasions, not a once off or speculation. Before we went to Saudi we heard awful stories of the place but then realised these stories came from people that had never been there. By contrast we did meet people that had been there and whom gave favourable reports. We listened to those that had been and we have had several good experiences as a result. It is rare that we have ever seen hatred without justification but I can imagine that it can happen in some places in the world. I would not dress in the Stars and Stripes in northern Pakistan!
There shall always be people ready to propogate rumours founded on speculation ' I will never go there, because.........' they have read some other rumour spread by people that have never been themselves. What about the yottie murders in the Caribbean? Do you hear other yotties bleating about how they will no longer go? Of course not.
We have also been approached by high speed skiffs in the Gulf of Aden, sometimes with hooded crew.
What appeared to be guns were actually telescopic fishing rods. They were hooded against the sun. They approached us wanting to sell fish. This is the third world and yachts do attract attention but it is normally no less favourable than anywhere else in the world.
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Old 18-05-2015, 14:12   #23
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

I just skimmed the other posts. There seemed more opinion (wise thoughts nonetheless) than anything else. So I thought it would be worth considering a recent experience. These guys were the first cruisers I'd read about in recent times to come through the Suez.
Tamarisk 'Round the World

Pretty courageous stuff but I don't think I'd bother....

Cheers
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Old 18-05-2015, 16:20   #24
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjames View Post
I just skimmed the other posts. There seemed more opinion (wise thoughts nonetheless) than anything else. So I thought it would be worth considering a recent experience. These guys were the first cruisers I'd read about in recent times to come through the Suez.
Tamarisk 'Round the World

Pretty courageous stuff but I don't think I'd bother....

Cheers
Yup, they went through before us and we dont have on board what they wanted to carry. Incredible that they should put faith in an ex-IDF sniper.
People shall believe what they wish, but there are sailing boats transiting the Red Sea very regularly - still more go this route than around RSA. The diffrence is that the majority just smile and get on with what they enjoy doing - cruising. This is easily verified by seeing how many boats put into Richards Bay/Durban as opposed to how many boats go through the Suez. There is so much misinformation........
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Old 18-05-2015, 17:24   #25
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

Bulawayo- getting past "exceptionalism" and xenophobia is a relearning proccess for us Gringos.Patience is required.

Ok,last year I spent 6 months in Alexandria,Egypt.Now,when I went into city solo as the sophisticated Manhattanite I am,the great people at the Raddison would freak for my safety.I could feel some eyes on me occasionally! Friends that live there would always send their car and driver for me.Felt much safer.
They've lived there for 30 years(French and India) for their business.
Ok,so also went back and forth to Saudia Arabiia-NOT once felt "eyes" on me.People were helpful nice and wanted to use their english Lol.

Off coast of Aden and in Gulf Of Adan are at least 6 US navel vessels plus another half dozen french,German,Italian,Russian navel vessels and ALOT of choppers and aircraft pattroling 24/7 for evil doers !

NO Iranian vessels have harassed ANY US vessel in this area or in Straits of Hormuz!!!The ONLY reccent Iranian event occurred when a,I think,Marshal Islands registered container ship drifted into Iranian Hormuz waters-Period-they were released after 3 days with a fine ! Additionally,Djabuti is safe port in Adan area and now US Military staging port.,

That all said,I would require certain capabilities with my boat to do that trip-speed,fuel/distance capacity,provisions,stout communications systems....
Red Sea is quite safe and lovely-even Sudan coast is safe from what my friends in Egypt are telling me !
The thing is-avoid dicey places,stay on the path,learn alittle arabic,wear local type clothing,IE,not shorts and bikinis and RESPECT other peoples - and get out of the exceptionalism psychology.That always used to get me in
trouble. Lol

Be Smart Think deeply and research to be safe.



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Old 18-05-2015, 17:26   #26
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
Hi Burge, Having read some of the posts I am now convinced how easily some people wish to spread rumours. A French friend has reported that the Gulf is about as safe as it gets thanks to the presence of a US aircraft and its acompanying fleet which is on patrol there. Aden is also NOT controlled by the Houthis, it is a still an open port and this is very unlikely to change. Mark is not up to speed. Regardless, there is no real benefit to stop in Aden itself unless you require fuel. As for the stories of doom and gloom, people trafficking from Somalia to Yemen; this is old news and is no longer correct according to my friends who live in Yemen (particularly Aden). Sana'a is 400km's north of Aden and yes, Sana'a, the capital is under Houthi control and hence the reason the embassies closed.
Naturally you should make your own decisions but we have sailed this route around 8 times (wife says 7) in the past few years and the Red Sea is a good trip, as is going the RSA route. Just please don't give to much credibility to people who rely on internet gossip to dish out advice.
If you accept all the negative advice given in response to your posting you shall see both routes are too dangerous to sail !
Bulawayo, with respect, you appear to have a crystal ball on Yemen that no one else has, even the Yemenis. What is going on there is an aspect of an increasingly generalised civil war in Islam. The Yemeni president was forced to flee the COUNTRY recently, not just holidaying in perfectly safe Aden. With regard to the 400km… really? You can drive that in a handful of hours. So can they, and there are many months in between now and the planned arrival of the OP's boat. I respect your local experience but your own willingness to risk the downsides of that passage and what must still be very well informed but anecdotal advice should be at least tempered with some realisation that it is not your own, but other's fates you are here advising. I find your tone slightly surprisingly unequivocal in its positivity, particularly in view of the likes of this:

http://eunavfor.eu/wp-content/upload...ingWarning.pdf

In this document the fleet you and your French friends put their trust in specifically warn yachts to stay out of the area, because, as they state, they cannot protect them. Are they just lying or kidding around?

MarkJ's words appear more balanced to me at least. Are you suggesting that there is ZERO risk of severe consequences?
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Old 18-05-2015, 17:54   #27
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

I'd be interested in seeing verifiable figures re the numbers transiting the Red Sea as opposed to going round the Cape as mentioned at #24.

In the meantime if I was faced with the choice I would pick the obvious ...

Pity the eunavfor people can't get their lats and longs sorted...
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Old 18-05-2015, 18:01   #28
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

Whether you do the Red Sea route or the South African Cape is a hard call. Someone that made it thru yesterday, may not ever be heard from again if they were a day later. On the way to the Cape, we did the Seychelles. It was not too much later along the same route that the yacht carrying bibles found themselves "entertained" by pirates. When we did Venezuela back in 97, we anchored in the national park and had no problem, but a friend who stopped in Caracas got mugged. Then there was the mugging someplace else, and on it goes.

When I cruise, I TRY to minimize the risks, and if I go one way rather than another, I will have made my choice and will make the best of it. Maybe the other direction was safer and/or better, maybe I should have married my high school sweetheart, maybe, maybe... When you go offshore, there are no guarantees. I guess my only regret in this area is that I wasn't able to start cruising earlier.

Now with GPS, good weather forecasting, EPIRBs, daily world news, and the like, it is a whole lot safer and easier than when I sailed out of San Francisco Bay in "78". And I am wondering that as a result of technology, and all the information out there, how many of you would have considered going to sea armed with just a sextant and homemade boat?

This thread would be better if it supplied information and left out opinions. There are are already too many arguments that in the end would have you sell your boat and and go land cruising while carrying your own AK-47. That being said, don't tell me what to do or how dangerous it is out there, but please, please try to provide me with the latest information so I can make my own decision and then I will take my chances. Thank you.
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Old 18-05-2015, 18:10   #29
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

Had to laugh about the concept that patrolling naval warships have reduced the risk of piracy in the gulf of Aden. When I went through in 2004, I was chased by two separate boats in the same night. My wife's Mayday calls produced a helicopter who came over us 12 hours later and a Spanish frigate who arrived 6 hours after that. There aren't enough warships in the world to prevent the pirates from taking a boat in that huge stretch of water.

What really almost eliminated piracy attack son ships is not naval patrols, but mercenaries on the ships firing down on the pirates from behind steel bulwarks. Doesn't work too well for small sailboats.

Ten years ago the pirates caught about 1-2% of the 200 sailboats which tried to go through the Gulf of Aden. Back then, the pirates just looted the boats and left. Now that they have discovered that kidnapping is much more profitable, it just doesn't make any sense to take the risk.

Once into the Red Sea I really enjoyed the trip, but when the boats came after me it was the scariest night of my sailing career. I was able to outrun the first one, which was a ship's lifeboat smuggling Somalians, but the second one was doing 9 knots and chased me in the pitch dark for what seemed like hours and hours. I know that I would be a sitting duck for the fast outboard powered boats they use against the ships.
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Old 18-05-2015, 18:45   #30
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Re: Piracy In Gulf of Aden

For those that mention Fatty Goodlander, please remember he and I did in in the same year... About 500 meters apart in the same convoy.

If you read Red Sea Run you may note I pop up a few times.
Please remember Fatty wrote that book before the 4 Americans were shot dead.
I think his opinions became closer to mine after those 4 deaths.

For those that wish to go, do so. There ain't nothing that can hold you back.

Is Fatty going that way this time???????????



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