"Dangerous" is a relative term. The number of incidents per cruising boat is very small but where in the past you never heard about them unless you talk to the people directly, now there are websites for cruisers that keep track of confirmed incidents and more websites that pass on the second hand reports. For instance there were two attempted dinghy
thefts in the last few days here in Grenada
which were foiled by the boater owners themselves when they noticed the thief in something he shouldn't have been in - and other than a recounting the incidents on the morning net that was a far as the report went.
- - Whether numerically there are more or less is unknown and like all statistics is subject to assumptions.
- - There is a definite "perceived" increase in theft and attacks over the last 6 years I have been active in the eastern Caribbean
just as they has been a real significant increase in population of young people on the various islands coupled with a significant decrease in fly-in tourism due to the world financial collapse a short while ago. The annual cruiser fleet is also significantly smaller this year.
- - So the eastern Caribbean
is NOT dangerous unless you cruise
naively and take no simple precautions. The simple "lock it or lose it" is more valid today as it was valid in the last few years.
- - Your home town when you were young was probably marked by doors left unlocked, cars with keys in them or still running for a dash into the convenience store - all without any problems. Would you do that today? Probably not, and the same while cruising. Simple precautions of locking up the boat, not leaving valuables laying on deck
while you go ashore, using chain or cable to securely lock the dinghy
and to lock the motor
to the dinghy are all important.
- - The only "new" item for this year is to not wander away from the "herd" of cruising boats to find that "deserted" bay or cove. Now it is best to stay in the "herd" when anchored. Local boat boys, guides and shore businesses are acutely aware of the potential serious loss of customers if their little section of the bay gets a bad name due to thefts or attacks. Some are being pro-active in "protecting their revenue stream" from bad guys. And some islanders are taking serious steps to make sure that bad guys are not capable of repeating themselves and threatening the livelihood of local businesses. That is very encouraging.
Bottom line - just take more care and apply more thought to "securing" what you have while in "paradise." And then you will most likely have a continuous great time in the islands.
- - That "wandering away from the herd" is what is at question with the Toucarie Bay jetty. If you are the only boat there and obviously not a local - and - there is nobody to provide a modicum of security
from ashore then you are really sticking you "butt" out there asking to get bitten.
- - Sadly to say, where in the past there were some islands with great records of perceived low crime, that is now past and each island has its share of reported incidents. So vigilence is warranted at all the places you chose to stop. If you take the time to review the confirmed reports on the database at the Caribbean Safety
Net website you will easily see specific bays and islands that have higher numbers of incidents. Of the windward/leeward island groups current
St Vincent is at the top of the list to avoid. Some charter
boat companies in the Grenadines do not allow their boats to travel north of the Grenadines.