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Old 03-11-2009, 08:05   #91
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Originally Posted by Panamajames View Post
Sneuman,

How can you say this can not be compared? This is not an exercise in paranoia, it is simple good people discussing dangerous situations and how to plan for the worst. This is education. You can not predict what Mike and Olga would have done if they had a gun onboard or in their car. I think your head might be in the sand. This is not a perfect world, wonderful yes but not perfect.
And nobody said it was a perfect world, least of all me. But it's not always so bad if you keep your head about you. And you can't always plan for all the contingencies. Life (and cruising) is about calculated risk. I contend that anyone who believes carrying a gun aboard is the correct calculation should re-take Statistics 101.

Believe me, I've been in some of these places and lots worse too. Sometimes people just are "in the wrong place at the wrong time" and stuff happens, but most of the time, it's OK. Of course, pulling a gun in the wrong situation will always increase the odds of turning a situation bad.

Panamajames, you prefaced the article with the admonishment to "carry a gun onboard". I don't see how what follows suggests that at all.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:41   #92
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2. We already have one report of a close call with Coasties on this very thread. The writer indicates that if he'd been armed, there's a good chance someone would have gotten shot.
So, nobody got shot? That makes it an example of my position, not yours. The person in that story wasn't armed and many unarmed cruisers state they would shoot innocent people by mistake if they would be armed. This is just another one. Maybe those people would make a mistake like that, so it's better that they aren't armed.

But, with this example and the lack of examples of innocents getting shot by accident, you imply that armed cruisers never get into situations like that. But that's not true, they are and often. We have been there several times ourselves. But nobody innocent got shot. Those are facts; stories like the one you quote are just that: stories about events that didn't happen. We should look more to facts instead of repeating fiction stories.

A fact is, that when a straight thinking person is armed, he/she realizes that this comes with a big extra responsibility and acts accordingly. Those are the people that are better off being armed. Immature or low-IQ behavior and guns don't go together well.

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So, I think it's pretty brash to assume this is never going to happen. Right now, it comes down to statistics -- relatively few cruisers are packing, so few innocents are hurt.
You keep stating that innocents are hurt but you can't provide references or examples. The only innocents that are hurt are cruisers, that is a fact. When there's violence, people get hurt, that's true. In many cases of crime, one party is innocent. When both parties are innocent, it's an accident and accidents like these can only be prevented by brain-power, not by being armed or not.

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If the "gun nuts" get their way, it will be entirely different.
I completely agree. But I hope you are not in the camp of those that state that every gun owner is a nut. I am not a gun nut. My Queen isn't a gun nut, but she sure asked me to take up arms and serve in the cavalry to protect my country and the royal family. Apparently, guns are needed in every culture to enforce law and order. Without that, situations like Somalia arise and that is the way it is, not the other way around.

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Hell, take a look at how many, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, neighbors, etc. get shot after being mistaken by an intruder and then tell me again that some armed cruiser isn't eventually going to shoot some native:
None of the examples is about pirates. You are mixing this whole issue up with pro's and con's of gun ownership, which isn't the subject of this thread and not even allowed on this forum.

Now, if you take a cruisers community in, let's say Miami. There will be many cruisers with guns there and sure enough, some of them will be "gun nuts". But there ain't many pirates there today, are there? So that is not relevant to this discussion. I agree that the whole Miami (and thousands of comparable places) community would be better off without guns aboard.... as long as local law enforcement keep the criminal activity under control.

But now take a look at a different group of cruisers, let's say anchored in a very remote place like a small island group off the coast of Colombia. There is still a significant group that has a gun aboard, but this is a different group of people compared to the one in Miami. These are cruisers that actually go and sail to places far away, are experienced with that and like to meet people from different cultures and get to know them and their way of life. That means that they are not hiding with a gun to shoot a fisherman that paddles over to ask for a cup of coffee. They have seen that hundreds of times and they know there's always 1-3 men and they are never waving with RPG's or Kalashnikovs. When a cayuco with 5 men approaches, it might still be the local fiesta committee that is going around to invite the cruisers, but on some boats it will trigger a safety procedure involving a gun. There's nothing wrong with that, nobody is getting shot and they will probably never even see the gun. Some "Miami cruisers" in that situation might already be jumping all over their deck, showing off their guns and firing in the sky, but they are in Miami, not in that anchorage (thank God for that). What I am trying to say is that the group of cruisers that actually needs guns for protection against pirates (because they are in those "danger" areas) is a different group than the average society at home.

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Imagine the possibility for a mistake from a cruiser unfamiliar with the culture in the region:
As you write, this is your imagination; nothing happened that supports your thoughts. The cruisers in those areas are not unfamiliar with the culture in the region because it is almost never radically different from the region they just came from. Also, they talked a lot about it with other cruisers before arriving there. What you are implying is simply not the case in real life. We have had fishing boats changing to an intercept course with us and we have had locals climbing aboard Jedi. None of them were shot although we feel that the fishing boats had hostile intentions which triggered our (successful) procedure to avoid a confrontation.

I can agree with something: we have met armed cruisers (well, one that I can think of) that we felt posed more danger to themselves and other cruisers than to any pirates. So there it is, they might at some point shoot an innocent local or another cruiser. If that ever happens, I hope they are caught and put in jail. But that doesn't mean we must preach a no gun policy for cruisers. I am not responsible for a gun nut cruiser that manages to actually make it "out there". But I am responsible for my wife, my boat and myself.

cheers,
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:58   #93
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So, nobody got shot? That makes it an example of my position, not yours. The person in that story wasn't armed and many unarmed cruisers state they would shoot innocent people by mistake if they would be armed. This is just another one. Maybe those people would make a mistake like that, so it's better that they aren't armed.

But, with this example and the lack of examples of innocents getting shot by accident, you imply that armed cruisers never get into situations like that. But that's not true, they are and often. We have been there several times ourselves. But nobody innocent got shot. Those are facts; stories like the one you quote are just that: stories about events that didn't happen. We should look more to facts instead of repeating fiction stories.

A fact is, that when a straight thinking person is armed, he/she realizes that this comes with a big extra responsibility and acts accordingly. Those are the people that are better off being armed. Immature or low-IQ behavior and guns don't go together well.



You keep stating that innocents are hurt but you can't provide references or examples. The only innocents that are hurt are cruisers, that is a fact. When there's violence, people get hurt, that's true. In many cases of crime, one party is innocent. When both parties are innocent, it's an accident and accidents like these can only be prevented by brain-power, not by being armed or not.


I completely agree. But I hope you are not in the camp of those that state that every gun owner is a nut. I am not a gun nut. My Queen isn't a gun nut, but she sure asked me to take up arms and serve in the cavalry to protect my country and the royal family. Apparently, guns are needed in every culture to enforce law and order. Without that, situations like Somalia arise and that is the way it is, not the other way around.



None of the examples is about pirates. You are mixing this whole issue up with pro's and con's of gun ownership, which isn't the subject of this thread and not even allowed on this forum.

Now, if you take a cruisers community in, let's say Miami. There will be many cruisers with guns there and sure enough, some of them will be "gun nuts". But there ain't many pirates there today, are there? So that is not relevant to this discussion. I agree that the whole Miami (and thousands of comparable places) community would be better off within guns aboard.... as long as local law enforcement keep the criminal activity under control.

But now take a look at a different group of cruisers, let's say anchored in a very remote place like a small island group off the coast of Colombia. There is still a significant group that has a gun aboard, but this is a different group of people compared to the one in Miami. These are cruisers that actually go and sail to places far away, are experienced with that and like to meet people from different cultures and get to know them and their way of life. That means that they are not hiding with a gun to shoot a fisherman that paddles over to ask for a cup of coffee. They have seen that hundreds of times and they know there's always 1-3 men and they are never waving with RPG's or Kalashnikovs. When a cayuco with 5 men approaches, it might still be the local fiesta committee that is going around to invite the cruisers, but on some boats it will trigger a safety procedure involving a gun. There's nothing wrong with that, nobody is getting shot and they will probably never even see the gun. Some "Miami cruisers" in that situation might already be jumping all over their deck, showing off their guns and firing in the sky, but they are in Miami, not in that anchorage (thank God for that). What I am trying to say is that the group of cruisers that actually needs guns for protection against pirates (because they are in those "danger" areas) is a different group than the average society at home.



As you write, this is your imagination; nothing happened that supports your thoughts. The cruisers in those areas are not unfamiliar with the culture in the region because it is almost never radically different from the region they just came from. Also, they talked a lot about it with other cruisers before arriving there. What you are implying is simply not the case in real life. We have had fishing boats changing to an intercept course with us and we have had locals climbing aboard Jedi. None of them were shot although we feel that the fishing boats had hostile intentions which triggered our (successful) procedure to avoid a confrontation.

I can agree with something: we have met armed cruisers (well, one that I can think of) that we felt posed more danger to themselves and other cruisers than to any pirates. So there it is, they might at some point shoot an innocent local or another cruiser. If that ever happens, I hope they are caught and put in jail. But that doesn't mean we must preach a no gun policy for cruisers. I am not responsible for a gun nut cruiser that manages to actually make it "out there". But I am responsible for my wife, my boat and myself.

cheers,
Nick.
Nick, Ironically you have a faith in humanity that I don't. You believe thay only enlightened, skilled and experienced people set off on small yachts to cross oceans. Do you even read this forum? Need I provide examples of individuals who were anything but what you suggest? My citing the cases of mistaken intruder has nothing to do, as you say, with the pros and cons of gun ownership. It has everything to do with the reaction of armed human beings when they mistake a situation.

My point is simple, clear and germane. If Jimmy Bag o' donuts can't tell his wife from Charles Manson in drag, how long will it be before the average Parrot Head is going to mistake a gap-toothed Indonesian fisherman with a machete for a gap-toothed Indonesian pirate with a machete? How much "imagination" does it really take to see that scenario?

You say it just doesn't happen that way, but then you admit you know of one case where an armed cruiser posed more danger to himself and others than to the bad guys.

Now, multiply that by the 100 others out there you never met.

It only takes one to give us all a bad name. I have lived extensively abroad and have seen how one foreigner doing something spectacularly stupid can entirely change the dynamic in a place.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:13   #94
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Good point. Subcontract the security and the liability. What's Blackwater's name now?
Security, yes. Leave it to professionals, if that's even possible for pleasure boats. Hence my question. At this moment merc companies are putting personal aboard commercial vessels in this area of the world, with this purpose in mind. Gryphon Group here in Melbourne, FL (GRYPHON GROUP SECURITY SOLUTIONS,LLC. - Specialized Combat Training) is one of these groups.

I was thinking of an ad hoc convoy system covered by an armed, privately contracted vessel. The cost shared among the transiting vessels.

Liability...not so much. You decide to transit a dangerous part of the world, it's your responsibility to decide on actions which will best protect your crew and vessel. We're only discussing the best way to go about it and what options are available.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:17   #95
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Security, yes. Leave it to professionals, if that's even possible for pleasure boats. Hence my question. At this moment merc companies are putting personal aboard commercial vessels in this area of the world, with this purpose in mind. Gryphon Group here in Melbourne, FL (GRYPHON GROUP SECURITY SOLUTIONS,LLC. - Specialized Combat Training) is one of these groups.

I was thinking of an ad hoc convoy system covered by an armed, privately contracted vessel. The cost shared among the transiting vessels.

Liability...not so much. You decide to transit a dangerous part of the world, it's your responsibility to decide on actions which will best protect your crew and vessel. We're only discussing the best way to go about it.
Tropic. I was being sincere. I actually think you make a good point. I'm not sure if I agree or not, but it's an interesting solution. Re: liability, I was suggesting that the security firm would bear the responsibility of clearing up the mess with governments if a local gets hurt or killed.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:31   #96
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If you feel the need to arm yourselves to protect yourselves at all times and to be ready to take another life, at any minute, to prove your right to walk in harms way, then where is the enjoyment of going cruising?
A good point but.....
Unfortunately, as I said earlier, the world out there is not a safe place to be. Being prepared (and that includes training) is a necessity for cruising, is it not? You go into harms way just by leaving the dock, though one shouldn't tempt fate by going into known danger zones.

If you are not prepared or your boat is not prepared, you take your life into your own hands and subject yourself to the whims of nature and "Murphy". Even with the best preparation, we can run into trouble. Being armed and *trained for it is just another facet of that preparedness. Some will choose to arm themselves and some not. We lament the victims of piracy and assault like that couple in CA that were "macheted", (Was it in the DR, I forget?) but we don't blame or berate them for their choice whether to go armed or not. Bad things happen to good people and, armed or not, it may have made no difference. Honestly, one shouldn't give "Murphy" an even break whatsoever. For myself, I like to keep the odds in my favor. Hopefully, we won't have to read here about one of our own finding themselves "in the filter of Darwin's self-cleaning gene pool".

just my .02c

(*and I mean trained, not just shooting a box of ammo at the range where you bought the gun! There are good courses, reasonably priced if not downright cheap, all over the place. The only thing more dangerous than the criminal, is an untrained hand with an unfamiliar gun in it.)
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:32   #97
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Maybe a yacht could rent coverage from a Predator Drone for that leg of the journey? Maybe at a discount because you would also be acting as..........bait
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:44   #98
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Maybe a yacht could rent coverage from a Predator Drone for that leg of the journey? Maybe at a discount because you would also be acting as..........bait
Seriously, though, a private security firm operating in international waters utilizing a drone of some sort could be doing a booming business for commercial shipping in that area, one would think.

Even without the armed security, they could provide "real time" intelligence on waterborne threats -- a daily report saying something like "several small boats that fit the profile of local pirates were observed to be operating in such in such waters." Of course, it's such a vast stretch of water that a single drone wouldn't even come close.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:53   #99
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Blackwater Hits the High Seas


Blackwater USA — the company at the center of a brewing storm over private contractors — isn’t letting a little controversy get them down. No, they’re focused on expansion, and the latest addition is a ship that can be used for everything from anti-terrorism to special operations missions.
Lost amid the latest brouhaha, was a small report that Blackwater had bought and refurbished the McArthur, a 183-ft. ship that boasts "state of the art navigation systems, full GMDDSS communications, SEATEL Broadband, dedicated command and control bas, helicopter decks, hospital and multiple support vessel capabilities."
Under the new banner of "Blackwater Maritime Solutions," the world’s most notorious merc outfit private security contractor now has the three "services:" Land, Air and Sea.
Okay, this isn’t quite the Armada. According to Blackwater literature, the McArthur could cover a number of humanitarian missions, in addition to military roles. Other nifty capabilities include: "UAV launch and recovery"; "Function as a ‘mother ship’ supporting smaller patrol craft and helicopters"; and "Provide support to combat illegal Unregulated Unreported (IUU) fisheries activities worldwide."
The company reportedly wouldn’t comment on the vessel when news about the purchase came out last month, but Blackwater brochures on the McArthur are prominently displayed at its booth at this year’s Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) meeting going on now in Washington.
By the way, Blackwater, based on their booth at AUSA here in Washington, is working very, very hard to revamp their image.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:53   #100
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My point is simple, clear and germane. If Jimmy Bag o' donuts can't tell his wife from an intruder, how long will it be before the average Parrot Head is going to mistake a gap-toothed Indonesian fisherman with a machete for a gap-toothed Indonesian pirate with a machete? How much "imagination" does it really take to see that scenario?
I know you say that you have been out there yourself, but I have a hard time understanding that when I read this. All of these people have a machete, I would be worried when I see one without it. The cruisers are not surprised when they see locals with machetes. Many of them have a gun too (when they can afford it) and they find it absolutely normal when the visiting cruisers have guns. That is why it just isn't the way you describe or imagine it. The risk of mistake is thinking you deal with a fisherman and it turns out to be a pirate (which might well be a fisherman thinking it's his lucky day).

Also, you state that there is no difference between the two groups of cruisers I described. That means there's no point in further discussing it.

Quote:
You say it just doesn't happen that way, but then you admit you know of one case where an armed cruiser posed more danger to himself and others than to the bad guys.
Now, multiply that by the 100 others out there you never met.
It only takes one to give us all a bad name. I have lived extensively abroad and have seen how one foreigner doing something spectacularly stupid can entirely change the dynamic in a place.
So what do you want to tell me? That I shouldn't carry a gun aboard because of gun nuts and Parrotheads? What does that have to do with me? Just because one can't find any report of what you describe/imagine for the last 100 years or so, that imagination should be considered more important than all the reported cases where guns saved the day and that's it, period? You are the one living in dreamland because the world does look at facts. When all the cruisers throw themselves at the pirates mercy, there won't be much cruising destinations anymore. If there's no risk for fisherman around the world, tens of thousands of them will change career to piracy. The ones that don't will be ridiculed in their villages.

All cruisers wondering to far away places must have an open mind for the difference in culture. But if they would all throw themselves at the mercy of the locals, they will not be respected and it will lead to constant abuse. Drawing a line for safety of yourself, your family and your belongings while respecting their beliefs and culture and being friendly to friendly locals, is what brings respect. If you can't understand that, you better stay home.

In general: I read some posts in this thread about helping the Somali fisherman instead. About making sure foreigners don't catch their fish; they are just poor fisherman that try to survive. That idea is not countered enough, so I need to write this: these poor fisherman have numbered bank accounts in Switzerland with hundreds of millions of dollars on it. They live in castles that cost millions in their native Somali towns, driving Ferrari's and Lamborghini's. They have harems and not all of these woman are there voluntarily. They strike multi-million dollar arms deals. The only thing they do with government officials is kill them. They import caviar, champagne and all the luxuries we can only dream about. They are hard criminals, operating solely for enriching themselves and the only reason they get away with that is because they don't have oil and are not enriching uranium and our governments don't really care (enough) about what happens there.

Also, the only way around it is to put your boat on a transport ship or a truck. You still risk loosing your boat but when you take an airplane instead you have a good chance going around them. PanamaJames never told us which route is safe because he can't, there is no safe route. May be you don't realize how much an 800 nm action radius is. Yemen is the same but at least there's a government trying to counter it.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:35   #101
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I know you say that you have been out there yourself, but I have a hard time understanding that when I read this.
For the record, I have lived and sailed in Hong Kong and Thailand (including S. China Sea, Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea) also, lived in India and traveled extensively in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but have cruised nowhere near as far and wide as you.

Let me give you an example of how all the "foreigners" pay when one screws up.

In Thailand several years ago there was a high profile incident of an American ex pat teacher who assaulted some of his students. My ex-wife, who was a teacher, along with many other ex-pat teachers, were put through the ringer on work visas after that. Recruiting from abroad was virtually shut down for a year.

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All cruisers wondering to far away places must have an open mind for the difference in culture. But if they would all throw themselves at the mercy of the locals, they will not be respected and it will lead to constant abuse. Drawing a line for safety of yourself, your family and your belongings while respecting their beliefs and culture and being friendly to friendly locals, is what brings respect. If you can't understand that, you better stay home.
Fine. I agree with you 100%. But you seem to think that the people that don't understand this are taking your advice. They're not.

Do you remember these guys?: Freebirds...the new bumfuzzles!

Again, while I haven't cruised as extensively as you have, I do have lots of experience with ex pats - the good, the bad and the ugly. The bad and the ugly can be anything ranging from a minor embarrasment to flat out dangerous to hang out with. If this forum tells us anything, it's that cruisers come from every walk of life and every experience level.

You seem to suggest that you can personally vouche for everyone out there (except for that one guy who was, as you admitted, a serious menace).
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:06   #102
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... these poor fisherman have numbered bank accounts in Switzerland with hundreds of millions of dollars on it. They live in castles that cost millions in their native Somali towns, driving Ferrari's and Lamborghini's. They have harems and not all of these woman are there voluntarily ...
This may be, perhaps, just a slight misrepresentation, unsupported by fact.

Somali pirates spreading wealth in an unusual manner - Afrik.com : Africa news, Maghreb news - The african daily newspaper

Pirates, Inc.: Inside the booming Somali business | csmonitor.com

BBC NEWS | Africa | Life in Somalia's pirate town
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:31   #103
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Interesting articles..

"The pirates grasped the Faina’s importance quickly and eventually obtained $3.2m, far more than the $1m that had been standard."


Now they are up to 7 mil for two sailors lives...capitalism at its grass roots I guess.
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Old 03-11-2009, 14:22   #104
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...many unarmed cruisers state they would shoot innocent people by mistake if they would be armed.
I have to say that I find it pretty funny how often I hear anti-gun types making the argument that NO ONE should have guns because of the fact that if THEY had a gun they would shoot people with it without appropriate justification.
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Old 03-11-2009, 14:38   #105
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I have to say that I find it pretty funny how often I hear anti-gun types making the argument that NO ONE should have guns because of the fact that if THEY had a gun they would shoot people with it who don't deserve to be shot.
I wouldn't say no one should have a gun but I would say that whole lot of the people that I know that do have guns shouldn't. This includes a number of my cousins and in-laws that, in my opinion, are not smart enough or stable enoght to handle guns safely. We just buried one last week that was hiking the woods with a loaded shotgun, off safety, tripped, dropped the gun and died.

And in case you ask, I owned guns all my life, starting when I was too young to ride a bicycle. Don't keep them around anymore. Gave up hunting and don't like the safety issues of having them around kids and family.
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