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Old 22-01-2014, 07:37   #121
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Re: St Lucia murder

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St Lucia, Rodney Bay
... most of the anchorage is safe except for the area off from a small village on Rodney bay at

1404.866'N. 06057.246'W

The village is just north of the marina channel.
Ahh! That's precisely where we anchored last week.

It was odd when the drunk coconut busker repeatedly insisted that we were safe there, since I didn't ask about safety.

Thats too bad, we were planning to go back on our way South at the end of the season.
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Old 22-01-2014, 07:44   #122
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Re: St Lucia murder

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Lets hope its nobody from the customs office !
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Old 22-01-2014, 07:52   #123
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Re: St Lucia murder

On the guns/no guns point: you can order a legal "non-firearm" (according to the ATF) sub-caliber insert for a 26.5mm flare gun that accepts either a .410 shotgun shell or a 45 Long Colt caliber pistol round. The insert and a military surplus flare gun and a box of 20 cartridges will set you back around $200. The insert is innocuous looking and can be kept with spare parts etc. Just a thought, YMMV.

Also, you can purchase slingshots similar to the old "wrist rockets" that are adapted to fire standard archery arrows. These are better than spear guns which are A. illegal many places and B. extremely slow to cock or C. the bands will quickly degrade if left cocked and ready. The arrow-launching slingshot is very compact and also innocuous and can be kept in the cockpit or below

You can also purchase a decent compound bow with an easy pull for under $200, even cheaper at any pawnshop. At cockpit distances, a 4-bladed hunting arrowhead can go a long way to convincing a machete-armed thug to go swimming before he is impaled. This is only after a hostile boarder has put his feet on your boat: it's not for brandishing around "boat boys."

You can buy machetes for about $20 that are also handy around the cockpit. Better than bare hands against somebody boarding your boat. A brandished machete communicates itself without words. A small, light, homemade plywood shield for your off-hand prevents "defensive wounds" while your dominant hand holds the machete. Both shield and machete can be kept in the cockpit, be creative. A laminated shield could even sandwich Kevlar cloth between two thin "door skin" plywood panels to give protection against pistol rounds, if you wish to take it that far.

Channeling hostile boarders into an expected location for boarding also helps. My 48' steel cutter has high freeboard and lifelines, but a sugar-scoop transom. 95% of the time, this is where boarders will board. My center-cockpit cutter's aft-cabin (where I sleep) is just ahead of the open swim platform transom. This aft bulkhead has a porthole at "knee height" for a boarder. Nobody can get aboard without my hearing and feeling it. Heavy monofilament fishing line across the platform at ankle height is nearly invisible and can trigger a simple Rube Goldberg alarm.

It helps a lot if you can anticipate a boarder's actions and channel them into terrain that favors the defense. 95% of the time, boarders will choose the easy, obvious place to come aboard. Turn it into a trap.

Where legal, practicing archery at anchor with a fishing-spool on your bow to retrieve arrows is great fun and goes a long way to convince predators to try an easier target.
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Old 22-01-2014, 07:58   #124
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Re: St Lucia murder

From what I've read ...of course these threads breakdown into a gun discussion. But why is it called "breaking down" into a gun discussion like it's such a bad thing. We all love to cruise these beautiful islands and they're mainly Third World countries with serious violence against cruisers on occasion. When I used to cruise the Bahamas everyone was armed. Mostly powerboats I guess. After spending time on these forums it seems that virtually no sailors are armed yet we go visit these places that put ourselves at a certain amount of risk and then we act like we don't know what happened when somebody gets injured or killed. So we talk about what's safest place to go or where not to go etc. which are all great ideas however I feel like were all going to end up at the Bitter End on a mooring ball for security. To be indefensible seems to risky for me.

Jedi tell me what threads to read so I can hear all the previous opinions on guns aboard. I wouldn't cruise without one nor would I move to a cabin in the middle of nowhere without one.
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Old 22-01-2014, 08:03   #125
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Re: St Lucia murder

Happytogether: I agree. This is another advantage to cruising from FL to the Bahamas. I am armed where it's legal. In FL, I have a CCW. OTOH, on a passage from San Diego to Panama, I had to make an unplanned fuel stop in Mexico. When I arrived at the dock, there were no guns on board. They did come aboard in black BDU uniforms with a German Shepherd, but didn't do a major search. Just wanted to look over the crew, mainly. Three Ruger products and every round of ammo, magazine etc went into Davy Jones Locker the day before, after a final shooting extravaganza. Three Ruger products, easily replaced, were not worth the chance of spending decades in a Mexican prison. So it all depends on where you are cruising, and their laws. I say "It's better in the Bahamas!"
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Old 22-01-2014, 08:07   #126
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Re: St Lucia murder

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Dave,

Most of these threads eventually digress to a guns vs no guns debate, and I agree with you, we would also choose to be armed with a gun if it was legal to do so. But I disagree with your statement and other CF cruiser's feelings that in the absence of a gun "there's not much you can do."

There're several ways to effectively defend yourself and turn the tables on an attacker. We always keep several Ka Bar military knives on board along with several tactical tomahawks, these can be very effective weapons even in the hands of a 120 pound 55yr old woman if used properly in close quarters where the cruising couple has the advantage. I disagree that one's only option is to submit to the attack and get beat up or killed while the robber looks for the boat safe. In most cases, the attacker is a coward who will run if met with resistance. Come at someone with a knife or tomahawk in each hand.... it's very hard, if not impossible to defend against this sort of attack... big, sharp knives are scary and effective, and surprisingly easy to conceal.

The tomahawks can be purchased at Walmart for $20 (made in the USA), and the Ka Bars for around $50 (Made in the USA).

Ken

Hello Ken

The Ka Bar and tomahawk may be of some help. Sometime. Depend on numbers. Depend on situation. But generally I doubt about effective defence by a couple, awoken at the very last moment in the middle of the night. Even the assesement of situation would be difficult...
I believe that first thing is to really know where are You, just as Jedi pointed out.
To go or not to go to given place is a matter of individual assesement, but to do such an assesement it is necessary to be informed, and it mean active looking for the thorough information before.
Second thing is to have passive means of security: alarm if possible, safely locked companionway (must be of sturdy construction), hatches protected from being openable wide from otside. The cruising boats are generally not equipped in such a way... And the boat NEED a ventilation...
You can get a tools for self-defence, but better have not a need to. And even if You need to, it will be possible only if You have a chance to do it.

Still it is a pity it is so difficult to cruise outside Europe with dogs on board.
I just can imagine the couple of proper personal protection dogs, without a bark, coming out from a dark for a silent kill...
I have a Black Russian Terrier (130 lbs). The Russians call them a "Black Soldier", or simply a "Black Death" and the nicknames are quite proper...
We feel rather safe with one onboard. And the second one is expected soon. They are not suitable for Caribbean (long black coat), but there are other good breeds around...

Regards

Tomasz
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Old 22-01-2014, 08:33   #127
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Re: St Lucia murder

Tomasz,

Our first lines of defense are always:
1. Be aware of our surroundings
2. Avoid places of high risk
3. Travel in a group
4. Lock the companionway at night
5. Lock the overhead hatch at night.
6. If boarded, turn on the deck floods and hailer siren via remote switch from the stern master cabin.

When all else fails, and the intruder is persistant... They will need to deal with tomahawks and knives in order to enter the stern cabin via a narrow galley and doorway.

We have a plan.

Ken
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Old 22-01-2014, 08:37   #128
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Re: St Lucia murder

Just don't take a knife to a gun fight!
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Old 22-01-2014, 08:40   #129
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Re: St Lucia murder

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Tomasz,

Our first lines of defense are always:
1. Be aware of our surroundings
2. Avoid places of high risk
3. Travel in a group
4. Lock the companionway at night
5. Lock the overhead hatch at night.
6. If boarded, turn on the deck floods and hailer siren via remote switch from the stern master cabin.

When all else fails, and the intruder is persistant... They will need to deal with tomahawks and knives in order to enter the stern cabin via a narrow galley and doorway.

We have a plan.

Ken
Happily Med in general is more safe enviroment...
Do You think it is doable to connect Your point 6 switch to a kind of burglary - alarm to make it self triggered?

On the other side - for me it could disorientate my four legged security for a moment...
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Old 22-01-2014, 08:42   #130
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Re: St Lucia murder

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The long and expensive taxi ride reported as dangerous is to Hewanora airport near Vieux Fort but there is another airport near Castries and American Airlines flies there.
From what I can find, UVF (Hewanora) is the only real choice for air travel to St Lucia. According to Wikipedia, "all airline jet service into St. Lucia including transatlantic international flights are currently operated via the Hewanorra International Airport located on the southeast portion of the island."

SLU (Castries) is used by just a few small airlines; American Airlines does not fly there.

And it's a long taxi ride to Rodney Bay. Don't see that I have another choice though.

-Steve
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Old 22-01-2014, 08:54   #131
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Re: St Lucia murder

Hi folks,

I want to ask a question - possibly a dumb question - but if I do not ask, then how do I learn?

I sail only within UK waters, certainly not in the Carribean.

Why did they wait for clearance to leave? What was stopping them from sailing off into the distance? I realise that if you want to go back to a place where you messed up the local paperwork then you could be in trouble, but if you where not too bothered about going back then why worry?
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Old 22-01-2014, 09:10   #132
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pirate Re: St Lucia murder

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Hi folks,

I want to ask a question - possibly a dumb question - but if I do not ask, then how do I learn?

I sail only within UK waters, certainly not in the Carribean.

Why did they wait for clearance to leave? What was stopping them from sailing off into the distance? I realise that if you want to go back to a place where you messed up the local paperwork then you could be in trouble, but if you where not too bothered about going back then why worry?
A lot of folk are very reluctant to bend the rules to suit.. also it would depend on their next stop.. if an EU (French) Island no worries as they're pretty relaxed with EU citizens.. just their receipt from the marina would be good.. other places are not so cool.. they'd want a Zarpe/Clearance..
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Old 22-01-2014, 09:16   #133
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Re: St Lucia murder

We sold our property in Panama about the time that armed attacks started occuring in the area. Today, I look back with sadness. After selling the 42 yesterday, we started looking at Dominica with the usual - when can I visit and maybe start building there! It is one of the safer islands - judging by the murder stats and the island reports found in this thread. It is more stable and is harder to get to - being bypassed by most cruisers - them preferring Martinque. Maybe it will be good - don't know until we fly down. Besides the weather is def better than NF right now.
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Old 22-01-2014, 09:22   #134
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Re: St Lucia murder

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For the most part Belize is starting to look better everyday. Not the mainland, where my brother was shot two years ago, but the offshore cayes - like Turneffe chain.
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Old 22-01-2014, 09:23   #135
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Re: St Lucia murder

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A lot of folk are very reluctant to bend the rules to suit.. also it would depend on their next stop.. if an EU (French) Island no worries as they're pretty relaxed with EU citizens.. just their receipt from the marina would be good.. other places are not so cool.. they'd want a Zarpe/Clearance..
Thanks for explaining.
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