Nick…your patience at not taking the bait by those who wish to personalize “pro-choice” about being armed … impresses me.
You are a cool customer under stress and obviously identify whether it is a real or recreational criticism before firing any virtual guns.
Gentlemen, there is no correct answer on this subject as it is so dependant on an individual’s ability to assess and manage their psychological reaction during the stress of an unauthorized boarding at 2am. From that self analysis as well as local conditions, one should develop a security
plan that works for them.
At remote anchorages
, I have experienced more than one unauthorized late night boarding and they have run the gauntlet from drunken locals wishing to start a party or sing Xmas Carols to actual robbery.
Setting off a security Alarm
and spreader lights then challenging the strangers to identify themselves from your “Safe Haven” down below… usually diffuses the situation into apologies and laughter 99% of the time.
In case of bad intent: the next step still voiced from down below is spoken loudly in both English
and local language… “Leave the boat or you will be hurt!”
At that point we closed up and waited for their move. After repeated warnings and hearing the noise
of doors and deck
lockers being tried we fired a single
shot out the porthole. This caused them to quickly leave (with our gas tank).
At no time, were we ever inclined to leave our safe haven and challenge them outside.
At no time, would we ever consider the value of any deck equipment
to be a justification for going on the offensive and taking a life.
We were prepared to defend ourselves in case of a forcible entry into our safe haven but luckily that never happened.
For those who wish to consider carrying arms, here are some practical suggestions that have worked for me:
As Nick says, dealing with local authorities over having arms in transit is a matter of presentation and professionalism. It is a fluid situation depending on individual assessment and local issues.
Providing a detailed list of arms/serial numbers and ammo which is already in a secure and bondable locker that shows previous bonding stickers from other countries is the very best way to present your arms management.
Shotguns are less suspect than handguns since they are not considered a concealed weapon.
If their first reaction is to have the arms taken into custody, never argue!
Just prepare copies of your arms list on official ship’s stamped paper for them to sign.
With local signatory to witness… package and seal arms and ammos in strong boxes that can be wired secure with customs
Use bubble wrap and silica packs to keep protected for possible long storage
Politely request that you would like to see where the arms will be stored so that you can inform your lawyer. (take detail photos of them there and the witness)
Apologize to supervisor for putting them to such an inconvenience and try to strike up a friendly relationship as a tourist visitor to their country.
Just before you are ready to leave that port of entry… visit that supervisor again to discuss the logistics of returning your arms at your planned last port
and to ask his advice if there are any dangerous areas that you should avoid in your cruise
, or be concerned about.
This is where your professional and friendly attitude often pays off as he will do a threat assessment, help you to problem solve logistics and more often than not decide to return them (in bond).
I have even had the supervisor return arms, give me a bonded sticker to put on just before I arrive at their last port for clearing out, because of his desire to keep us protected from local rascals.
they just laughed when I showed them my arms list