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Old 25-08-2016, 09:30   #1
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Columbia cruising - security issues?

Hi all,

I asked my insurance company about cruising in Columbia as I am interested in visiting Cartagena this fall, and they replied that I can go there but I would not be covered in the event of piracy or theft except while docked in the marina. Having heard that I began conducting some research and found that there are some reports of boarding in Columbia of recreational vessels, especially around Islas del Rossario area. The cruisers safety net site shows more theft reports in the southern caribbean (where I am currently) than in Columbia, but that may be due to the higher numbers of cruisers there?

Does anyone have any experience or hearsay regarding security while cruising in Columbia?

Thanks in advance for the advice!
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Old 25-08-2016, 19:35   #2
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Re: Columbia cruising - security issues?

Plenty of bad reports from cruisers the 30 years I have been in this sport.
Columbia, Venezuela, Trinidad.
Some boats never get hit and swear the above places are safe as can be.
The victims of violent crime, those who survived anyway, tend to disagree.

Then again, as happens in every thread of this kind: There is bad areas in the US as well, Detroit, Chicago, etc.
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Old 25-08-2016, 20:52   #3
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Re: Columbia cruising - security issues?

I will be heading to Colombia in the early spring, currently in Panama. Noonsite has only reported the one incident of the Rossario. I think I pay an extra $100-200 for a rider for coverage. I will be curious to hear also. Being on this side of Colombia most are just coming from there. The only advice I have gotten is do not anchor. Go to the Marinas in Cartagena and Santa Marta....
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Old 27-08-2016, 12:08   #4
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Re: Columbia cruising - security issues?

Hi, I spent an amazing 6 months in Colombia. 3 months in Cartagena which is an amazing vibrant city. I had the yacht anchored off club Nautica where there is always a warm welcome, helpful advice from Beli, the manager and excellent food, drinks at the restaurant, good cheap laundry and friendliness all around both with the liveaboard community and staff who try though not always successfully try to speak English,.......well much better than my Spanish. Many yet ties have gone there and just not moved on, I can understand why, I found it hard to leave. Whilst I went home for 3 months I left the yacht at a marina 60 miles north, Puerto Velero, very cheap approx $550 for 3 months. The French manager is very friendly and helpful. It is isolated but very safe place to leave yachts....... end of get a weather window to get there from Cartagena against the wind! Cartagena I found very safe though obviously get off beaches and streets by dark. Police every street and street corner with guns.......felt safer there than on some parts of Glasgow on a Saturday night! Other cities over there are no so safe but found Bogota OK. The only yacht crime I came across there was after I returned from Rosario to discover that the Dutch owner of Lazy Duck yacht had allegedly killed his wife whilst in Rosario. Ironic it was yachting not locals as so often blamed! Dinghies are very safe at club nautical and costs approx 18 pounds a week. Ps. If you anchor near the wall of club pesca you pick up their WiFi.

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Old 27-08-2016, 13:33   #5
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Columbia cruising - security issues?

Best blue water insurance is self insurance and common sense. When you take 3 steps back. The insur. Company basically told you what they won't do. Did the insurance company give you any info. About Columbus's cruising areas and risks? Probably not as much as other cruisers and the net.


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Old 27-08-2016, 14:37   #6
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Re: Columbia cruising - security issues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
Plenty of bad reports from cruisers the 30 years I have been in this sport.
Columbia, Venezuela, Trinidad.
Some boats never get hit and swear the above places are safe as can be.
The victims of violent crime, those who survived anyway, tend to disagree.

Then again, as happens in every thread of this kind: There is bad areas in the US as well, Detroit, Chicago, etc.
Would never list Venezuela with Colombia and Trinidad in a million years! Haven't been to Colombia/Cartegana, which is still one of our favorite areas, in 7-8 years but quite sure it has only gotten safer. Never made it to Trinidad but good friends return there every year with no problems. Of course there are dangerous areas everywhere but few like Venezuela which we cruised quite a few years ago!
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Old 27-08-2016, 16:01   #7
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Re: Columbia cruising - security issues?

A lot of boats coming and going everyday with no problems, but of course sh#t happens on occasion.

Because of the drug interdiction navies, this part of the world is actually pretty safe, and under constant surveillance. That high-rise apt building at the end of Bocagrande has a DEA outpost with state of the art photography equipment; all boats going in and out are photographed, and these pictures are sent to headquarters. Docks are filmed as well.

Whatever you do, don't shoot anyone with a Colombian unlicensed gun, as you've just entered The Twilight Zone.

A bigger problem that I've had over the last 15 years of living here, is this culture of gringo prices. Tall, blonde/blue, makes me a target for 'gringo pricing', which can be as much as 3 or 4 times as much as a local will pay. As a businessman, I"m constantly arguing over prices as I know they're trying to rip me off, as foreigners are perceived to be wealthy in their eyes.

Sadly, only recently I've found a solution for this problem and it works fantastically. I can't believe how in a lot of cases, I'm treated in the exact opposite manner, as people want to give and do things for FREE! Normally, many of these people would steal a hot stove, WITHOUT gloves.

Go to this site, and buy one of these clergy shirts. It's not a crime to impersonate a Catholic priest.

Clergy Shirts, Clerical Collars & Accessories for Pastors- Church Ministerial Shirts Ready to Ship from The Robe Shop

I went to buy a car for the 'church', (actually for my daughter), and they wouldn't sell me one off the lot, they said they'll find something better for me at a much better price.

This shoe repair guy wanted to do the work for free, but I insisted on paying this 3 tooth guy. (I want to pay what everyone else is paying, that's all)

Dozens of other examples, and I sure wish I did this all along; I'd have a whole lot more money today.

You have to play the part, if you have visible gang tattoos, then obviously you'd look suspicious. Have a little humility and positiveness to your demeanor. If someone wants salvation, then tell them, "God forgives you for all your sins."

Believe me this works, and you can do this all over Latin America. If you don't speak Spanish, then tell them you're in their town to teach a class at the local Seminary.

I could walk through Comuna 13 at 2am in the morning, and nothing bad would happen.
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Old 27-08-2016, 16:06   #8
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Re: Columbia cruising - security issues?

Just fly a pirate flag.
Or I saw a boat with a standing base gun turret. Don't know if he owned the gun part. Best not to find out.


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Old 27-08-2016, 20:04   #9
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Re: Columbia cruising - security issues?

I do love Cartagena. I did struggled with the local accent.
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Old 28-08-2016, 14:23   #10
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Re: Columbia cruising - security issues?

I am informed that my post was removed. I basically said Cards26's actions as portrayed was sick and wrong. Apparently I refereed to Cards26 as sick and I apologize for the name calling.
I do have his reply in my email and that appears to be gone. He outlined many sketchy actions against him and other expats. If the country is as bad as he illustrates I wonder why he still lives there. Regardless of his rationalization I do not agree with his above actions and feel it is morally wrong.

I have only spent a couple of months traveling in Columbia and had a wonderful time and meant many wonderful and friendly Colombians.
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Old 28-08-2016, 14:49   #11
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Re: Columbia cruising - security issues?

My son and I hanging out with the Colombian Coast Guard 100 miles offshore of Columbia in July 2006. Really nice captain and crew.
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Old 28-08-2016, 15:02   #12
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Re: Columbia cruising - security issues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterrat10 View Post
I am informed that my post was removed. I basically said Cards26's actions as portrayed was sick and wrong. Apparently I refereed to Cards26 as sick and I apologize for the name calling.
I do have his reply in my email and that appears to be gone. He outlined many sketchy actions against him and other expats. If the country is as bad as he illustrates I wonder why he still lives there. Regardless of his rationalization I do not agree with his above actions and feel it is morally wrong.

I have only spent a couple of months traveling in Columbia and had a wonderful time and meant many wonderful and friendly Colombians.
Agreed, he has never had a fair and decent opinion about dealing with Colombians and I wonder why he stays! We spent almost 3 years there and still consider Cartagena and the San Blas as the best part of 15 years of cruising. We dealt with whatever we needed to deal with and made many lifetime friends and memories there
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Old 28-08-2016, 15:48   #13
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Re: Columbia cruising - security issues?

We really enjoy Colombia. I'm heading there from the ABCs on a friend's boat in early September. Plan stops in Santa Marta and Cartagena (great place) and then on to Panama.

Take a look at Noon Site etc for actual reports and stats. Most reported crimes against cruisers are typical thefts (dinghy motors etc), but infrequent more serious events like armed robbery do happen.

I'm more concerned about passing Venezuela now than being in Colombia.
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