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Old 30-07-2009, 10:59   #61
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Odd, that I am just reading this thread from a year ago on the day GordMay posts the legal resolution of the crime. I agree with Ex-Calif re the disparity of wealth creating economic crimes by people desparate or resentful (often festering from their cultural rape during colonial days). I am aware of another such incident, albeit a longer odds affair, no less deadly. Again the man was killed and the wife injured in Thailand, a well-developed center of cruising activity. (Arriving in Vietnam, newbies were often told, "Don't bunch up or one bullet will get you all.") Link to the full story @ Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine

The thing is, thanks to the fraudsters that run Wall Street, the entire world participated in the last big bubble, the credit bubble, and real estate was blown up triple in many places. Now, the great deflation is running worldwide and businesses, homes and personal finances are cratering everywhere, as prices of many things fall back to earth. That is going to create frustration, anger and crime at a higher rate in many places, especially the more urban and worldly, where the violent trash, from small hollywood studios cranking out made-for-export cheap guns'n'sex films, are shown. Not that big budget productions are much less violent. The next chase, shoot-out, whatever has to be bigger than the last big box office hit, don'cha know?

Carrying firearms is dangerous in that your boat can be seized in some places, so my intended solution (buying a boat soon) is to find/build puzzle-rigged hidey holes for those and other important bits, while leaving quick thief bait in easily found places.
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Old 04-08-2009, 20:37   #62
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I believe it was Josh Slocum who put tacks on his decks at night in suspect areas. A bucket of caltrops kept in the cockpit locker and spread on deck at night might do a lot to discourage visitors. Especially since not many of them would be wearing steel soled boots. Those sandels n flip flops won't save you from a nasty puncture.

Caltrops are made of two pieces of steel wire, bent in a vee and joined so that no matter how they land, one point is always up. An afternoon with a chop saw, some 3/32 rod, and a welder will make your bucket full in no time especially if you make up a jig first.

Another way is to take some canvas, put tacks thru it, stitch a backing on so they don't come out and then unroll the length of it along your deck. Roll it up in the AM.

Go medieval on them, simple is better. The bad guy isn't going to stick around if he has a 2 foot length of steel blade in his gut because he tried to jimmy the hatch.

Sabre, 120 days n a wake up.
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Old 04-08-2009, 22:02   #63
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The Rio Dulce is pretty wild. This last week I've met in person, two cruisers who have had dinghy and engine stolen. One dinghy was on davits OUT of the water with owners aboard. The other was a dinghy in the water secured to the yacht with a cable with the owners aboard. Both gone with no trace in the middle of the night. Not sure how tacks on the deck or flamboyant arm chair sailors with machetes fantasies would have helped. You got to sleep sometime and the thieves are very good and very quiet.

The Rio Dulce is a great place to store your boat for Hurricane season against storms... thieves are another issue. You need to choose wisely where to store your boat.

A few days ago I was in a marina with three armed guards patrolling at night (with shotguns and radios), spot lights shining on my boat, dinghy on davits, two cables connecting bow of dinghy to boat with nice padlock, outboard engine bolted to aluminum RIB, 3/8" chain connecting OB to dinghy and 3/8" chain connecting stern of dinghy to yacht. Still, thieves tried to steal the dinghy while I slept. This is the wild west. Disparity in wealth, poverty and endemic crime make even a hard target like my dinghy with tough security unsafe here in the Rio. Ohh and the "Guardia Coasta" (Marine Patrol) docks next to me during the day! This place is rough and unpredictable.

For those with machete fantasies, get real! Go ahead sleep in your dinghy... do you wield a machete as well as the locals?

If you choose the Rio pick a good marina. Be home before dark, cross your fingers and be lucky.


Use the Rio as a base and cruise in Belize and Honduras. There is no better place in the NW Caribbean to store your boat.



PS We can't wait to get the heck out of here.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:52   #64
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The saddest part of this story is that only 2 of the 4 were "killed after the fact" before being caught & brought to trial...along w/the fact that pre-meditated murder/piracy doesn't carry the death penalty.
Be Prepared;
It's obviously better to be judged by 12 (even in a foreign country) than lowered by 6...as in dead is for-ever.
I'm sorry for Daniel Dryden & his Widow.
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Old 05-08-2009, 13:16   #65
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I wonder?

If I somehow knew beforehand that my death would be as a result of doing the things I love….would I change and do nothing but stay at home and watch the world go by from the sidelines?

When assessing Risk, how would I assess the risk of becoming a victim of my fear of the crazies of this world?

To me, it is like sailing on a dark and turbulent night.

Sensing the next squall line, you prepare for a ride, knowing that it can be exhilarating or fearfully uncomfortable, depending on interaction with an unseen danger that fatefully crashes into your Life.

Whether you are cruising in 3rd world countries or exercising at the local gym, sometimes
you can become a lucky escapee or an unfortunate victim.

For the victim, there is no value in hindsight….and besides….those left behind... never had your vision.
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Old 05-08-2009, 13:35   #66
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The saddest part of this story is that only 2 of the 4 were "killed after the fact" before being caught & brought to trial...along w/the fact that pre-meditated murder/piracy doesn't carry the death penalty...
I share your sorrow for the Dryen family.
I don't share your sorrow that the Government of Guatemala chooses not to engage in state murder.
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Old 05-08-2009, 15:14   #67
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Atlantic42, Rio Dulce sounds like it’s deteriorating badly. No wonder, I suppose, with our military and CIA guys somewhat running the place, especially since the big Contra arming and promoting to oust the Sandanistas. When we go in and arm and train a proxy group like that it leaves, eventually, well armed and trained unemployed behind, and that creates a bandit class. Smuggling, drungs, and the associated mafia type enterprises thrive.

When assessing Risk, how would I assess the risk of becoming a victim of my fear of the crazies of this world?

To me, it is like sailing on a dark and turbulent night.

Sensing the next squall line, you prepare for a ride, knowing that it can be exhilarating or fearfully uncomfortable, depending on interaction with an unseen danger that fatefully crashes into your Life.”

Pelagic, I appreciate you’re holding your course and agree one shouldn’t become hostage to their fears. Since I was nearly squashed in an aircraft canopy by a new ground crewman who misunderstood his instructions, (thinking just before passing out, ‘How inglorious and rediculous to be squashed like a bug in the rain’) I’ve always thought that the last freedom is to choose how you will die, if not when, or where. Sail on.

“Go medieval on them, simple is better. The bad guy isn't going to stick around if he has a 2 foot length of steel blade in his gut because he tried to jimmy the hatch.”
SabreKai, I’m 63, and a faded athlete in most respects, so am not looking for any hand-2-hand combat, if I can help it. I really like the idea of passive defense ideas that don’t spoil the joy of getting up in the morning. I saw my war and don’t want to kill anyone else. But, my belief and aim to be pacifist seems to stop at my doorsill when my person or my group are threatened. I’ll clearly have to give this more thought when I move aboard.

“I share your sorrow for the Dryen family.
I don't share your sorrow that the Government of Guatemala chooses not to engage in state murder.”

GordMay, I agree with you. I don’t think execution deters anything and adds to the cumulative level of violence we all experience and become inured to. Tho', in the case of wall street bankers, I might make an exception.
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Old 05-08-2009, 18:50   #68
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While it might be best to pick a good marina, get home before dark, cross my fingers and be lucky, I plan on being proactive in my own defense. I suspect there are a lot of cruisers who are on the lower levels of financial resources, and for whom a stay at a marina is a treat, not a daily occurance. Ergo, the caltrops. While the local thieves may be quick and quiet, I suspect that the majority of them won't be wearing steel shanked boots, and will become very loud n vocal with one stuck in their foot. There are other methods as well, but I will leave them to you to devise.

As for my comment about 2 feet of steel in the gut, I am under no delusion that I am Capt Blood, fighting the Royal Navy boarding party with my cutlass. I guess the second part about Jimmying the hatch was missed.

Sabre Dance is steel, and very secure. It is my intention that anyone trying to force the hatch will be poked with a gladius. I certainly have no intentions of going blade to blade with a machete weilding bad guy. Unless they have a gun, I dont think they will get inside.

If they want to steal my dinghy while its in the water, Good luck its more trouble than its worth. The oars are stowed below deck so its not much worth taking. If its on deck Im curious as to how they will cut the chain if the dink is upside down with the chain unaccessable except thru the hatch it lives over.

Part of my defense strategy is to appear almost as dirt poor as they are. They will be scoping out your bright shiny plastic boat with all the toys, before they bother with my rusty scabby old tub and its patched up junk.

In the mean time, I suspect that things are going to get a lot worse and we cruisers will be seeing this sort of thing every where we go. Most people in the world don't like us wealthy white people. The global melt down is after all a byproduct of our greed n stupidity. That bill is about to be called and it will be a steap one to pay.


Sabre, 119 days n a wake up.
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Old 05-08-2009, 18:58   #69
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"Part of my defense strategy is to appear almost as dirt poor as they are. They will be scoping out your bright shiny plastic boat with all the toys, before they bother with my rusty scabby old tub and its patched up junk."

You may be right but you cannot imagine how ugly our bay here in Cartagena de Indias look with people like the one you mentioned
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Old 05-08-2009, 18:58   #70
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Part of my defense strategy is to appear almost as dirt poor as they are. They will be scoping out your bright shiny plastic boat with all the toys, before they bother with my rusty scabby old tub and its patched up junk.

In the mean time, I suspect that things are going to get a lot worse and we cruisers will be seeing this sort of thing every where we go. Most people in the world don't like us wealthy white people. The global melt down is after all a byproduct of our greed n stupidity. That bill is about to be called and it will be a steap one to pay.


Sabre, 119 days n a wake up.
Just the fact you have a boat and are there is an indicator to them.

I agree somewhat but hope we are wrong.
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Old 05-08-2009, 19:55   #71
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most people are nice

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Most people in the world don't like us wealthy white people.
Completely disagree with that, not my experince at all. But the little old lady picking out the best tomatoes for you down the market etc etc etc donīt make very interesting posts. I may get ripped apart for this but a friend returned tonight after a few weeks in Miami and Appalachian mountains. One comment about the trip was that everyone he met were helpful and very polite but quite cold compared to the warmth towards strangers of Brazilians. I think the same could well be said of most north europeans. Though of course down here there are also plenty with a proactive view towards redistribution of wealth. I find people to be warm and friendly everywhere, though in the corperate west it may take a little longer.
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Old 05-08-2009, 20:52   #72
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In the mean time, I suspect that things are going to get a lot worse and we cruisers will be seeing this sort of thing every where we go. Most people in the world don't like us wealthy white people. The global melt down is after all a byproduct of our greed n stupidity. That bill is about to be called and it will be a steap one to pay.
Correct me if I'm reading this wrong, but are you saying that the rest of the world is a bunch of racist criminals, and that white Westerners have it coming because some other white Westerners got greedy in the great Wall Street casino?

Seems unfair toward both groups, if you ask me.
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Old 05-08-2009, 21:21   #73
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The Rio has always had a lot of theft and violence. It is cyclic but it is always there. With 1% of the population owning 99% and nobody in between how can it not be. It has nothing to do with the state of the world economy or any geopolitical events.
The Rio is not unique, it is just so noticeable. It is the North Western Caribbean’s only hurricane hole, it is huge. Sure there are a bunch of others places to hide but nothing compares to the Rio, the Rio is secure.
Shell Bay has usually been the safest to anchor in for theft. Anywhere else the life expectancy of your dingy used to be 2 weeks.
One person had his dingy stolen while at anchor. He bought another one and it was stolen 2 days later, he was screaming on the radio at 0300 watching the crooks crank up his new outboard. The thieves used a rigging cutter to snap the 3/8 “ rigging wire. They are sophisticated.
Cruisers help sponsor this sort of theft by buying used outboards. I met one nativo who told me he could get me any outboard I wanted.
Around 10 to 12 years ago some of the marina owners banded together and eliminated a whole family group who were well known for violence and thefts. There was a drastic drop in crime for a while. There were a number of floaters in the river for a while.
The banks used to get robbed periodically. We heard one rumour the frequency of bank robberies picks up during elections, something about collecting for political donations.
A lady we knew was in the bank during one of these “donations” (9-10 years ago), her husband was in a tienda down the road. It was a very civilized robbery. A van stopped out front, some guys jumped out and fired a couple of bursts in the air. The outside guard laid down, the inside guard laid down and the guard behind the counter laid down. The thieves grabbed the money, left the customers unmolested with their money, and left. All the customers left, our friend stayed as she felt it was the right thing to do. If it wasn’t for her husband they probably would have kept her for a few days. It was considered suspicious that she had stayed.
It makes you think when trucks delivering Coca Cola and other commodities have armed guards.
Don’t take anything with you that you don’t want to loose.
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:27   #74
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At the risk of getting this thread (further) OT

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I share your sorrow for the Dryen family.
I don't share your sorrow that the Government of Guatemala chooses not to engage in state murder.
Gord,
At the Risk of getting this thread (Further) OT,
1-Piracy on the high seas has been dealt with swiftly & sternly over last, oh, let's say, thousand years. Hanging from yardarm until dead, shot in the head, decapitation, "walking the plank"(while arms secured & blindfolded fully dressed...aside from some movies You won't tread h2o long in that condition).

2-BECAUSE of #1 we have had safer seas to cruise and share w/merchant shipping (aside localized or world wide conflict periods) during same time period. Such is no longer the case & changing for the worse daily.

3-As the "Civilized" World has tried to impose a "kinder, gentler" more "moral" philosophy on our less developed brethern they have seen an opportunity & exploited it, each year of last 12 exponentially greater than the former. When You turn a blind eye to anarchy, You guarantee it's proliferation.

4-I (stated) neither support or opposition to "the death penalty"(although do support same for 1st degree murder & rape), in former posting; only surmised "that it was sad" that remaining 2 principals didn't meet similar untimely demise(for most likely further rape, murder, armed robbery/other illicit "engagements" while on Bond/Bail)as 2 of 4 ran in to that biotch named "Karma" prior trial & sentencing)who were dealt w/far more swiftly by a MORE Caring "populace". We should never be denied the right to self defense, Even Mohatma Ghandi stated same.

5-I would never for a second "infringe" on Your RIGHT to assert what You felt most appropriate punishment given opportunity in a court of law for those who had raped or murdered a significant other, family member, or both. Courts aren't available as we hug coastline of Yemen, conceding the OTHER 500+ NM of open water in Gulf of Aden to Somali Pirates. We simply elect personally not to make ourselves victims, by any & all means necessary/available to us. It's called "survival", by making painfully clear that You Are Prepared & Willing to defend that which You consider sacred(lives & property of us & "ours").

6-As for "being prepared"? My family will not go quietly in to that night (called death) voluntarily or even remotely compliantly. Those who seek to rape, pilage, or murder w/our vessel(s) as subject of their attention(s), will become food for the fishes, promise. They may take us with them, however we will not go quietly, & they will pay the ultimate price for their actions.....
Like decals in portlights state:
"There is NOTHING in Here Worth Your Life."

(just so we can all keep the stakes clearly understood and the obligation to Your Own Self Protection ANY TIME You leave sight of land, ANYWHERE...& plenty of times when tied up at the docks, depending on locale)

"Can't we all just get along?" -Rodney King
"nope" -Rioters
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:35   #75
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"Be Prepared"

This is what I was taught from day one in the "Boy Scouts of America".
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