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Old 18-02-2014, 11:54   #31
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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Originally Posted by Jon Hacking View Post
Mark, I have learned to respect your posts, but something isn't adding up here. The Seychelles are 700nm from Somalia, & there have been no attacks closer than that for over a year,
Whoa!

There was 2 in the last 4 months!!!!!!!!!! Both NOVEMBER 2013 (not 2012)
I just put them and their LandLs on my previous post. How could you not see them?

Quote:
06.11.2013: 0330 UTC: Posn: 05:40S – 046:59E (About 450nm ESE of Mombasa, Kenya), Off Somalia.
One skiff with five heavily armed pirates approached a product tanker underway. Alarm was raised, crew alerted, fire pumps started, speed increased, evasive manoeuvres made, SSAS alert activated and authorities were informed. The pirates fired at the tanker and the armed security on board returned fire. The skiff aborted the attack and moved away.

Narrations:
09.11.2013: 1400 UTC: Posn: 07:19.8S – 048:36.7E (Around 277nm NNW of Madagascar), Off Somalia.
About five to six pirates armed with rifles in a skiff approached a chemical tanker underway. OOW raised the alarm and the armed security team on board fired rocket flares followed by warning shots. The skiff closed in to a distance of 200 meters and fired upon the tanker. Master increased speed, activated SSAS, sent distress message, fire hoses activated and the non-essential crew mustered in the citadel. The on board security team exchanged fire with the pirates resulting in the skiff aborting the attack.
Both NOVEMBER, they are using the American date format

They are less than 250NMs off Seychelles and in the path of where a sailor may go from Seychelles to Madagascar.

Does that make it add up better?

Re the Venuzualean piracy situation I am being VERY upfront about it on this board and the Mods have questioned my strong feelings for it. Of course my feelings are strong! People are being killed!
Idiots try to die off venuzeala
Cruiser murdered in Venezuela - MERGED THREADS
Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island
St Lucia murder

As far as I can see my thoughts are consistant across the world, in the areas I have visited.

Quote:
despite the fact that Somali piracy has declined by 95% over the last 2+ years.
Thats ONLY for shipping because there have been no sail boats through there! No one knows if attacks against yachts will have stopped. Or, perhaps increased as they can't capture ships anymore. They cant capture ships because they all have armed squads on board with machine guns.
Not dad with an old shottie.

This year will see some sail boats go through... but these will be the first since 2011. I wouldnt advise being in the first year!
If I am wrong and everyone is safe, well fine. But who am I to say the last attacks were 4 months ago and NOW it is safe?



Finally, there is another point to the life and death question. Thats that for the whole voyage and transit time you are on pirate watch. Your guts are twisting in anticipation of death. Its not a nice feeling and I had it in my guts from the bottom of India till well up the Red Sea. Now think about the women folk on board. Is it right to put the womone though that fear of death gut wrenching ****?

We spent weeks and weeks with the binoculars wedged into our eyes, and months worried about those upcoming passages. And in the end I wondered if it was all worth it?


Mark
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Old 18-02-2014, 12:59   #32
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post

This year will see some sail boats go through... but these will be the first since 2011.
Do we really know this? I'm just asking as I don't know and couldn't find a list of boats going though the canal as to type (but didn't look too hard as it is probably at least 4 years away that I have to make the decision).
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Old 18-02-2014, 13:18   #33
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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Originally Posted by Springbok View Post
Advice/opinions on a thread like this often are dismissed as being too cautious. When you give marriage counselling etc a couple often agree, see the logical solution and eventually do what THEY want to do, forget the sound advice. Mark is not being too cautious and definitely not hypocritical. A skipper is the boss and will eventually do his thing, forget the family or crew safety. Ask the Dutch skipper who did not heed any warning a couple of years ago and was hijacked 2 weeks later. If you make the trip and there is no problems bravado will say I told you so. If they do appear on the horizon your yacht cannot outrun them, sorry family, sorry crew!! Get real THERE IS A PROBLEM OUT THERE!! OfTEN IT IS THE MACHO ( STUPID ) OWNER/SKIPPER.
It's tricky really, there is a real problem in so may places now, maybe there always was ? What would be more helpful perhaps would be some additional figures, perhaps how many incidents out of how many yachts passing.
There are a lot of people killed by drunk drivers but very very tiny percentage compared to the millions of cars that travel without incident.
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Old 18-02-2014, 13:20   #34
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

Ok now I'm reading all this with a lot of interest, and I can honestly say we put up, with a lot of crap out there in the ocean daily, strong winds, big seas, bad weather we always seem to cop it all, with every passage.
There is no way I will be going anywhere near the Pirate areas, and the bad weather areas, I know The Captain won't go without me so as I said before we need a new plan.
Just reading all this is making me scared.
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Old 18-02-2014, 13:29   #35
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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Originally Posted by Deck Scrubber View Post
Ok now I'm reading all this with a lot of interest, and I can honestly say we put up, with a lot of crap out there in the ocean daily, strong winds, big seas, bad weather we always seem to cop it all, with every passage.
There is no way I will be going anywhere near the Pirate areas, and the bad weather areas, I know The Captain won't go without me so as I said before we need a new plan.
Just reading all this is making me scared.
before the internet we never worried about pirates or the weather,we just sailed where we liked and took our chances

after all as they say "ignorance is bliss"
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Old 18-02-2014, 13:46   #36
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

It seems pretty obvious logic that if less people take their boats there, there will be less attacks, but it doesn't really tell us much to make travel decisions by. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 18-02-2014, 13:46   #37
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
before the internet we never worried about pirates or the weather,we just sailed where we liked and took our chances

after all as they say "ignorance is bliss"
but now I know.
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Old 18-02-2014, 14:43   #38
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

Forget the Pirates, I've got my hands full quelling a mutiny here

The fact is, I've reached this ripe young age with a full set of fingers and toes and almost half my synapses still firing sporadically, with a general attitude of "she'll be right, mate, if you don't do anything stupid".

Trying to be one of the early test cases going through doesn't show up on my radar as one of life's great achievements.
In fact sailing off the coast of Ecuador we had a fast skiff with 4 men on board closing in on us just on sunset. We were 125 miles off shore and couldn't believe they were so far out. They were approaching on a track that would intersect with us a mile or so ahead, and started making gestures we couldn't understand, apart from the universal throat cut gesture.
A quick look at the radar showed a probable mother ship about 12 miles away.
Out came the mase and tazers.
One of Sandy's loaves of bread could have sunk them, but I don't want to turn this into an anchor thread. (To be fair, that was in her early, experimental days. We now enjoy the best bread on the planet.)

A couple of hundred yards up ahead of us they stopped, virtually in our path and we then realized one of their gestures was for us to turn around, which we did.
We then saw they had started cutting their lines!
As they saw us turning they gave us huge friendly waves, thumbs up etc.

It was a gut wrenching 20 minutes, along the lines oh Mark's description.
We're out here to have a good time, not trying to prove anything. The Seychelles will have to wait until better times.

As usual, dipping into the knowledge bank of CF has been very helpful and we appreciate everyone's input.
Atoll and Mark are old friends who's experience and opinions we respect and take seriously.

Now we've just got to work out how to get to S. Africa without losing our love of sailing and half the boat!

Vic
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Old 20-02-2014, 05:46   #39
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

Vic (& Deck Scrubber) - It sounds like you're trying to get from Australia to South Africa with minimal hassle from either pirates or Mother Nature. There are really only 2 options here (north or south) with a few variants on those options.

Sailing the S Indian gets you further from pirates, but rougher weather, possibly much rougher (we haven't sailed much there so don't have concrete info) & much longer passages. You only have Cocos Keeling & Christmas Island before the Mascarenes (Rodriguez, Mauritius, Reunion). Don't know anything about the first 2, but the Mascarenes are reputed to be quite nice, if a bit expensive.

Sailing the northern route takes you closer to Somalia, but you get lighter conditions & shorter passages & much more interesting stuff along the way (OK, I'm showing a bias here). To be honest, you also have to go up the Malacca Straits, but Malaysia cleaned up their side years ago, & there haven't been any yacht piracy incidents there for years. All the problems are on the Indo/Sumatra side, & yachts go up & down constantly (3x for us) & don't even think about it.

The northern route lets you play around in Indonesia, Bali (part of Indo, but very different), Borneo (ditto), Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Chagos (a delightful bit of magic), Seychelles (if you want), Mayotte (ditto), Madagascar, & Mozambique before you get to S Africa. All have their own charm & (IMHO) are well worth cruising through (enough so that we sailed 5,000nm BACK to SE Asia from S Africa).

Variant #1: You can skip the Seychelles & sail directly from Chagos (or the Maldives) to Madagascar. This takes you further from Somalia, & it's very unlikely you'll encounter pirates. The N tip of Madagascar deserves some respect, but you'll be running with wind & current then, & going a bit wide mellows the seas. We like the Seychelles (they're granite, not coral) but the leg to Madagascar, while only 450nm, can be rough.

Variant #2: You can sail from Chagos to the Mascarenes in April (or possibly early May). It's fairly close to the wind & I wouldn't want to do it, but friends have (in a mono that goes to weather like a freight train). If you leave Chagos before the SE trades arrive, you can make good southing & even a bit of easting until you get into the trades, then you can bear off with a better wind angle. You're playing with the end of cyclone season, but it takes you much further from Somalia. However, the final leg to Richards Bay can be rough around the bottom of Madagascar.

So both routes involve some risk (although so does getting out of bed). I think Mark & I are going to have to agree to disagree, but we've been in the Indian since 2006 & we've been keeping a carful eye on the pirate situation here.

We'll be going to S Africa again eventually ourselves, & we feel the current risk from Somali pirates is low enough to warrant skipping the longer & rougher passages of the S Indian. We certainly didn't sail scared the 2 times we skirted the edge of pirate territory. We took normal precautions (running dark & no AIS xmitter) but we certainly didn't go through what Mark appears to have, possibly because we'd studied the situation extensively (including talking personally to previous hostages).

Somali piracy peaked in 2011 & has dropped 95% in the last 2 years. The multinational naval forces are now free to engage pirates, which they weren't before. Even the ARC rally is back to going up the Red Sea. We're not going up the Red Sea anytime soon, but the Seychelles is a long way from the trouble areas, & Madagascar even more so.

But it's a very personal decision. While I obviously have my biases, I've tried to point them out & explain why. If you want more info, I'd be happy to help. But I think you have most of the facts now. Good luck!
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Old 20-02-2014, 06:15   #40
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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Originally Posted by Jon Hacking View Post
Even the ARC rally is back to going up the Red Sea.
Where did You find this info?
It is of some interest to me and I can't find anything about it on ARC site...
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Old 20-02-2014, 06:26   #41
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Hacking View Post
Vic (& Deck Scrubber) - It sounds like you're trying to get from Australia to South Africa with minimal hassle from either pirates or Mother Nature. There are really only 2 options here (north or south) with a few variants on those options.

Sailing the S Indian gets you further from pirates, but rougher weather, possibly much rougher (we haven't sailed much there so don't have concrete info) & much longer passages. You only have Cocos Keeling & Christmas Island before the Mascarenes (Rodriguez, Mauritius, Reunion). Don't know anything about the first 2, but the Mascarenes are reputed to be quite nice, if a bit expensive.

Sailing the northern route takes you closer to Somalia, but you get lighter conditions & shorter passages & much more interesting stuff along the way (OK, I'm showing a bias here). To be honest, you also have to go up the Malacca Straits, but Malaysia cleaned up their side years ago, & there haven't been any yacht piracy incidents there for years. All the problems are on the Indo/Sumatra side, & yachts go up & down constantly (3x for us) & don't even think about it.

The northern route lets you play around in Indonesia, Bali (part of Indo, but very different), Borneo (ditto), Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Chagos (a delightful bit of magic), Seychelles (if you want), Mayotte (ditto), Madagascar, & Mozambique before you get to S Africa. All have their own charm & (IMHO) are well worth cruising through (enough so that we sailed 5,000nm BACK to SE Asia from S Africa).

Variant #1: You can skip the Seychelles & sail directly from Chagos (or the Maldives) to Madagascar. This takes you further from Somalia, & it's very unlikely you'll encounter pirates. The N tip of Madagascar deserves some respect, but you'll be running with wind & current then, & going a bit wide mellows the seas. We like the Seychelles (they're granite, not coral) but the leg to Madagascar, while only 450nm, can be rough.

Variant #2: You can sail from Chagos to the Mascarenes in April (or possibly early May). It's fairly close to the wind & I wouldn't want to do it, but friends have (in a mono that goes to weather like a freight train). If you leave Chagos before the SE trades arrive, you can make good southing & even a bit of easting until you get into the trades, then you can bear off with a better wind angle. You're playing with the end of cyclone season, but it takes you much further from Somalia. However, the final leg to Richards Bay can be rough around the bottom of Madagascar.

So both routes involve some risk (although so does getting out of bed). I think Mark & I are going to have to agree to disagree, but we've been in the Indian since 2006 & we've been keeping a carful eye on the pirate situation here.

We'll be going to S Africa again eventually ourselves, & we feel the current risk from Somali pirates is low enough to warrant skipping the longer & rougher passages of the S Indian. We certainly didn't sail scared the 2 times we skirted the edge of pirate territory. We took normal precautions (running dark & no AIS xmitter) but we certainly didn't go through what Mark appears to have, possibly because we'd studied the situation extensively (including talking personally to previous hostages).

Somali piracy peaked in 2011 & has dropped 95% in the last 2 years. The multinational naval forces are now free to engage pirates, which they weren't before. Even the ARC rally is back to going up the Red Sea. We're not going up the Red Sea anytime soon, but the Seychelles is a long way from the trouble areas, & Madagascar even more so.

But it's a very personal decision. While I obviously have my biases, I've tried to point them out & explain why. If you want more info, I'd be happy to help. But I think you have most of the facts now. Good luck!
Thanks for posting again Jon. It's this kind of personal experience we're looking for.
We have a good 6 months before having to make the call so we'll enjoy our voyage from NSW to Darwin and see what the lie of the land is then.

Vic
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Old 20-02-2014, 07:54   #42
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

I am sorry but the bit about the World ARC going via the red sea is wrong!

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World ARC 2014-2015 route. Saint Lucia to Saint Lucia via Panama Australia, South Africa and Brazil.

World ARC 2015-2016. Saint Lucia to Saint Lucia via Panama Australia, South Africa and Brazil.

World ARC 2015. South American route from Portugal to Australia.

World ARC 2016-17. Saint Lucia to Saint Lucia via Panama Australia, South Africa and Brazil.
World ARC Itinerary
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Old 20-02-2014, 08:22   #43
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

My buddy just sailed a 60ft cat back from the Meditteranian through the Suez. He said he saw priates and the pirates saw him, but no problem. I dunno
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Old 20-02-2014, 09:05   #44
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
It seems pretty obvious logic that if less people take their boats there, there will be less attacks, but it doesn't really tell us much to make travel decisions by. Just my 2 cents.

Ann
That's exactly what I am saying.
If there were six yachts transiting and six attacks that is one thing.
If there were 60,000 transits and six attacks that something else.
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Old 20-02-2014, 14:51   #45
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

If Mark J's post is correct, then the ARC is still taking a conservative stance.

Ann
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