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Old 21-09-2010, 13:23   #1
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pirate How to Avoid Somali Pirates ?

I had a friend who ran into the "Somali Coast Guard" in the Red Sea. He was 400 nautical miles from Somalia. It cost him $50,000 to get his boat out of Mogadishu.

If you are going around the world, is there a way to avoid this problem? Are there flotillas like the Atlantic ARC crossing for safety, or are you on your own? I don't want to go around Cape Horn. Nasty water there.
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Old 21-09-2010, 13:34   #2
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Shouldn't need to go around Cape Horn to dodge Somolia unless you're really giving it a wide berth.

Go with other boats, keep a low profile, stay in contact with warships if you can, get through quick. The situation is so fluid; advice from a year ago (stay off the coast) doesn't even matter as much any more (although it's still a good idea).

To some extent there's no way perfect plan to get through an area that has a bunch of dead-enders roaming around with assault rifles.

Noonsite.com has updated info.
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Old 21-09-2010, 14:50   #3
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We went through this year with a convoy of 26 boats.
I don't think the convoys are worth a pinch of rocking horse poop if anyone really wants you. They dont care about the boat, you are much more valuable. The Chandlers family paid $800,000 and they have not been released as the criminals now want double that.

So I am assuming it will be open season of yachts at some point... maybe now, maybe 5 years time.

I would NOT go that way again. I would do the Cape. Life isnt worth running your whole family broke because of some stinky pirate.

All that being said lots of people think I am an idiott. I don't care. The alternate, the price the Chandlers have payed, is too high - your life and all your families money....

Many of the other boats on our convoy were totally and utterly complacent about the whole thing.
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Old 21-09-2010, 16:01   #4
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Sorry, yes, I meant going around South Africa. So there are convoys of sailboats going through I guess. That sounds good. I want to try an around the world with no timeline, but running the Red Sea pirate gauntlet has me a little nervous. I believe in the Suez and Panama canals to avoid those big waves and nasty seas around those southern tips. Abbey Sunderland went through the Suez, didn't she? I'd sure like to hear her take on it.
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Old 21-09-2010, 16:09   #5
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AUGUST 2010: Piracy attacks continue in the Gulf of Aden, Northern Indian Ocean and now in the Southern Red Sea, collectively the IGOARS. To date there have been no attacks on yachts in the IGOARS in 2010
see noonsite for more

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Old 21-09-2010, 16:31   #6
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Abbey Sunderland went through the Suez, didn't she? I'd sure like to hear her take on it.
No, Abbey didn't go through the Suez Canal she went in the Southern Ocean where she eventually lost her vessel.

I think that you may be thinking of Laura Dekker the young Dutch girl who is doing a circumnavigation with regular stopoffs in ports on the way.
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Old 21-09-2010, 17:27   #7
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There are plenty boats sailing the South African Coast. You're not under any time pressure, so it's easy enough to pick weather windows. There is so much information on the big waves on the 100 fathom line, and how to avoid the risk.
Wonderful wildlife, interesting history and friendly people.
Your real risk is those Cape wines. Could keep you 'in irons' for months. Have a bottle or 2 of their Pinotage, and if you can get some witblitz (their particular moonshine) you won't be posting back here for a while!
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Old 21-09-2010, 18:55   #8
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It's too bad noone is cleaning that area up. I think it would be great if some military forces went in posed as cruisers and when the pirates got close, they took care of them
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Old 21-09-2010, 19:07   #9
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My experience with the Thais is that they may be less hamstrung by the rules of engagement.

It's only 2 boats but if they find them I suspect there will be fireworks.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/loca...somali-pirates
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Old 21-09-2010, 19:23   #10
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Interesting - nice to see someone doing something. I think arming the larger shipping vessells would go a long way as well. It's pretty sad that many of the hijacked ships are hijacked by boats a fraction of their size.
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Old 21-09-2010, 21:11   #11
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That's great that the Thai's really look like they are prepared to take some serious counter action with these pirates. I hope they see some action and take the pirates out - all other navys should be doing this as well - maybe they already are and we in the public sphere do not get to hear about it. Classified information? The pirates can't be allowed to go on the way that they have been over recent years.

BTW - what a great on line newspaper the Bangkok Post is - there were so many photo's accompanying the story - excellent.
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Old 21-09-2010, 21:31   #12
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This is what you are looking for.

This guy stopped ahead of our convoy and waited at the side till we were almost past (we were down the back - cannon fodder) then shot accross the convoy to a boat on the far side outside the edge of the convoy.

Why?

He picked him as the only solo saior we had. i.e more vulnerable.

Turns out he was just a 'happy fisherman' we think.

Is the guy in the front of the skiff holding a weapon?
Do they have weapons under their nets?
Look at the size of the outboard. There are 2 of them with a tiller welded to them. It ain't going fast.


Now imagine your wife having to worry about this happening for a full year before you go up the Gulf of Aden. Is her worry for a year worth it? Or do you go the weather window idea of wine to vinyard that VirtualVagabond recommends?

I'd go taste that Cape plonk!



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Old 21-09-2010, 21:34   #13
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The year we did the Red Sea, there was only one pirate attack that I know about. We went straight up the middle of the Gulf of Aden, 70 miles from Yemen, and 70 miles from Somalia. That single attack was by Yemeni pirates.

If I was going to do it again, I am not sure what I would do. My opinion changes daily, weekly, monthly.

Risks are hard to evaluate because as far as any yacht is concerned, the risk is 0 percent or 100 percent of getting attacked by pirates. It either happens or doesn't happen.

I don't find statistics particularly helpful when dealing with the risks of pirate attacks.

The only comforting thing about the whole situation is that the pirates are not interested in killing people like the pirates of old. On the positive side, if you are captured, you have an excellent opportunity to lose weight and to learn the Somali language.
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Old 21-09-2010, 21:44   #14
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Dang!!!!!

Thats something interesting I hadn't noticed before!!! This skiff only had one engine down! Easy way to know he's safe..... till he puts both down LOL

I just blew up this pic so you can see a bit clearer.

We had a number of these skiff coming through the convoy during the 5 days. When the go fast they can't be seen... they just 'arrive'.

The one we saw attacking a container ship had at least 6 or 8 people in it and it was going over 25 kntos...

Look at the weather! In a smaller convoy it could have waited in Salalah till the wind picked up making it more difficult for pirates. I would have waited a month Dave is right, imho, right down the center in the IRTC. Most convoys for some inexplicable reason hug the Yemini coast where the UN Navys are not allowed to intervien if there is an attack because its in Yemini Territorial waters! Ours was mostly inside Yemini waters and I thought it was lunacy.
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Old 21-09-2010, 21:46   #15
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Dave I think risk tolerance and consequence are inversely proportional.

I can tolerate a 90% risk if the consequence is I stub my toe.

I cannot tolerate a 1% risk if the consequence is death.

So if risk and consequence cancel each other out there must be something else and that is reward.

The reward for sailing the gulf of Aden is not worth the consequence even though the risk is low.
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