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Old 29-03-2013, 06:19   #31
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Thumbs up Re: Extortion in Nassau

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Originally Posted by Three Sheets View Post
We would not have gone to Nassau that's sure.
Glad you made it back safe. Hope you are able to get your motor repaired without further trouble.

Thanks for taking the time to type this up and share it with us.
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Old 29-03-2013, 06:23   #32
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

Good to see that you did make it back to get repairs.....early in the thread I asked what I thought was a genuine question. About lashing the dinghy to the side and motoring out then sailing...I asked because I remember the first time I saw that technique....it was when my engine died and a salty sailor lent me a hand....now that I have seen it done, it would be the first thing that I would do, but before I knew about it, I would have been lost.
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Old 29-03-2013, 06:50   #33
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

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Not sure I will ever donate to Bahama Search and Rescue. You check in once and you get years of junk mail from them to donate, then they pull this kind of stuff? ......
Come on, this was not a BASRA issue. A single guy came up as a tow operator, said he was part of BASRA and gave a high end price for a tow. It was not BASRA itself doing this. You could check with the BASRA president, Nick Wardle an ex-pat, for their policy.
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Old 29-03-2013, 07:03   #34
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

hmmm ..... I don't think, even in flat water, I'd want to see a 44 foot ballasted mono towed at 10 knots max, let alone average, (but for all I know that's not what your boat is, please ignore this if it's not.)

If anyone reading this ever does have to take a tow from any boat with substantially more HP than any sailboat your size would reasonably have, make certain you can cast off the towline at your end. Or keep a sharp knife handy. (If using chain to get past any chafe points, don't overdo it.)

I've heard more instances than I can count of people having their frantic gestures to say "Slow the **** down - you're ripping our foredeck off!" interpreted as "lovely weather, having a wonderful time" and sometimes even radio comms are interpreted as newbie hysteria.

For many towing vessels, TIM is MONY seems to be the ruling, bumper-sticker philosophy, and in any case displacement boats with ballasted keels are not something they tend to understand or care for.

I'd personally think very hard about being towed anywhere in a ballasted monohull, by anyone, other than across sheltered waters in settled weather by another like-minded sailor, preferably in a similar boat.
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Old 29-03-2013, 07:15   #35
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Come on, this was not a BASRA issue. A single guy came up as a tow operator, said he was part of BASRA and gave a high end price for a tow. It was not BASRA itself doing this. You could check with the BASRA president, Nick Wardle an ex-pat, for their policy.
I agree that this is not about BASRA. One bad guy doesn't make the entire organization bad. We met another guy who is also a volunteer for BASRA and shared our story with him. He was very disappointed and angry that someone had misused the BASRA credentials to try to extort money and was planning on addressing it. Hopefully he did.

On the subject of towing...I overstated when i said "average." 10 kts would've been the top speed when seas permitted and the tow would have been faster than sail. I appreciate the insight though as I am sure there are many tow boats that would damage vessels on route to make up for time. In discussing with TowBoatUS, I felt certain that we and Three Sheets would've been safe under their care.
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Old 29-03-2013, 07:27   #36
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Come on, this was not a BASRA issue. A single guy came up as a tow operator, said he was part of BASRA and gave a high end price for a tow. It was not BASRA itself doing this. You could check with the BASRA president, Nick Wardle an ex-pat, for their policy.


Paul,

I agree and have contacted BASRA to let them know about the incident and this thread. I will gladly relay any information I hear back from them.
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Old 29-03-2013, 07:35   #37
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Sort of off topic...but not...


A dinghy and warps can be used to move a boat into and out of harbor if you know what you're doing. One cruiser can help another to get out into open water. Being friendly and accepting help from locals is something I've learned as a military brat. These skills are part of having what Lin Pardey calls, "The Unstoppable Boat." Why anyone would need to have a sailboat towed from the Bahamas to the US? There must be more to this story, I think.

Posted before reading the entire thread. Now that I've read the thread, I stand by my remarks. Ultimately, you did exactly what would have occurred to me first. Get the boat into open water, sail home, and get an expensive, yet convenient tow on the far end as long as insurance is paying for it.

Finally, 10-knot tow? Must have an awesome hull. Sea story perhaps?
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Old 29-03-2013, 07:44   #38
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Sort of off topic...but not...

A dinghy and warps can be used to move a boat into and out of harbor if you know what you're doing. One cruiser can help another to get out into open water. Being friendly and accepting help from locals is something I've learned as a military brat. These skills are part of having what Lin Pardey calls, "The Unstoppable Boat." Why anyone would need to have a sailboat towed from the Bahamas to the US? There must be more to this story, I think.
Yes off topic and a subject already discussed previously in this thread.
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Old 29-03-2013, 07:54   #39
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

Three Sheets -

I'm interested in your transition from lake sailors to cruisers. We will be following that course beginning April 27. I don't have a facebook account and don't want to expose myself to that but would love a PM to share your move to blue water story. Thanks!
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Old 29-03-2013, 07:59   #40
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

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Did you contact the US Consulate in Nassau about any of this? I suspect Consular Officials might have been helpful as might the Bahama's Tourism Authority. Note, however, that a Bahamian boat disabled in Miami might have had some difficulty having a BASRA boat drop in to collect them without some advance arrangements with local HSA authorities, No? As for the extortion charge, yep, $125/mile is rather off the charts so that certainly sticks. But, truthfully, if I were BoatUS, considering the number of US Yachts traversing the Islands, you can be sure I'd have arrangements with local towing companies to cover my members. Both the yachtsmen/women and the Bahamian's would benefit by such an arrangement.
In a foreign country, always call your consulate when there is a serious problem with any officialdom of the country. That is one of the main reasons we have consulate and embassies in foreign countries. They often know these people and can sometimes smooth things over very quickly.

And, in the Bahamas, the US government wields a much bigger stick than most Bahamians like to acknowledge. Out payments to them for AUTEC alone, are a significant source of income to them.
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Old 29-03-2013, 08:02   #41
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In a foreign country, always call your consulate when there is a serious problem with any officialdom of the country. That is one of the main reasons we have consulate and embassies in foreign countries. They often know these people and can sometimes smooth things over very quickly.

And, in the Bahamas, the US government wields a much bigger stick than most Bahamians like to acknowledge. Out payments to them for AUTEC alone, are a significant source of income to them.
Agreed and we called them as soon as we saw the extortionist appear at the Office of the Department of Immigration. They told us they could not help and referred us to the Department of Tourism. We told our story to Paulette in that office (unsure of her position) and while she seemed shocked and said she would get back with us, that is the last we heard from her.
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Old 29-03-2013, 08:09   #42
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

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seems like they are pissed about having to work or something !!
People of the Bahamas in general are pissed at foreigners because they feel the British have deserted them after exploiting them. There is a lot of truth in that but then again they could have built an economic empire in paradise if they would have put their shoulders under it.

They are also not unique in that, nor in considering other nationalities as more of the same.
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Old 29-03-2013, 08:10   #43
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

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Agreed and we called them as soon as we saw the extortionist appear at the Office of the Department of Immigration. They told us they could not help and referred us to the Department of Tourism. We told our story to Paulette in that office (unsure of her position) and while she seemed shocked and said she would get back with us, that is the last we heard from her.
I would call back (I worked out of that embassy ten years ago). There are people there who will help, and people who will tell you they can't help because they already have lunch planned. Ask for the Ambassador. When I was there, the whole embassy was about the size of a house and his desk wasn't far away.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease! Good luck!
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Old 29-03-2013, 08:14   #44
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

Jennifer--What proved to be the problem with your engine and what about it required that it be handled in the US rather that at the Yanmar dealer in Nassau? Was it merely a warranty issue?

Further, if you are cruising for any period, it might be worth you joining the Seven Sea Cruising Association ("SSCA") which has members all over heck and gone. One or more of the other SSCA Members on station in the Bahamas might have been able to be of assistance to you.

Lastly, I suppose I should not be but I was surprised to learn that the local US Consular officials could not offer any guidance/assistance and in particular with respect to relations with local Bahamian officials. I suspect that the Bahamian tow operator was a friend/pal of the immigration official that gave you so much grief. While that tow operator may be employed by BASRA from time-to-time, it is unlikely (of course not impossible) that he represents BASRA in Nassau, considering that BASRA is a non-governmental organization supported by voluntary contributions, much as the RNLI in the UK, with many contributions coming from non-resident contributors. Exploitative behaviors such as you describe would ensure that contributions would be diminished, materially, very quickly if they were the rule rather than the exception, Non? Hence, I suspect that the treatment you received was due to an alliance between two characters, alone, and quite separate and apart from their affiliated offices/agencies.

FWIW...
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Old 29-03-2013, 08:24   #45
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I have a feeling it will be hard to keep up with everyone's remarks today. This has also been published on the Waterway Guide site, so that will make for a lot of comments too I suspect.

@Group9 - I'm good at "squeaking", so no worries...the Embassy has not heard the last from us! @HyLyte - we have seawater in all four cylinders. Both insurance and Yanmar want to pull the engine and survey for cause. Because we needed to coordinate multiple parties to survey the cause and associated failure, not to mention possibly replace the engine, logistically it was made sense to come back to the states. As noted in the Facebook version of the story, the local Yanmar shop, Marine Diesel was fantastic to work with, but we just had too many people to coordinate. Our vessel is only 5 years old and we want to get to the bottom of this quickly and hopefully at no additional cost to us (based on insurance or warranty). The engine will be pulled next week, but we've had people here every day looking at it since we returned.
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