Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-12-2007, 17:29   #16
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
TaoJones's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Posts: 9,850
Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Tao, how is what Bush is doing relevant to a cruiser who is intending on visiting Venezuela?
I suppose I could turn your question back on you and ask, "How is misinformation, published by an obsequious, incurious press, useful to a cruiser contemplating a visit to a spectacular area of the Caribbean?"

A careful reading of what I wrote, David, will reveal that I never even used the words "Bush," or "this administration," so I fear you're wearing your heart on your sleeve.

In fact, here's the operative sentence from my post: "Sadly, MSM [mainstream media] is often a mere conduit for publishing a sitting administration's propaganda."

Please note the article "a" before "sitting administration . . ." If I must spell it out, I'm stating that mainstream media, for any number of (dubious) reasons, will shred the entire canon of journalistic ethics for any sitting administration. That they do so for the current administration is, in my view, unconscionable, but hardly unprecedented.

I hope this clears things up for you. Merry Xmas.

TaoJones
__________________

__________________
"Your vision becomes clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks within, awakens."
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)
TaoJones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2007, 17:51   #17
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever our boat is; Playa Zaragoza, Isla Margarita
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
Posts: 2,439
Thanks Taojones for your (overly) kind commments. And Slow motion is correct, the usual and preferred route to the area is for those who heading south from Grenada or north from Trinidad/Tobago. There are areas here to be avoided, as there are in most countries. One half of the island is largely undeveloped and yes, there have been attacks on isolated boats under anchor. Robledal has been subject to two particularly vicious attacks and is, at present, best to be avoided.

Having said that, Trinidad has become a very high crime area for boaters as well and has few of the cost benefits of Margarita Island. If you are looking for a place to sit out hurricane season and maintain insurance, Venezuela is undoubtedly your best option.

And my apologies for inflaming political passions - but those who have not been there will be pleasantly surprised. At present there is a huge black market for US dollars largely because of business owners who have refused to pay income tax. Chavez has introduced a new Bolivar, eliminating 3 zeros from the currency, and all exchanges must be made at Banco de Venezuela. Rather than bringing in wheelbarrels of undeclared cash, the tax evaders are giving up to 2 1/2 times the official exchange rate on the black market. Are the Venezuelans overtaxed? Lets just say that the maximum income tax rate is 33%, there is no sales tax or VAT, no property tax and on Margarita Island only, it is entirely duty free. The point here is that the black market for currency should not be taken as an indication of how bad things are in Venezuela; indeed, Margarita Island in particular is undergoing a huge construction boom with expat Brits, Canadians, Germans and the Dutch leading the way. And property prices are, after the huge drop in 2002, finally on the rise.

Also understand that the last tourist killed on Margarita Island (as at July 2007) was 3 1/2 years ago in the capital of Porlamar. He was in a decidedly bad area and was purportedly trying to buy crack cocaine. Regardless, the fatality rate pales in comparison to Mexico, where 12 Canadians alone have been killed in the last 3 years, or Jamaica or Barbados or the Dominican Republic or Cuba or....heck, even Bermuda!

Chavez is a leftist and his politics will offend many. All I can say is, get over it and see for yourself! Surely, we are all cruising in part to free our minds and our souls from years of baggage at home.

Brad
__________________

__________________
Southern Star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2007, 18:15   #18
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
TaoJones's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Posts: 9,850
Danika and Sten, new members here, cruised through the offshore Venezuelan islands from mid- to late-March this year, and the commentary and pictures on their blog may convince others that it's worth the time and trouble to visit.

Here's a link to the relevant page of their blog:

Mata'irea: March 2007

TaoJones
__________________
"Your vision becomes clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks within, awakens."
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)
TaoJones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2007, 22:47   #19
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Kelowna , British Columbia
Boat: Corbin 39 Pilot House
Posts: 214
When one American is killed in Mexico or in the Caribbean , you get to watch the story about it on every TV Station . What happen when Mexican or Jamaican gets killed in the States ? will they make the news too ?
__________________
henryk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-12-2007, 05:43   #20
Registered User
 
waterworldly's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New York City/Bimini
Boat: 52' Irwin Ketch
Posts: 441
CAN WE PLEASE GET BACK TO THE SUBJECT AND AWAY FROM THE POLITICS? THE COAST HAS BEEN THERE FOR IONS, THE POLITIANS WILL BE LONG FORGOTTEN WHILE THE SAILORS STILL WILL BE SAILING . . . As long as we are on this area, could anyone shed some light on the southern Texas coast and the adjacent areas of Mexico as well as Belize? These areas are not talked about too much, but appear to be a nice quiet area to cruise.
__________________
waterworldly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-12-2007, 06:04   #21
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever our boat is; Playa Zaragoza, Isla Margarita
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
Posts: 2,439
Thanks TaoJones for your (overly) kind comments. And Slomotion, you are absoutely correct - the typical route to the islands off the coast of Venezuela is south from Grenada, or southwest from Barbados.

Would I recommend Margarita Island? Absolutely. Yes, there is crime in certain areas. Two of the three recent attacks on boaters on the island occurred againt boats anchored off Robledal - this is on the undeveloped side of the island and is an area populated almost exclusively by poor fishermen. No doubt they found the gear on a an isolated yacht a little too tempting. In any case, it is an anchorage which can (and should) be avoided at the present time.

Elsewhere one can expect little more than petty theft, typical of the Caribbean. I note that Trinidad - the only other area currently approved by most insurers during hurricane season, has had a huge increase in violent crime against yachters in recent years. I can also state that as of July, 2007, the last tourist killed on the island was over 3 1/2 years ago. This was in a dangerous area in Porlamar and the victim was purportedly trying to 'score' some crack cocaine.

One must compare this with various other areas in and around the Caribbean: 12 Canadians alone have been killed in Mexico in the last 3 years and the numbers are also frighteningly high for Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Domincan Republic, Cuba, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines,Trinidad etc., etc. One Canadian tourist was even killed in Bermuda and of course, there is the recent sad case of the American girl killed in the usually safe Dutch Antilles.

All of us must understand that we appear incredibly wealthy to the locals on any of these islands. You absolutely must use caution both on and off of your vessel: do not wear flashy watches or jewelry; do not 'flash' cash; avoid areas that appear isloated or unsafe; install an intruder alarm system hooked up to a bright light and a loud alarm; if sailing into or anchoring in isolated areas go with 'buddy' boats. Use your common sense!

And David M, I am not suggesting that Latitude 38 is a propaganda device for the policies of Bush and Cheney. I do believe that it is dangerous to rely upon one report from a disgruntled sailor and in particular, without knowing the approach, prejudices or expectations of the author. Latitude 38 is a terrific publication. However, have you ever noticed how much space is spent each year documenting the mega-yachts and mega-parties on St. Barts? If that is one's expectation you can rest assured - Margarita Island is not St. Barts or Mustique. It is not apt to be featured in 'Lives of the Rich and Famous'!

I have also noted the seemingly disproportionate amount of space that is dedicated to yacht club events, 'pirate' parties, and to the annual Baha Haha mass cruise to Mexico. The contributors spend huge amounts of time complaining about Mexican bureaucracy and petty officialdom. Not that these are not deserving of criticism, but guess what, you're no longer in Kansas Dorothy! These are the unfortunate facts of the cruising life once you leave the relative safety and sanity of the developed world (and I do stress 'relative').

Anyway, while imperfect, Margarita Island is still a tremendous cruising destination, especially for those looking for a great spot to ride out hurricane season. The infrastructure is amazing - there is now even a modern mall with over 200 stores and with all products available duty-free. And I believe that the policies of Chavez, in bringing a sense of progress to the locals, will ultimately succeed in reducing the amount of crime. Put another way, a local fisherman who receives a free yamaha 50 outboard is going to be much less tempted to steal the outboard on your inflatable. And this is particularly so if you slap paint over the outboard/inflatable to make it look run-down and less appealing ( a good idea when cruising anywhere...well, except perhaps St. Barts).

Jane and I are heading back down to Margarita on Jan. 2nd for a couple of weeks and, while not sailing, we live there in a 'real' community, rather than some gated enclave for frightened touristas. We also have some connections with the Fiscalia - the prosectors office and while there, associate solely with locals and some expat Americans, Canadians and Europeans. We will keep you posted, if interested. We would also be happy to make recommendation and, once we have sailed down in the next couple of years, would be happy to provide assistance to visiting cruisers.

Brad and Jane
__________________
Southern Star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-12-2007, 06:13   #22
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever our boat is; Playa Zaragoza, Isla Margarita
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
Posts: 2,439
PS - sorry to be repeating myself - my post of last nite didn't show on my browser for some reason until I had responded again. Doh! And Waterworldly is correct - politics is irrelevant to the extent that it shouldn't stop anyone from crusing anywhere.

Brad and Jane
__________________
Southern Star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-12-2007, 09:54   #23
Registered User

Join Date: May 2003
Location: East Coast & Other Forums!
Posts: 913
Here's the Venezuelan Coast Guards (ONSA) OWN map of high and low risk areas of the country for sailors.
ONSA - Mapa de Zonas de Riesgo para Embarcaciones

Somehow I don't think I'd want to be inside a purple circle.
__________________
camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-12-2007, 11:38   #24
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever our boat is; Playa Zaragoza, Isla Margarita
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
Posts: 2,439
I have seen it, but the two areas listed for the highest number of incidents are also the two areas with facilities for yachts and accordingly, by far the highest number of vessels - Puerto La Cruz and Isla de Margarita. If someone prepared a similar graph for St. Vincent and the Grenadines you would see Bequia and the south end of St. Vincent as having by far the greatest number of incidents against boaters. Again, for precisely the same reason.

Put another way, if you interpret this graph as indicating where it is most safe, you would likely end up deciding to go to Caracas. Trust me, it is the most dangerous city in Venezuela; one of the most dangerous in the world. Why no reports there of robberies from yachters? Because only a lunatic, or someone taking the wrong inference from this graph would go there.

Please understand that there are frequently over 100 yachts anchored in Porlamar alone. And Puerto La Cruz has a few very large marinas, at least a couple with full service capability. The result: a huge amount of international traffic during hurricane season. Anyway, keep up to date with cruising nets (and Doyle's site). And please don't interpret the colour codes as indicative of what is, or is not a safe location to cruise.

Please do, however, interpret these graphs as indicative of the fact that Venezuela, unlike most other countries in the Caribbean, not only take robberies of cruisers seriously, they are prepared to publish materials that are unflattering and highlight an issue most countries try to sweep under the carpet.

Brad
__________________
Southern Star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-12-2007, 06:12   #25
Registered User
 
waterworldly's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New York City/Bimini
Boat: 52' Irwin Ketch
Posts: 441
What about the coast of Texas and Mexico?????????????????
__________________
waterworldly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-12-2007, 08:32   #26
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1
Politics and sailing

I just registered with Cruisers' forum today and I thought I would look at postings about Panama and the area round the isthmus and what do I find? Screeds of stuff about politics! Rants about Bush and Chavez - all completely off topic. Where is the moderator when you need him? I have to say posters ranting really puts me off any kind of technical or informative Forum and while some of these posters clearly know plenty about the sailing they are far too willing to tell us all about their political opinions. Safety and comfort and facilities are important to people and these can change -it may be politics that changes them and it's quite fair to mention that but honestly we all have political ideas why not keep them for the right venues?
But happy sailing everyone. And I do mean sailing!
__________________
fulbrooke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-12-2007, 09:19   #27
Senior Cruiser

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,453
Fulbrooke ... welcome to the forum. While I don't know what experience you have with cruising or boating in general, I can see that you don't have a whole lot of experience on our forum. From a Moderator's point of view (and a cruiser and boat owner and sailor) I (we at the forum) understand that politics to SOME extent are a part of understanding one's environment while in areas not as familiar to us as our home areas. We try and allow as much latitude as possible and for the most part, the members themselves do a pretty good job of keeping things on tract. We TRY to let some deviation off topic work itself out - sometimes we have to step in (reluctantly). Mostly we step in when TOO much personal opinion (represented as facts) or personal attacks show signs of escalating beyond friendly banter.

Since you are new, and have admittedly only read this one thread, may I suggest a couple of things: click on the word PROFILE at the top right of the screen (in the banner menu) and let others know a little bit about YOU - so we can understand your perspectives on your critiques about what ever subjects you wish to present.

Second - you might want to try some of the other threads or forums on this site. There is a wealth of information and expertise available. If you still feel that this forum is encumbered with too much political hyperbole, I would suggest you visit some other forums ... Lats and Atts, perhaps, and see what you think of those.

Thomas
Cruiser's Forum Moderator
__________________
S/V Elusive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-12-2007, 11:22   #28
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever our boat is; Playa Zaragoza, Isla Margarita
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
Posts: 2,439
Thank Thomas. Perhaps Fulbrooke didn't actually read the posts before posting his distaste for this forum. This thread commenced with a request for information from someone proposing sailing the coast of Mexico through Central and South America to Venezuela or Columbia. The next post suggested that one should steer clear of Venezuela due to Chavez and his allegedly being bent on destroying the country. So yes, politics plays into it.

In addition, the posts also covered crime in the area as well as services and infrastructure available to the cruising sailor. Unlike Fulbrooke, some of us actually stop and anchor/dock in foreign countries and need to aware of issues such as the political climate, crime and infrastructure. They are directly related to 'cruising', albeit not to 'sailing' in the sense of a non-stop circumnavigation, as appears to interest him.

And waterworldly, can't help with cruising Mexico and Texas although I am sure there are contrubutors who can. Regardless, seems we have beat Venezuela (if not Chavez) to death! It is time to move on with my apologies for attempting to convince cruisers that the should NOT give Venezuela a pass for either political or non-political reasons. Really, it was a complete waste of time: people who go to a country with a strong preconceived bias will surely hate it, just as the locals will hate them.

Brad

Brad
__________________
Southern Star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-12-2007, 11:57   #29
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Quote:
I doubt that these comments on the elected president of Venezuela are of any more value to the discussion than would be mine regarding the current U.S. administration.
Good friends have been living aboard in Venezuela for about the past 7 years. They came back this summer to help with family members. "the elected president of Venezuela" is becoming a problem to his own people. While it's not dangerous to go there it's not the best place to live either. People are still about like people everywhere so it's not like the people of the country will be nasty or mean in any way. Meat is hard to get, sugar is almost unknown, and lot of other things can be difficult to acquire as far as daily living goes. You need an inside track to the black market to purchase daily staples. Items come available with short notice and are sold out in hours. It's a place where getting to know some local people will help you a lot. It's still pretty cheap to live there by US standards and clearly compared to the Windward and Leeward islands.

It's unclear what will happen now that Hugo was not elected president for life.

For a fun time stock up in Venezuela and head to Bonaire for some great diving. You sure don't want to be stocking up in Bonaire as the prices are pretty high.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-12-2007, 12:08   #30
DWT
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 207
So...........someone tell us, how is the cruising on the east coast of Mexico!

David
9 Morgan 30'
CaRolAnn
__________________

__________________
DWT is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:51.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.