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Old 31-03-2013, 08:03   #91
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

My point is that we cruisers should be mindful that we are not a big deal anywhere we go. We are guests whenever we're in a foreign port and like it or not, we are representatives of The United States. We should always strive to be gracious and leave a clean wake for the next American.

Dana Paterson
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Hailing Port: Patuxent River, MD[/QUOTE]

Great point.

Thanks to 3 sheets for sharing the story, it is an interesting read, and yes I read all 6 pages.

It seems on this forum, that when an interesting story comes along, many posters like to read what they want, then make comments. It takes time to read it all and take it all in. I enjoy reading all the comments as I often learn a different point of view that I had not thought of, and that has happened on this thread.

Good luck to 3 sheets and crew. Don't let this experience slow you down to much, it is a great learning experience and thanks again for sharing it with all of us.
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Old 31-03-2013, 08:36   #92
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainDana View Post
.....My point is that we cruisers should be mindful that we are not a big deal anywhere we go. We are guests whenever we're in a foreign port and like it or not, we are representatives of The United States. We should always strive to be gracious and leave a clean wake for the next American.
....
Pretty ethoncentric. What about all the Euros, Canadians, OZ, NZ, SA, etc cruisers out there? Lots of other flags flying off of crusing boats - that's one of the beauties of the cruising experience.
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Old 31-03-2013, 08:39   #93
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

Quote:
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Pretty ethoncentric. What about all the Euros, Canadians, OZ, NZ, SA, etc cruisers out there? Lots of other flags flying off of crusing boats - that's one of the beauties of the cruising experience.
Yes there are. But on average, they have less trouble on this front. Cultural differences.
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Old 31-03-2013, 08:55   #94
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

In reading this post I was disappointed (though not surprised) at some of the snarky comments - from two posters in particular.

That notwithstanding, I think this has been an informative discussion, touching on self-reliance, communication, insurance issues, conduct in a foreign country, etc.

It is also a story of what reads to be a neophyte, in what can be an oftentimes risky endeavor, i.e., offshore sailing. In this view, I think many, if not most of us, can see reflections of our own sailing experience. I certainly have my own list of past situations in which I could have done (much) better

The prospect of leaving Nassau Harbor without auxiliary power would give me pause, and would be something I would consider only after much thought and preparation, and this is after over 40 plus years sailing experience. To expect every sailor to attempt this is misguided at the least. One of the most vital attributes of any sailor/captain is to know the limits of their experience and abilities, as well as that of their crew and vessel, and to act in a prudent and responsible manner at all times.

Contacting their insurance carrier, and following their insurer's directions, I believe was the best first step. In this they cannot be faulted. As to the events that followed, there certainly seems to be enough ambiguity to cloud the issue. Hopefully there will be some lesson for all of us to take away from this story.

Maybe some of us can exercise a little humility in our criticisms of fellow sailors in a difficult situation. It is far easier to Monday morning quarterback from our living room couch, than it is to deal with a catastrophic failure in a foreign country.

Just my opinion
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Old 31-03-2013, 10:06   #95
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

I would also love to hear a statement from the Bahamanian search and rescue folks about whether the individual mentioned in this thread represents them, and about their organization generally; its abilities and limitations, how it fits in to the local scene, how they are supported, what cruisers should expect.
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Old 31-03-2013, 12:11   #96
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To Redsky and Tomfl (and many others)...thank you for your thoughtful input. Yes, we certainly learned a few things too. Hindsight always teaches us doesn't it? We certainly also know it could've been worse based on many other stories throughout this forum. If we brought awareness to other cruisers either through our comments or resulting feedback, then we accomplished what wanted by starting this post. As far as the snarky comments...no worries. I've not lost a minute of sleep over it.

Thanks again for all of the valuable input! And to everyone...Happy Easter (or just happy Sunday) and have a beautiful day.

Jennifer
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Old 31-03-2013, 12:53   #97
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

CaptDana, firsthand experience is always very helpful. Perhaps you can share some of your personal stories about arriving/departing foreign lands on your boat? Based on your comments you must have dealt with lots of officials in your travels.
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Old 31-03-2013, 13:48   #98
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

I'm not offering criticism here of any individual, or course of action.

But I am concerned about an aspect of this story.
I've noticed a similar notion on odd occasions on this forum, and it troubles me.

I'm talking about the notion that the primary consideration in a cruising boat's response to a situation might be: "what would "the insurance provider" do

(not Jesus!).

It seems to me that this is one of several areas where land-based cultural norms do not translate well to the ocean.

If your vehicle gets damaged on the opposite coast of the US, your insurer will probably know better than you what's best.

The environment and norms of road transport are highly standardised and relatively predictable. Vehicles and carriers differ only in subtle ways from others of their broad category, and the ways of operating and rectifying them are tightly prescribed.

(I'm trying to make a broad philosophical point here, so please read no further if you care to operate only at the level of practical details :-)

Transport routes, to take one example, are relatively cut and dried: if you're in this lane, in this sort of vehicle, you travel at such and such a speed, and you take certain exit to reach a certain destination.

Certainty is a lot harder to come by at sea, best practices differ widely (different ships require different long-splices), especially in small vessels. This seems especially to be the case in small sailing boats used offshore.

You can take pretty much any route you wish, to get from any point on any coast to any point on any other coast, and this applies not just to where you go, but how you choose to go.

.... and important decisions should (it seems to me) always be devolved to the local level of the individual boat, where all the pertinent facts and risks can best be juggled.

Not made by some insurance clerk, (or legislator or bureaucrat), sailing a desk thousands of miles away. That person, for instance, will have no way of assessing the suitability of your vessel for a tow in unprotected waters, even if they were competent to do so. (And it's a safe bet they won't be)

These stories might be early warnings of a creeping tendency. I was similarly concerned (horrified actually) when my own country tried to enforce Cat 1 compliance on foreign cruising vessels. It's bad enought that they enforce it on us who live here.

A hypothetical example might be: requiring expensive liferafts on an unsinkable, uninflammable vessel. That money would be better spent on something which would make a difference to the survival prospects of people on that boat.

I'm not at all pro-risk. However I feel strongly that the question of what constitutes safe practice has no simple answers offshore.

The oceans, and the places and ways to travel on it, have NOT been worked out.

Agreed compromises have not been developed for best practice, in the way life on land in the first world generally has been sorted out - not to everyone's satisfaction, but to most people's grudging consent.
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Old 31-03-2013, 14:11   #99
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

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Yes there are. But on average, they have less trouble on this front. Cultural differences.
Oh, I'm not sure that this is statistically true. What is true is that Americans are more likely to let everyone know and be Internet wordy if they are dissed, short-changed or made to move too far out of their comfort zone while dealing with foreign officials and dealing with other peoples customs.
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Old 31-03-2013, 14:21   #100
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I don't understand why Americans have to put up with this kind of nonsense from tin pot countries on our own doorstep. We should just take 'em over and introduce proper government that would clear out all the little dictators one finds in third world officialdom. I find it outrageous that such pretty little islands don't belong to us, who could possibly be better stewards?
Some people make me ashamed to be American!
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Old 31-03-2013, 14:34   #101
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

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Some people make me ashamed to be American!
Me thinks you missed the humor in Nial's post.
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Old 31-03-2013, 15:29   #102
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

Ha-ha, funny last couple of posts..

This thread is a bit of an eye-opener to wannabes on what could and will go wrong:

The OP said they planned this Bahamas cruise for 10 years, yet came so un-prepared.

Had the same thing happen at anchor: The cylinders filled up with salt water while at anchor. Tried to start next morning..Click-click, aye..batteries dead? No..Damn, starter motor gone? Nope, tried to turn engine with a wrench, no cigar. Suspected something, opened the injectors up, then cranked. Grey water and oil came flying out. Closed the sea cock, changed oil and filter then tried to restart and she fired up. Changed oil and filter again, then kept on going.
Not an expert, but had spares onboard. (except spare starter, now I do)

Being caught in Nassau with a dead engine and expensive towing as the only possible solution, I would not..
She says they would be towed at 10 knots, Don't think so, hull speed would be exceeded except on a thin racing boat with long water line.
I would get a local tow out of the harbor if needed then sail towards Florida.
(Best case scenario, if you are in a hurry and have to be somewhere in a hurry, don't go cruising with no spares or no knowledge of how to fix problems)

That being said, I was not there and every situation is different, no criticism, just comments.
Been cruising and sailing too long to know it all.

Best of luck.
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Old 31-03-2013, 16:12   #103
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

And furthermore:

Read this advise from Redcoat, the guy selling Perkins engines on this board:

Never forget to check your antisiphon valve.It is a breather and gets dirty like your nose. Doesn't hurt to pick it every once in awhile

The above was the problem with my engine and why it flooded..
Talked to previous owner of my boat, the same happened in 1985 and she did not catch it right away and had to do a re-build.

To make sure it will never happen again, I close my intake seacock every time I shut down the engine.
Never trust a $9.00 anti siphoning valve again, them things get clogged with salt and get stuck. It has happened to experts and novices both.
Again, close the seacock and it can not happen.

As for planning a Bahamas Cruise for 10 years, then being disappointed when the script does not pan out:

Too much planning in my humble opinion: I bought my boat on a whim in January 1999, then sailed to Bimini with friends who have not been there either the next month.
We had a blast, and been to the Bahamas 27 times later.
No need to plan anything less than a Space Shuttle Launch or a moon landing.
Not breaking new ground here: Life is easy: Carry some spares and some tools, any sailor and any cruiser/boater will tell you that things break all the time. Pleasure Boats are kind of flimsy compared to commercial trucks or commercial ships.
Plan accordingl
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Old 31-03-2013, 16:31   #104
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Me thinks you missed the humor in Nial's post.
I guess I did. Irony doesn't come across well in text, or I'm thick. I thought he was serious. My apologies if I misread your comment.
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Old 31-03-2013, 17:10   #105
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Re: Extortion in Nassau

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Yes there are. But on average, they have less trouble on this front. Cultural differences.
Nick, somewhat to our surprise we have actually found that out here in the South Pacific (and Mexico before that) Americans seem to be better at dealing with third world folks than many other nation's cruisers. We've encountered arrogant and insensitive folks from many nations including all of those you mention.

In general, it seems that the farther one is from the nearest big marina, the more cosmopolitan, competent and considerate the cruising folks are. Perhaps this explains why we hear so many cases of Americans being poorly received in the Bahamas and other nearby island groups... too near home!

No quantitative data to back up our impressions, but that's how it looks to us!

Cheers,

Jim
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