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Old 24-03-2012, 10:50   #31
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Re: Depressed and close to giving up

mexico is a good start for cruising..... friendly folks and i have heard of no one being jumped and bludgeoned of late for goods on board boat. has been a good experience so far--- remember, shiney attracts rats.
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Old 24-03-2012, 11:41   #32
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Re: Depressed and close to giving up

Good on ya Destiny! It's you and others here who keep me moving forward! Keep us posted...
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Old 24-03-2012, 11:56   #33
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Re: Depressed and close to giving up

You'll be able to hook up with other cruisers in Isla Mujeres who have recently been to Belize and Guatemala and have all the latest scoop on what to avoid, if anything. It's funny, when we went from Guatemala up to Belize and Mexico we went through all those remote places and spent most nights all by ourselves. Even places like the Blue Hole, we were the only boat there, and then we wiggled through all the coral heads and anchored way up at the north end of the reefs all by ourselves. Same at the Mexican offshore reefs--the only folks we saw were the Mexican Navy on a big new cruisers that stopped us offshore and came aboard for an inspection. At the time they were more concerned we were smuggling Cubans I think. Very professional and courteous. It was actually kind of lonely out there.
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Old 24-03-2012, 13:24   #34
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Its good to hear you are making a move. Once you get out there everything will look different.

Best wishes and dont forget to share all your adventures on the forum
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Old 24-03-2012, 14:14   #35
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Re: Depressed and close to giving up

I had some friends visit from South Korea who wouldn't go to Los Angeles because they honestly thought they'd get shot. They talked about the murder rate, a recent case of homeless people being set on fire, and gang violence in general. They were unphased when I asked them about the millions of people who live there in peace and harmony their entire lives.

Ditto for Tijuana. Lots of friends who live there and laugh at all the freaked out Americans who are positive they'll get their heads chopped off and end up in a barrel.

Moral of the story for me is that people are terrible judges of risk. They'll have a beer and drive a car down the freeway, or drive down a freeway with other people who have been drinking, but Los Angeles will get you shot.
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Old 24-03-2012, 21:08   #36
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Good on you for modifying your plan.

Crime can find a person just about anywhere. Random acts are random acts. And of course one can die in many different ways. Statistics are great until you become one.

More important for me in a cruising destination is how local authorities react. Is there outrage? Is there heightened security? Is there a vigorous and thorough investigation? Are "repetitive" patterns thoroughly snuffed out?

A country that does not care to protect tourists, even boat based tourists, does not deserve my contribution to their coffers.
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Old 24-03-2012, 21:29   #37
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Re: Depressed and close to giving up

I have just been in Panamas San Blas Islands. They are beautiful, quiet and very safe. The Kuna Indians are very peaceful people and I would be more concerned about other cruisers than them. Curašao, Aruba and Bonaire were also extremely low on the anxiety scale.
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Old 24-03-2012, 21:50   #38
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Re: Depressed and close to giving up

"today I read that a sailboat 3 miles off placencia was boarded, people were stabbed, a woman was raped."

This is what the original post was about. Does anyone know the details of this incident? Has this ever happened recently before? Any idea who did it? Is it even true?

It seems that there are a lot more questions to be answered before anyone should be concerned. After all, do you stop going to the 7-11 because someone got shot in one. Come on, lets get real.
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Old 24-03-2012, 23:04   #39
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Re: Depressed and close to giving up

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Originally Posted by Svdestiny View Post
Ok, we have the boat, most "todos" are done, budget is tight but doable and improving, we are both healthy and have loved each other and cruising FOR YEARS. We hoped to leave within a month or so for Isla Mujeres, then coastal Mexico, then Belize then the rio dulce. We have done this before, had a great time. No problems. But today I read that a sailboat 3 miles off placencia was boarded, people were stabbed, a woman was raped.

This is after worrying if the Rio was safe after reading about boardings, attacks and let's not forget poor Don Dryden...(but that was a while ago.) Eventually we decided our concern over possible hurricanes trumped our safety concerns re the rio. But then the placencia attacks and now I am rethinking the whole trip to the western Caribbean.

I have searched online for the last few months, I have read EVERY blog written by a sailor even Near the western Caribbean. I talk to people, I email people. I was concerned I was "over focusing" on crime.

But the placencia attacks have freaked me out.

Go somewhere else you say? But our budget really only worked in the western Caribbean. Our only alternative seems to be delaying our trip in order to work in Florida (if that is even possible.) so we can go somewhere else more expensive, but safer.

Are we chicken s*%}ts or are we careful and prudent?
We were nearly boarded ... where ? ... where one would least expect it ... off Suriname and it was the LAST thing on my mind when it happened.
No matter how you plan this one out in your mind ...things will be different on the day.
I had to defend ourselves and took action ... action that very well may have backfired, but of this I am convinced .... I have a rule ... regardless ... no one boards my boat!
I believe in being friendly and polite and if the response is not measured equally, then get tough, show no fear but stay respectful!

Unfortunately, we do take the precaution of locking up at night, we have cameras on board and a 'panic situation' will text our position and alarm to friends and relatives. I read the books and in the end the news was 'just bad news' ... I am not going to let this stop me from sailing and enjoying my lifelong dream, but I have equipped my boat for a 'just in case' situation.

Sailors are also watched by people ... we lift our dingy onto our davitts every night ... we lock our dingy with a chain at every dingy dock ...

Other things to watch ... if you are drunk, you will become easy prey.
If you leave things lying around, you will attract attention.

I believe in keeping the boat neat and tidy on deck, always being organised and always minimising the temptation for others to want what we have.

I am not saying this is 'fool proof' but so far we have enjoyed our trip and felt safe, despite having to contend with the odd 'aggressive fella'.
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Old 25-03-2012, 01:16   #40
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Re: Depressed and close to giving up

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Erm, you're in Florida. How more dangerous a place can you be in?
not sure .. name a place in FL where folks were stabbed and raped while on a sail boat?
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Old 25-03-2012, 01:54   #41
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Re: Depressed and close to giving up

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Just go. Exposing yourself to the very slim chance of being attacked on your cruise is far better than the quiet certainty of dying in the furniture at home.
Mate that statement embodies the whole point of cruising ....... well said!!!!!
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Old 25-03-2012, 06:50   #42
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

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not sure .. name a place in FL where folks were stabbed and raped while on a sail boat?
Within the USA being out on the water adds a tremendous amount of security. I can't recall any violent onboard robberies like this within the USA--can anyone else? Also, if you aren't dealing or buying drugs, or otherwise part of the criminal subculture, that eliminates a lot of the murders. If you yourselves don't keep guns around that eliminates a lot more. And then if you don't frequent known areas for crime during the wrong hours you can really whittle it down. It is how many millions of people live safely every day in cities with high crime rates. We basically do the same things when cruising--use common sense, stay away from areas known to be bad, take precautions based on the local conditions, etc. and you can be very safe. The police will tell you that the random, bolt of lightning type of attacks are very, very rare. There is almost always a motive or circumstances that could have been an alert.
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Old 25-03-2012, 07:17   #43
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Good on you for modifying your plan.

Crime can find a person just about anywhere. Random acts are random acts. And of course one can die in many different ways. Statistics are great until you become one.

More important for me in a cruising destination is how local authorities react. Is there outrage? Is there heightened security? Is there a vigorous and thorough investigation? Are "repetitive" patterns thoroughly snuffed out?

A country that does not care to protect tourists, even boat based tourists, does not deserve my contribution to their coffers.
Well said! The locals response to the crime is the big difference between an isolated incident by a social renegade, or a pattern of targeting outsiders.
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Old 25-03-2012, 07:30   #44
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

Hang in there. Be cautious. We are in Belize and in the middle of it. Yes it is bad thing that happened. We have made small changes to our sailing plans. Not anchoring alone or isolated. You can still live the dream, maybe with just a little adjustment. I keep in mind, when I go to D.C., N.Y.C., L.A., etc., there are places that are not safe be in. Good luck to you and fair winds.
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Old 25-03-2012, 07:45   #45
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

Overall looking at various places to live, and types of living. There are only a few choices.

1. Live on an isolated mountaintop - People get murdered in the most remote places.
2. Live in the remote countryside - Yes a big gated ranch is fairly defensible, but a full time job to maintain, (I'm maintaining one right now, it seriously cuts into my boating time).
3. Live on a boat... A boat has the advantage of being portable, if nearby, or your anchorage has an attack...move.

If rough looking people start checking out your boat,...move it.

Like the example of LA, I have spent some time in LA, but you quickly learn where not to be after dark. If you don't know then, LA IS a VERY dangerous place.

I generally see just a few different responses to real or perceived danger.

1. Denial, "it didn't happen to me, therefore you shouldn't worry", or "LA is more dangerous". Maybe, but it doesn't address the issue that a boater was attacked while enjoying paradise.
2. Counterattack -Arm yourself to the teeth, Rarely successfull, as much as it pains me to admit it. It requires constant vigilence, 24 hour watches while in port. Instant access, and in most countries opposition to law enforcement who perceive you as trying to do THEIR job.
3. Avoidance - while anywhere you go there will be SOME crime, leaving puts pressure on officials who rely on our money to do something about,... yes, (their out of control nephew, or cousin).

You still need some vigilence, and keeping the risk/reward ratio in your favor, (don't have much money, and make it as hard as you can to steal it). This works,...MOST of the time. And when it fails..........
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