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Old 10-06-2009, 13:37   #16
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No personal politics involved, Big Dreams (or at least not from me...). Saying that EVERYBODY gets boarded is both inaccurate and inflammatory; in my view, it is also in need of correction. You may believe that people are entitled to, in effect, slander entire countries with inaccuracies (perhaps especially if it is Venezuela?), but I don't.

To you, the sole value of this site may be in the subjective feelings/impressions of others. So be it. I believe that factual information is a little more important in that it enables all of us to make our own rational decisions.

While getting into subjective opinions, I should also reiterate that I believe that certain areas in Venezuela are now sufficiently unsafe that they should be avoided by most people. I am also prepared to acknowledge that even Margarita Island has some significant safety concerns - especially when anchoring in Porlamar (as opposed to staying at the marina), or anchoring near the islolated fishing village in Robledal. What I am opposed to, once again, is inaccurate and inflammatory commentary that is of no particular use to anyone.

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Old 10-06-2009, 14:34   #17
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Stick that pomposity with a fork 'cause he's done and all that's left is a wheeze of hot air.
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Old 10-06-2009, 14:38   #18
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Okay . . . looks like it's getting a little testy in here. You've all made excellent points, but it's hard to see how this discussion gets anything but more heated from here. Please do not take personal shots at others who may disagree with your point-of-view . . . that can't possibly further the discussion.

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Old 10-06-2009, 15:03   #19
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Dear Doug and Wendy,

I hope you (and Wendy's Dad) are well and that you are enjoying the BVI's (are you there?). Now not all of your experiences in Venezuela were bad...you met me… and I lent you my air conditioner to cool sultry Caranero nights!

Actually recent posters may not have noticed that until Big Dreams post yesterday, the then last post was Dec 2005 and too many other events has occurred and comments made on the subject on other posts to warrant a rehash.

As many have stated before; Venezuela…to visit or not… cannot be reasonably assessed, using broad brush strokes. After Doug and Wendy on Mustang Sally left another cruiser arrived at Carenero and unlike them who were actually in situ (in Margarita) when two events occurred, was relating the events and somewhat embellishing the reality as told to me by D & W. He further never stopped talking about them, which as I stated to him did nothing to correct the outrages and provided no reasoned alternatives in Venezuela…like Carenero, Morrocoy, Tortuga, Los Roches, Aves etc., which, to date at least has seen no such events. This, even although he and I believe Doug and Wendy enjoyed their stay in Carenero and the surrounds… he went on to the ABC islands and it would seem only continued the negative rhetoric rather than saying “however on balance I now by past so and so and personally have good overall experiences at ……..”

I attempted to initiate (suggest) in an earlier post within a previous thread about Venezuela, a repository (a sticky perhaps) whereby all cruisers could post their personal suggestions ( Anchorages, haul outs, re-provisioning etc.) and indeed negative (Personal- not secondhand) experiences. This would/should provide facts which would enable a more balance view to be made.

Note: I would find that helpful for all islands/Countries in the Caribbean and everywhere else for that matter. There exists a breath and depth of local and cruising knowledge within this Forum, which spans nearly all of the navigatible world, which ( no criticism of the Forum) is not that easily accessed by those seeking to plan a passage/ cruise, (In a reasonably concise format) which I would personally find much more relevant than many of the more generalised cruising guides that I use. Perhaps others could make suggestions as to how this could be achieved. If for no other reason than we may in the future avoid the recurring tendency for these types of threads to deteriorate into “for and against” camps, with little or no additional information… or useful verifiable knowledge being disseminated.

As always,

Best regards

Alan
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Old 10-06-2009, 15:07   #20
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"I believe that factual information is a little more important in that it enables all of us to make our own rational decisions."

I don't argue with that concept, Southern Star. Facts are what is important.

However, when the woman stated, "EVERYONE," I suspect most readers other than yourself would understand that to be a figure of speech and nothing more.

Your negative attitude came through loud and clear with regard to the woman. You stated way more than was necessary.

The purpose of the board is for enjoyment and not playing the bully.
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Old 10-06-2009, 15:21   #21
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I loved the time I spent in Venezuela which was a substantial portion of 3 years. The place is great, and almost all of the people I met were great. I decided to leave during the threatened airline embargo a few years back. I was not about to leave my boat in a country that I could not get back to.

It appears that VE has become increasingly violent and criminal since then. This is a shame. But one can not justify or soft pedal it by saying that the USA or Canada also has crime. The USA alone has almost 300 million residents. I have no idea, but I am sure there are millions of boats in the USA and a few million more in Canada. Do cruisers in either country honestly worry about armed boardings in the middle of the night? I hazard to guess not.

On the other hand there are probably less than 500 (maybe as low as 200 now)cruisers in VE at any one time. The incidence of reported problems becomes statisically very significant. A significant percentage of the cruisers have problems that go beyond petty theft.

The USA and Canada with millions of boat to the best of my knowledge have not expereienced anything but the petty theft issues relating to boaters. I just delivered a boat from Tampa to the Bahamas. Did I ever even consider that I would be boarded by armed bandits. Hardly.

Ask yourself that same question about VE. I am not an apologist for North America, but the incidence of serious crimes against boaters is infinitesimal and extremely isolated events can not be used as a rationale for the increasing violence against cruisers in VE and some other parts of the Caribe.

All of that being said, I intend to keep cruising in foreign waters as opposed to locking myself into a bank vaults. We do have more failing banks in the USA so I am just not sure how safe being locked into a bank vault would be.
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Old 10-06-2009, 15:35   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDreams View Post
"I believe that factual information is a little more important in that it enables all of us to make our own rational decisions."

I don't argue with that concept, Southern Star. Facts are what is important.

However, when the woman stated, "EVERYONE," I suspect most readers other than yourself would understand that to be a figure of speech and nothing more.

Your negative attitude came through loud and clear with regard to the woman. You stated way more than was necessary.

The purpose of the board is for enjoyment and not playing the bully.
Whether or not the poster was the captain (Dirty Doug) or his mate (Wicked Wendy), it most assuredly was not Mustang Sally, their vessel. So it just isn't possible to know if the poster was "he" or "she." Further, I wouldn't consider Brad's posts to be "bullying."

He has a deep and long association with Isla Margarita, Big Dreams, and a prosecutor's keen eye for detail to go with a willingness to "correct the record." It's that kind of factual contribution that makes CF so great.

Angloof has made a valid point: This is an old thread and not much in the way of awful news has surfaced in the intervening 3-4 years.

So let's calm down a bit, perhaps let this thread resume its slumber and discuss more pertinent cruising-related minutiae. Horrible things happen everywhere one finds people - that, sadly, is not going to change.

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Old 10-06-2009, 21:50   #23
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None of this was alleged, it was fact and I don't beleive you or Makai spent 4 months there. Incidents happened nightly at margarita, also occured at Coche, Cubagua, Medrigal Village and along the mainland in many places. The out islands are considered safer but guess what, while we were in Los Roques for 5 weeks two boardings occured by men wearing coast guard clothing. The fact remains its not safe and if your another brainwashed sailor go spend time there like the others who have written stories about being there for a year or two and having nothing happened, but then they wrote the story and now won't go back.
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Old 10-06-2009, 22:48   #24
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In conclusion

[QUOTE=TaoJones;291601]
Whether or not the poster was the captain (Dirty Doug) or his mate (Wicked Wendy), it most assuredly was not Mustang Sally, their vessel. So it just isn't possible to know if the poster was "he" or "she."
Further, I wouldn't consider Brad's posts to be "bullying."

I do sense that he requested assistance from you rather than stoop so low as to "correct the record" by stating "I meant no offense." That says a lot about him, actually.

And your familiarity with him creates a bias in his favor, yet there were three people offended; the victim of his tirade, myself, and a third party who used the term "pompass."

Personally, I was done with the thread until you chose to continue it. Cancel my membership to the website if you wish, but I don't care for bullies and their buddies. If I bump into him again and I see him lecture someone, I will again advise him to quit the bully attitude.
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Old 11-06-2009, 00:57   #25
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My belief is to get as much information as possible and just use your own judgment and educated guess, also your gut feelings. I hate to hear about any kind of crime or fatal boardings, I don't wish it on anyone, especially when they are trying to fulfill their dream of cruising the world.

Crime is everywhere regardless of where you are at. I talk to a lot of people that are scared out of their mind about even sailing because they believe that a storm will hit you and you will die, period. They always bring back that Sydney to Hobart race where several people did die of a severe storm. I just reply with a fact that you can die crossing the street or driving home from dinner.

Who knows, all anyone can do is just keep going on with life and enjoy it to "your" best ability. I would never try to project my feelings or beliefs on someone and expect them to follow it to the letter. As stated before, I base everything on facts, cross checking with other people who have experienced it and then decide for myself with my guts feeling.

I've been to spots where people just despised it because for some reason they had a bad time there. It all comes down to personal perception of life. All you can do is be as smart and careful as you can but still live without subjecting yourself to a self imposed prison. If it happens it's going to happen with or without your approval. I just deal with it when something happens. Always hoping that nothing does of course.
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:51   #26
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As a colombian national and a currently close to Venezuela my opinion is that not only the coastal area but also the continental area of Venezuela must be avoided at all times until the current government is gone, many colombian nationals and relatives that have returned for good to Colombia has given me factual information that evidences the entire country is not safe for foreigners any longer including Caracas the capital city.

My advice: Avoid Venezuela at all times.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:15   #27
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Bigdreams, as I'm sure Taojones will confirm, I didn't request assistance from him or anyone else - I wasn't on this site again until now. However, your inaccurate assumption and your aggressive attack based upon the same - "that it (what I did not do) says a lot about him, actually" - says much more about you.

If you had read my posting, it was not only the 'all boats get boarded' comment that I attempted to correct, but also the statement that four cruisers were murdered there in the summer of 2008: I reiterate that I have not read this anywhere and that, while I stand to be corrected, I do not believe it to be true. A check of noonsite did not refer to any murders there in that time period.

If others are offended that I stood up against inflammatory and inaccurate rhetoric passed off as fact, so be it. But inaccuracies like this get repeated and become 'facts' in the minds of many. So, I do not apologize because correcting inaccuracies is not something that requires an apology. You, on the other hand, might wish to look in the mirror.

I commend Anglooff for his attempt to turn this thread into something productive - a commentary on specific anchorages on specific islands, or harbours, rather than a generic attack on all of Venezuela. Unfortunately, it seems that his efforts at this were about as productive as his efforts at showing hospitality to the foreign nationals aboard Mustang Sally.

Brad
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:04   #28
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SoftAir: Thanks for your comment. Very interesting. Local knowledge from relatives and actual familiarity trumps news media accounts which only skim over the deeper issues.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:46   #29
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Venezuela incidents:
2009: Noonsite: Venezuela: Shooting Attack on Yacht

2008:Noonsite: Venezuela, Isla Borracha - Fatal Pirate Attack
It has been reported on cruising forums that on Sunday night an American, the captain of the vessel Chill, Ken Peters, was killed by pirates at Isla Borracha near Puerto La Cruz.
It appears that Ken and his wife Cathy were anchored with another boat I'Lean, with fellow cruisers Steve & Gloria Davis aboard. Both boats had departed Puerto La Cruz from Bahía Redonda Marina headed west and had stopped at Isla Corracha for the night to clean the boat bottoms and prepare for the voyage west.More at the link...


Noonsite: Venezuela, Central Litoral Coast, Marina de Caraballeda - Robbery and Fatal Shooting
A French Catamaran skipper was shot dead during an attack on Sunday 14 September, on board his yacht at anchor outside Marina de Caraballeda, situated on the Central Litoral coast between La Guaira and Cabo Codera, Venezuela.

Noonsite: Venezuela, Margarita, Porlamar - More Thefts and Incidents

Dinghy Thefts at Porlarmar
Sunday 27 July 2008
We have been here 2 weeks and 4 dinghies have been stolen. You must lift it and lock it or you will lose it!! Also every boat is being boarded either when crew are aboard or away from the boat. The locals are stealing anything that is not locked or attached.
Shootings in the Marina at Porlamar
Monday 28 July 2008
About mid-afternoon three armed men entered the marina on foot while a driver waited out front. Police noticed the three walking down the dock and ordered them to stop. One man shot at police who then opened up firing 5 shots in return. One bad guy was shot in the stomach, one jumped in the water and I did not see what happened to him, one guy walked off the dock with his hands on his head and a police pistol pointing at the back of his head. The driver sped off. Six shots in total were fired. (This report to noonsite from MustangSally...)


Noonsite: Venezuela, 10 miles from Puerto Santos - Attack on British Yacht

My parents, Peter and Betty Lee, were attacked on their yacht "Raven Eye" after leaving Puerto Santos on the 5th July 2008.
A pirogue with 6 men aboard approached the boat (whilst they were underway). One man was in military uniform. Peter proceeded to slam and try to sink the boat but shots were fired....


Noonsite: Venezuela, Off NE Coast - Armed Boarding and Robbery

At approximately 1500hrs (local time) on Tuesday 1st July 2008, the sailing yacht "Naxos" was boarded by six heavily armed pirates NNE of Cacao off the northern coast of Venezuela (10 46.41N 62 16.80W)....


Noonsite: Venezuela, Margarita, Porlamar - Spate of Robberies

We were anchored at Porlamar for one week (first week in July 2008). We had 3 robberies here in the anchorage and there was another at Pampatar. Luckily we did not get robbed or boarded, however other boats in the anchorage were not that lucky. Be aware.....


Noonsite: Venezuela, Puerto Santos - Yacht Boarding

Yacht Moon Goddess was boarded on the night of April 29th while anchored at Puerto Santos just four miles east of the port of Carupano.
They had previously cruised for 14 months in Venezuela, Bonaire and Curacao without incident.....


Noonsite: Venezuela, Isla De Margarita - Yacht Robbed and Crew Member Shot

A report from the International Maritime Bureau has detailed another Venezuelan attack on a yacht in Bahia De Robledal, Isla De Margarita, in January 2008.
Five armed men boarded the yacht, assaulting the crew and demanding all their property. One crew member was shot and injured....

The safety and security net site reports even more incidents here:
VENEZISLANDS for the islands of VZ and here:
VENEZMAINLAND for the mainland

It seems to me that there are less risky places to cruise down island where dinghy theft and sneakaboards seem to be all that happens. People can make up their own minds about the subject with all the facts at hand but I think Doug/Wendy's warnings are most appropriate.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:50   #30
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uh.... what part of "rogue nation" dont you understand???
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