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Old 06-11-2009, 13:52   #31
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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
There are areas of the Caribbean where it is advisable to run dark and run silent.
This may be safe to elimate boardings, but what about legitimate shipping?
COLREGS?
Would the excuse during litigation over a collision at sea be vaild if I claimed that the lights/radar were off for what? Safety?

One night, sailing south from ST Martin to Antiguia I almost hit a Island Packet 37 that was sitting dead in the water with all their lights out. There was no response over the VHF.
Fearing the worst, I dropped my sails and motored back. Stopping next to the boat I managed to hail a man who informed me that they never sailed at night! They had read that in a Cruising Guide!

Maybe I was lucky that he didn't start blasting away with his shotgun!!

Its getting to be a weird mentality out there!
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Old 06-11-2009, 17:35   #32
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. DO NOT tell anyone ....what your tactics are. .
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Old 06-11-2009, 18:18   #33
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We were running dark around the west end of Haiti because we didn't really know any better and thought we were being on the safe side. At 2 am I was on watch and had someone turned on a several million candle power spotlight on us.

Turned out the Coast Gaurd was running dark as well and had snuck up behind us. Our radar doesn't show much distance aft so I had no idea they were there. Talk about dropping a load right then and there. All the hype and rumors kicked in to produce a few very exciting moments. They were just checking in wondering why we were going dark.

In the morning we discovered we were somewhat surrounded by the sail freighters and dugouts typical of Haiti and realized our fears were unfounded. Most Haitians aren't going to have a boat fast enough to take ours. We spent sometime there and they were some of the friendliest people out there.

I guess the point is that us running dark drew more attention to us from an unexpected source.
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Old 07-11-2009, 21:06   #34
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I'm pretty sure he means places like the Gulf of Aden and the Straits of Malacca. Not many want to be there, they just want to get through there in order to get elsewhere. Avoiding those places means traveling enormous circuitous routes.
David, from my experience the Straits of Malacca is safe for cruising yachts. I'm living here for 11+ years and sailing these waters quite a bit. Please don't compare this to the Horn of Africa. There are a few incidents every year over here, but not many involve cruising yachts. The organized pirate gangs are after commercial boats, tugs etc. or just want to steal some provisions from a ship's locker. Hardly the stuff you see happening near Somalia. Actually many incidents reported by cruisers are really misunderstandings. The local Malay and Indonesian fishermen often carry big knives quite openly and do approach cruising yachts. But their purpose is not boarding and hijacking them, they actually want to sell their catch or ask for a smoke. They are friendly, but people with the wrong mindset will see a boat full of armed pirates instead.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:32   #35
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I disagree. If we collectively make it harder to catch small sailboats, they'll stop hunting them. As it is, I doubt sailboats are actively hunted much, rather than just present targets of opportunity.

If we can collectively make sailboats more difficult to detect, that translates to a slightly elevated risk to you (assuming you are simply hoping to be less detectable than everyone else) personally, but I think serves a greater good.

I am sensitive to the fact that I'm writing this in the comfort of my home waters in New York, and if I were you, I would probably think as you do.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:49   #36
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David, from my experience the Straits of Malacca is safe for cruising yachts. I'm living here for 11+ years and sailing these waters quite a bit. Please don't compare this to the Horn of Africa. There are a few incidents every year over here, but not many involve cruising yachts. The organized pirate gangs are after commercial boats, tugs etc. or just want to steal some provisions from a ship's locker. Hardly the stuff you see happening near Somalia. Actually many incidents reported by cruisers are really misunderstandings. The local Malay and Indonesian fishermen often carry big knives quite openly and do approach cruising yachts. But their purpose is not boarding and hijacking them, they actually want to sell their catch or ask for a smoke. They are friendly, but people with the wrong mindset will see a boat full of armed pirates instead.
Thanks for correcting me on this and letting others know. The best information always seems to come from peoples personal experiences
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Old 17-11-2009, 06:07   #37
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A simply solution would be to run up the jolly roger, since everyone knows that pirates don't attack their own, right? LOL!
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