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Old 24-03-2019, 12:00   #1
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Safety in and around Curacao

Hello all,

I am planning on leaving my boat in Curacao for the hurricane season this year but am getting a little nervous about the situation in Venezuela given that Curacao is only 40 miles from there.

Does anyone have any recent experience or insight into the local situation? Is Curacao itself and the waters around it still safe or is there a significant risk of piracy?

We are currently in Antigua but were intending to sail to Curacao from Grenada. We are now considering leaving from further north (maybe St Lucia) to avoid going along the Venezuelan coast.

Any information and/or advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Tom Reed
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Old 24-03-2019, 12:46   #2
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Re: Safety in and around Curacao

Plenty use Grenada, low hurricane probability (accepted by some insurance companies), good facilities, good visa requirements, good haul outs and marinas.
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Old 24-03-2019, 12:54   #3
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Re: Safety in and around Curacao

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Plenty use Grenada, low hurricane probability (accepted by some insurance companies), good facilities, good visa requirements, good haul outs and marinas.
Yes, agreed - I would stay there if I could, but my insurance company isn't willing to provide named storm coverage there so I have to go to the ABC islands or back up to the US east coast...
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Old 24-03-2019, 13:18   #4
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Re: Safety in and around Curacao

We recently went in and out of Curacao and noticed no problems or sense thereof. As we were leaving we did note one coast guard cruiser near the south shore and we were buzzed by coast guard aircraft about halfway between Curaçao and Bonaire. The US recently signed an agreement with Curaçao that allows the staging of emergency supplies on Curaçao. When sailing in the region its probably best to keep all navigation lights on at night as well as AIS if you have it. There's probably at least 4 navys /coast guards keeping a close eye on the area. You don't want to look like your seeking around.
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Old 24-03-2019, 16:21   #5
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Re: Safety in and around Curacao

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We recently went in and out of Curacao and noticed no problems or sense thereof. As we were leaving we did note one coast guard cruiser near the south shore and we were buzzed by coast guard aircraft about halfway between Curaçao and Bonaire. The US recently signed an agreement with Curaçao that allows the staging of emergency supplies on Curaçao. When sailing in the region its probably best to keep all navigation lights on at night as well as AIS if you have it. There's probably at least 4 navys /coast guards keeping a close eye on the area. You don't want to look like your seeking around.


Thanks - that’s helpful information.
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Old 25-03-2019, 10:16   #6
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Re: Safety in and around Curacao

Tom, it has been a few years since we were in Caraçao but I would recommend it to anyone seeking a safe area from hurricanes. The only disruption I could imagine is the Venezuelan fruit and vegetable boats coming over daily to sell produce.
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Old 25-03-2019, 10:19   #7
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Re: Safety in and around Curacao

Hi, we have been in Bonaire for the past four months and all is peaceful. We occasionally see a coast guard vessel and the Dutch has a large navy ship that patrols the waters. You are safe, just don’t stop in Venezuela. Curacao is a very safe island and the marina boat yard is first class.
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Old 25-03-2019, 12:33   #8
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pirate Re: Safety in and around Curacao

Spent a whole hurricane season July-December and now I'm in St Croix and happily survived Maria. I crossed from Guadeloupe to Bonaire 3 nights 4 day periods Easy sailing nice crossing saw one freighter 2 nights out waiting for clearance from Venezuela stopped in the middle of nowhere. I was tied up in the Marina around the South point of the cut into Spanish waters pricey golfing resort. On the way out to StCroix buzzed by the Dutch Coasties.The only crime in Curacao is perpertrated by Venezuelans at night sneaking downtown waterfront with pangas. I avoided the Downtown for all the time I was there.

Ernie on the Mary Jane
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Old 25-03-2019, 12:52   #9
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Re: Safety in and around Curacao

We spent two hurricane seasons on the hard on Curaçao. It's not our favorite island, but we always felt safe. Our passage from the Eastern Caribbean started in Guadeloupe, so we never got very close to Venezuela.

The fruit and vegetable vendors from Venezuela were a delight, but we've heard from our friends that they can't come to Curaçao anymore. I guess they need the food at home.

Cruisers are herded into Spanish Waters, which is a secure anchorage but not very convenient to shopping or dining out. After hauling, if you leave the boat for any time, it gets put into a customs impound yard, and no one can go aboard to do any work or check for problems. The climate is very dry, though, so we had no difficulties other than a bit of dust.

The management at Curaçao Marine is opinionated and stubborn, but you can work with them if you are patient.

David
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Old 25-03-2019, 14:17   #10
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Re: Safety in and around Curacao

As others have noted, and I have seen personally, the Dutch has a decent sized Navy ship that patrols the waters around these islands. I have also seen Coast Guard helicopter just about every time I go sailing here. Locals tell me the US Navy has a presence, usually just out of sight.

If you plan on leaving the boat at Curacao Marine, make sure you arrange ahead of time. Space is limited during the 'season'.
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