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Old 17-09-2013, 14:03   #16
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Re: I'm working on a book...

you may want to hang out on a drug smugglers forum instead of boating, they have some highly creative ideas. some not so good, lmao
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Old 17-09-2013, 14:33   #17
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Re: I'm working on a book...

If I were coming into the US, I wouldn't do it by boat. Do it by air and parachute out. Have the pilot circle back home afterwards.

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Old 17-09-2013, 15:44   #18
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Re: I'm working on a book...

You'd be better off writing a book on ..."Escape from Alcatraz"...or..."Escape from Devil Island". The US-Mexican coast lines are under a continuous radar/satellite dome surveillance. No matter what the weather is going to be, enhanced satellite imagery will find you before even setting northward. Find yourself another topic to write about!

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Old 17-09-2013, 16:23   #19
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Re: I'm working on a book...

We were tracked by coast guard crossing the Gulf of Mexico , our sailboat was 37 ft long. Had a uniformed guy hop out of his car when we pulled up to the fuel dock near bayou La fouche ( LA) to ask us some questions. He knew where we had come from. We invited him aboard for a nice cup of tea as it was raining and a bit chilly .

Probably not the story you were looking for..cruisers are not the best options for smuggling.
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Old 17-09-2013, 16:46   #20
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Re: I'm working on a book...

I had some friends way back in the 70's and 80's who used to sail from Mexico to the US frequently without checking in or out. The were in the "import" business.
How they did it...
Sailed out of the US stopping in San Diego and checking out.
Sailed into Mexico checking in at Puerto Vallarta.
Hung out for a long time and became "locals". Got to know the local constabulary.
Claimed to be authors working on books. Told the port captian that they couldn't get work done at the anchorage with all the distractions and were going to go to a remote anchorage and work for a week or two.
Sailed north 200 miles out and made landfall at Santa Cruz Island. Hung out in a cove and then sailed into Ventura at the end of a busy weekend with the rest of the local island trippers. Leave the harbor the following Saturday with the fleet of Island trippers and then just kept on going. 200 miles out and turn left.
I had nothing to do with their little opperation but I knew them quite well and they always stopped by my boat to say hello.
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Old 17-09-2013, 16:56   #21
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pirate Re: I'm working on a book...

E. Coast USA north of Georgia a piece of cake... just sail in and anchor...
W. Coast I'd get hold of a 28-32ftr and head W for a few hundred miles then hang a right up to Oregon then right again down to SF... just depends how much effort your American Hero wants to put into getting home...
If he's doing an independent drugs run he's screwed before he starts... the 'Big Boys' love dickhead amateurs for decoys...
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Old 17-09-2013, 17:02   #22
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Re: I'm working on a book...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
The US-Mexican coast lines are under a continuous radar/satellite dome surveillance.
Are these systems capable of individually tracking tens of thousands of small boats with next to no radar or IR signature anywhere in an area a thousand miles across? I doubt that.
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Old 17-09-2013, 17:04   #23
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Re: I'm working on a book...

Here's some REAL advice: Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing


"1. Never open a book with weather.
If it's only to create atmosphere, and not a character's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways to describe ice and snow than an Eskimo, you can do all the weather reporting you want.

2. Avoid prologues.
They can be annoying, especially a prologue following an introduction that comes after a foreword. But these are ordinarily found in nonfiction. A prologue in a novel is backstory, and you can drop it in anywhere you want. There is a prologue in John Steinbeck's "Sweet Thursday," but it's O.K. because a character in the book makes the point of what my rules are all about. He says: "I like a lot of talk in a book and I don't like to have nobody tell me what the guy that's talking looks like. I want to figure out what he looks like from the way he talks. . . . figure out what the guy's thinking from what he says. I like some description but not too much of that. . . . Sometimes I want a book to break loose with a bunch of hooptedoodle. . . . Spin up some pretty words maybe or sing a little song with language. That's nice. But I wish it was set aside so I don't have to read it. I don't want hooptedoodle to get mixed up with the story."

3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But said is far less intrusive than grumbled, gasped, cautioned, lied. I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with "she asseverated," and had to stop reading to get the dictionary.

4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said" . . .
. . . he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances "full of rape and adverbs."

5. Keep your exclamation points under control.
You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.

6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
This rule doesn't require an explanation. I have noticed that writers who use "suddenly" tend to exercise less control in the application of exclamation points.

7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
Once you start spelling words in dialogue phonetically and loading the page with apostrophes, you won't be able to stop. Notice the way Annie Proulx captures the flavor of Wyoming voices in her book of short stories "Close Range."

8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
Which Steinbeck covered. In Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" what do the "American and the girl with him" look like? "She had taken off her hat and put it on the table." That's the only reference to a physical description in the story, and yet we see the couple and know them by their tones of voice, with not one adverb in sight.

9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
Unless you're Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language or write landscapes in the style of Jim Harrison. But even if you're good at it, you don't want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.

And finally:

10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
A rule that came to mind in 1983. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them. What the writer is doing, he's writing, perpetrating hooptedoodle, perhaps taking another shot at the weather, or has gone into the character's head, and the reader either knows what the guy's thinking or doesn't care. I'll bet you don't skip dialogue.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can't allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative. It's my attempt to remain invisible, not distract the reader from the story with obvious writing. (Joseph Conrad said something about words getting in the way of what you want to say.)

If I write in scenes and always from the point of view of a particular character -- the one whose view best brings the scene to life -- I'm able to concentrate on the voices of the characters telling you who they are and how they feel about what they see and what's going on, and I'm nowhere in sight.

What Steinbeck did in "Sweet Thursday" was title his chapters as an indication, though obscure, of what they cover. "Whom the Gods Love They Drive Nuts" is one, "Lousy Wednesday" another. The third chapter is titled "Hooptedoodle 1" and the 38th chapter "Hooptedoodle 2" as warnings to the reader, as if Steinbeck is saying: "Here's where you'll see me taking flights of fancy with my writing, and it won't get in the way of the story. Skip them if you want."

"Sweet Thursday" came out in 1954, when I was just beginning to be published, and I've never forgotten that prologue.

Did I read the hooptedoodle chapters? Every word."
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Old 17-09-2013, 17:44   #24
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Re: I'm working on a book...

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Yes, there certainly have been a number of busts...especially Panga boats loaded with illegal Mexicans and drugs. These are the ones that are caught, so it's only a guess how many are successful.
I guess if I were to re-word it, if YOU (the person reading this) were to do it, how WOULD you do it?

I would have my character do what you are doing, researching it. However, I don't think someone who really had this in mind would get on a forum and announce his intentions. But there are other ways to research it.

Knowing what we know about 21st technology, I would have him do searches on a variety of public computers, but do enough innocent research on his own that authorities wouldn't think to look on ten different computers in ten different public libraries.

I think he would go and observe how real recreational sailors act. They don't generally leave at 2AM and they don't typically pull in at 2AM either. He would have to find a way to blend in. He'd have to think about the agents that make these busts, and realize that we only know about the people who got busted, what their mistakes were. It would be trickier to figure out what the successful smugglers did.

I think he would work to make himself a common and accepted person around recreational boating -- join a club, get involved, esp. in something like youth sailing or sea scouts, that would tend to make him look above suspicion to begin with.
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Old 17-09-2013, 17:56   #25
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Re: I'm working on a book...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
You'd be better off writing a book on ..."Escape from Alcatraz"...or..."Escape from Devil Island". The US-Mexican coast lines are under a continuous radar/satellite dome surveillance. No matter what the weather is going to be, enhanced satellite imagery will find you before even setting northward. Find yourself another topic to write about!

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Nah. Go with the topic that interests you. We only know about the people who get caught. Clearly they aren't all being caught, and the greater the risk, the greater the level of tension you can create in your story.
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Old 17-09-2013, 18:19   #26
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pirate Re: I'm working on a book...

A Swedish flagged 45ft Hunter got busted with a claimed 3 million euro's of Cocaine on board last month in Portimao, Portugal... it was tagged and tracked all the way over and the Spanish were ready and waiting if it chose to bypass Portugal...
2 Americans, 1 Columbian and the rest Scandinavians I believe... a good decoy for likely a quite few others.. no loss to the folk who sold it to them...
Suckers are recruited all the time to take a past its prime boat to Morocco and back to Spain for 'easy money'.... only to find they've been set up... its a dirty business..
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Old 17-09-2013, 19:26   #27
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Re: I'm working on a book...

It always ends so badly!

Human Foot Found On San Francisco's Ocean Beach
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Old 17-09-2013, 19:27   #28
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Re: I'm working on a book...

Wow, quite a few responses. Ok, I'm not smuggling anything. I do appreciate all of the insights from those that know so much about the sea.
Ocean Girl, yes, that was an interesting bit to know that they knew where you had come from. Was this the previous port you sailed out of or...? Or, like they were watching you from satellites. Coast guard boardings do fascinate me as I've never encountered one myself.

I do agree that it is possible to track every vessel. The fact is they don't.
According to NPR, smuggling is up 30%.

Here is an example of a bust in 2012 (my account is too new to do links without approval).
Three people were taken into custody on suspicion of federal drug charges after an ocean pursuit off Malibu Tuesday night. Los Angeles County lifeguards reportedly called LA sheriff’s deputies around 10:30 p.m. claiming that they saw a boat roughly 50 feet off Latigo Beach and the lifeguards apparently assumed that contraband was aboard.

This article demonstrates the fact that a Panga boat was seen so close to the coast and the lifeguards knew something was awry. Although it could be a cover up and they were really tracking them for miles from satellites, I think they were discovered just before landing.
I have seen similar stories of busts where people in very affluent neighborhoods see a panga boat on the shore, abandoned. This usually causes an investigation. Although the Coast Guard and various police agencies catch a fair amount on their own, a large number of busts are because of tips of people seeing them.

I liked the plane idea. It would be too hard to both parachute out while flying low. I had played with this idea, too.

I also like the blending in with traffic. I'm guessing the summer months would have more traffic than winter months. If the goal were to be to blend in with all of the traffic then daylight in the summer would probably be best.


Joining sea scouts would be good. Isn't that what Dexter led (sorry that was a troll comment) for 10 year olds?

I haven't read Sweet Thursday.

Another comment in regards to Teknav, I read an article specifically talking about how the Panga boats are so in the water that they're hard to spot. Furthermore, when they cover them with a blue tarp they can't be seen from aerial surveillance (shoot, I shouldn't be giving too much away).

You're supposed to check out when you head into international waters? What is the definition? 12 miles (I see that a lot). I also see USCG has 200 mile jurisdiction.

No drugs in the story. A man bound and determined to the land he once called home...
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Old 17-09-2013, 19:32   #29
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Re: I'm working on a book...

Liam Wald I think has a closer idea of the story line I'm going for. I don't think it would really even matter what you said when you left the port from Mexico.
If one wanted to avoid checking into Mexico, how would that be done? What are the jurisdictions in international waters?
I was thinking...couldn't you do a rendezvous at sea in international waters with satellite cell phones and predetermined gps coordinates?
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Old 17-09-2013, 19:38   #30
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Re: I'm working on a book...

Is this book you are working on fiction? Or is this the kind of book you are working on:

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