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Old 14-10-2015, 10:26   #16
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

Your page says east coast of Honduras, not the N coast where most trouble has occurred, can you post an approx Lat/Lon?
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Old 14-10-2015, 11:02   #17
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
This episode has caused me to rethink our AIS upgrade. We will be purchasing a new Vesper Watchmate vision for next season because We experienced two situations this past year in stormy weather where transmitting would have been preferred. Some bonehead on autopilot almost plowed into us when he was relying completely on his alarms, it was like a 60ft, 60,000 pound knuckleball coming straight at us at 20 knots, and another involved ferries during a storm. They actually weren't running, but we didn't know that at the time.

Right now, we have a Standard Horizon VHF that only receives, which has been fine up until now when more and more folks with transponders have started doing dumbass stuff... Like not keeping a watch.

So when we upgrade... We'll be keeping our old system as well so as not to transmit our location when the need arises.

I'm glad everything turned out fine regarding the piracy, as most on this forum already know, my wife and I are firm believers in having an overwhelming defensive strategy. None of this soft ball, introduce yourself first and maybe they'll play nice and not hurt me crap.

Just ignore the CF fellow who said to shoot them anyway, he's just trolling. As any responsible person with a firearm knows, you first try everything possible to ward off an encounter with evil. The OP and his friend did the right things and everything worked out fine.

Ken
Double-check me on this Ken, but I'm pretty sure all the Vesper's have an on/off switch for the AIS transmitter.
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Old 14-10-2015, 11:29   #18
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

14,24.754 N' -82,20.906 W After looking at the map in hindsight it appears it might be nicaraguan water. I am not sure though
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Old 14-10-2015, 11:33   #19
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
This episode has caused me to rethink our AIS upgrade. We will be purchasing a new Vesper Watchmate vision for next season because We experienced two situations this past year in stormy weather where transmitting would have been preferred. Some bonehead on autopilot almost plowed into us when he was relying completely on his alarms, it was like a 60ft, 60,000 pound knuckleball coming straight at us at 20 knots, and another involved ferries during a storm. They actually weren't running, but we didn't know that at the time.

Right now, we have a Standard Horizon VHF that only receives, which has been fine up until now when more and more folks with transponders have started doing dumbass stuff... Like not keeping a watch.

So when we upgrade... We'll be keeping our old system as well so as not to transmit our location when the need arises.

I'm glad everything turned out fine regarding the piracy, as most on this forum already know, my wife and I are firm believers in having an overwhelming defensive strategy. None of this soft ball, introduce yourself first and maybe they'll play nice and not hurt me crap.

Just ignore the CF fellow who said to shoot them anyway, he's just trolling. As any responsible person with a firearm knows, you first try everything possible to ward off an encounter with evil. The OP and his friend did the right things and everything worked out fine.

Ken
Hi Ken,

We have the Vesper Watchmate 850 and have been researching/considering upgrading to the Watchmate Vision mainly for the WiFi capabilities. [This is reinforced by failure of 2 GoFree WiFi units in the last year; we are on our 3rd try...]

Both of these models have the ability to invoke 'Silent Mode' (Tx off; Rx on) [Perhaps all Vesper (and other) AIS Class B transponders have this ability?]

Like you, we also have one VHF with AIS Rx [B&G V50] for redundancy - especially since our MOB Alert Devices Tx AIS.

Just in case this is helpful.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 14-10-2015, 11:43   #20
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

Thanks for the report. Glad it ended well.
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Old 14-10-2015, 12:11   #21
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

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Double-check me on this Ken, but I'm pretty sure all the Vesper's have an on/off switch for the AIS transmitter.
Great! Then we'll have a backup.
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Old 14-10-2015, 13:50   #22
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

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14,24.754 N' -82,20.906 W After looking at the map in hindsight it appears it might be nicaraguan water. I am not sure though
The boundaries on the Nicaraguan Banks (where you were) are disputed between Nicaragua and Colombia. I dont think that location would fall even into disputed Honduran territory (IMHO). The Moskito Coast (East coast of Nicaragua, not Honduras) is part of an "autonamous region" (AKA minimal Gov't presence or intervention) and is pretty dicey from a security perspective.

Boats have had security problems close to this coast, and to a lesser degree further out, but yours is the first Ive heard of further out in years. Some kid (young cruiser) got himself killed out on the banks years ago (IIRC).

It is a big lobster & fish fisheries (part of the basis for a Nica/Colombia dispute). The Honduran fleet fishes lobster around Vivariollls, NW of your position, for example. In theory your pirates, could have just been lobster fishermen looking to make a buck, but I wasn't there so am not going to second guess.
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Old 14-10-2015, 14:08   #23
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

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Originally Posted by PappysSailing View Post
Good point JE - Now that you mention it, the transponder on AIS might draw more attention (w details of vessel type, heading, speed, etc.) than desired in nasty places. I've been on boats that both received and transmitted AIS but am not sure if turning off the transponder alone is an option. Anyone know ?
It depends on the unit.

The Furuno AIS units I am familiar with can be "upgraded" to have this functionality. The upgrade is basically an external switch.

The Vesper Vision units are a bit tricky because the let you turn off the transponder but next time the thing is turned on (or reboots by itself) it will turn the transponder on without telling you. I have used external breakers when I wanted to be sure that the thing would not transmit even if tat meant not receiving.
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Old 14-10-2015, 14:18   #24
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

Traps thanks for the update! Very happy to hear you and your crew are healthy and safe

From what you wrote it sounds like you applied the use of force continum perfectly and responsibly. You kept your crew safe without over reacting or letting yourself become a victim. Good on you and please keep us posted.

Pay no mind to any nay sayers that may come along that always want to just find the good in people over having weapons to defend themselves.
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Old 14-10-2015, 14:20   #25
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

It doesn't sound like they were armed, with weapons anyway. Doesn't mean they didn't have bad intentions. Also don't want to speculate.

I had an analogous incident arise on the Bahama Banks several years ago. A small Bayliner with at least 6 guys came up on us fast, and initially wanted me to stop the boat (we were under sail). When that didn't happen they moved closer, all the while shouting innocuous questions but ignoring mine re: whether they were in distress. We were prepared for the worst but careful not to escalate unneccesarily. Didn't observe any weapons on them, but a lot going on with so many guys in such a small boat. We were convinced they were up to no good, but in hindsight it may have been smuggling Haitians vs. designs on our boat.

You often read stories of cruisers in various parts of the world who are innocently approached by fishermen selling their wares or wanting to trade, etc. Especially with a language barrier, it migt be hard to ascertain intentions in those situations.
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Old 14-10-2015, 15:38   #26
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

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The boundaries on the Nicaraguan Banks (where you were) are disputed between Nicaragua and Colombia. I dont think that location would fall even into disputed Honduran territory (IMHO). The Moskito Coast (East coast of Nicaragua, not Honduras) is part of an "autonamous region" (AKA minimal Gov't presence or intervention) and is pretty dicey from a security perspective.

Boats have had security problems close to this coast, and to a lesser degree further out, but yours is the first Ive heard of further out in years. Some kid (young cruiser) got himself killed out on the banks years ago (IIRC).

It is a big lobster & fish fisheries (part of the basis for a Nica/Colombia dispute). The Honduran fleet fishes lobster around Vivariollls, NW of your position, for example. In theory your pirates, could have just been lobster fishermen looking to make a buck, but I wasn't there so am not going to second guess.
Yeah in my experience though, Lobster fisherman don't try to sell you weed. Then when you refuse say they are coming aboard anyway... Also Remember We keep our arms in the COCKPIT while under way. We had the drop on them, the looks on there faces and their reaction tipped their hat.(they were pissed, not apologetic, and the guy in the center was grabbing for something at his feet but his partner in front of him stopped him and they started arguing ) And also why would you follow us a hundred yards out arguing with each other after the situation if you weren't debating what to do next. We really tried to convince ourselves these guys were just fisherman, but all evidence suggested otherwise...
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Old 14-10-2015, 15:56   #27
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

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Yeah in my experience though, Lobster fisherman don't try to sell you weed. Then when you refuse say they are coming aboard anyway... Also Remember We keep our arms in the COCKPIT while under way. We had the drop on them, the looks on there faces and their reaction tipped their hat.(they were pissed, not apologetic, and the guy in the center was grabbing for something at his feet but his partner in front of him stopped him and they started arguing ) And also why would you follow us a hundred yards out arguing with each other after the situation if you weren't debating what to do next. We really tried to convince ourselves these guys were just fisherman, but all evidence suggested otherwise...
Agree, those additional facts, sure make them sound a lot less like fishermen.

Where are you heading to from Guanaja?

If West, then beware Punta Sal too, where there have been more frequent problems.
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Old 14-10-2015, 15:58   #28
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

Scary, I wonder what kind of trap they were going to try and spring on you. Minor extortion or all out piracy.

That's the freaky thing, you'll never know because you interrupted their plan before things went south.

Sounds like you were smart to scare them off.

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Old 14-10-2015, 16:26   #29
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

I won't speculate on the specific incident, but can relate our experience from passing through this area several times.

Like Belizesailor noted, this is a large commercial fishery area with banks that extend 60-70nm out. Larger boats dispatch smaller boats with divers that work the banks. We have often had both the larger boats (more rare) and single smaller boats (most common) zig-zagging around us, seemingly coming right at us, only to stop and drop in the water spitting distance away. Their movements are erratic, unpredictable, and can seem personally aggressive. They do this day and night and mostly seem oblivious to other boats passing through. In one case, we were approached and asked for a knife so they could clean some conch to eat. They returned the knife with a pile of cleaned conch.

Again, that is our experience of several times in that area. This is not the Honduran coast that has justifiably earned its reputation, but one should still exercise much caution there. I can't comment on the OP's specific incident, and he hasn't stated whether these people were armed or not, but for others to jump on some bandwagon about "soft-ballers" and "nay-sayers" speaks to inexperience with this area and unexamined biases.

If you have a hammer, you want to find nails.

On another topic, I don't know of any current class-B AIS transponders that do not allow one to relatively easily turn off the transmission while retaining the reception. If these do exist, then one should vote with their wallet and they won't exist for long.

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Old 14-10-2015, 16:30   #30
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Re: Suspected pirate Attempted boarding, Honduras

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Yeah in my experience though, Lobster fisherman don't try to sell you weed.
I don't think I have ever had a lobster fisherman that did NOT try to sell me weed in Central America. Weed is as common and acceptable as cigarettes and there is a large market for it in the cruiser community. Probably larger than lobsters in some areas.

I don't know if you are trolling or trying to drive traffic to your website, but generally one would not dribble out pieces of data while others guessed at filling in the picture. Why are you doing so on this thread?

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