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Old 17-03-2009, 03:01   #1
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advice on Piracy

I've been asked to crew on a 65ft motor boat travelling from Singapore to Darwin, probably in May.

We would only leave in a favorable weather window but I am concerned about the possibility of meeting up with pirates, or similar, during this trip.

Does anyone have experience in this area and able to give good sensible advice on where to go and, most inportantly, where not to go and when to travel etc.

Thanks

DonN
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Old 17-03-2009, 03:38   #2
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with pirates, or similar,
Yes, its those masquarding as pirates you need to really watch!




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Old 17-03-2009, 03:56   #3
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Piracy

My wife and I have spent the last two years in and around SE Asia and I believe there is a better chance of getting caught up in a Ponzi scheme than being attacked by pirates here. Of course there are instances but they are few and far between.
From Singapore to Australia I would assume you would travel through Indonesia. We did the rally down there this last year and the Indonesians were some of the warmest, friendliest people we have ever met.
Everyone we have talked to have had similar experiences.

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Old 17-03-2009, 05:36   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don77 View Post
I've been asked to crew on a 65ft motor boat travelling from Singapore to Darwin, probably in May.

We would only leave in a favorable weather window but I am concerned about the possibility of meeting up with pirates, or similar, during this trip.

Does anyone have experience in this area and able to give good sensible advice on where to go and, most inportantly, where not to go and when to travel etc.

Thanks

DonN
See:
Andaman Sea Pilot: PIRACY IN MODERN SOUTH EAST ASIA: Setting the record straight:
Andaman Sea Pilot - the definitive cruising guide for the Andaman Sea...and more
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Old 17-03-2009, 09:12   #5
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I am very encouraged by what I read here. I can tell you that on land, or amongst the locals, it is a different story.

My wife is Indonesian. We've been married 9 years. During that time I have learned much about what the locals are up against. They take many measures to hold onto what they have (including paying people with "magic" for help).

While I was on asignment there I lived in a gaurded, walled compound. The living situation was provided by the company that brought me in and all the security it was not out of unfounded fear. Nonetheless we did enjoy easy and safe movement among the locals.

While it does not make sense to me to live in fear and sidestep adventure, I would caution readers to take reasonable precautions. Expats are largely respected there, and that may have something to do with the low number of incidents.

Yes, the locals are very warm and friendly. But they have security problems. One of their precautions is to "avoid unnecessary travel" on the surface streets near the end of the month before the police have been paid their salary. The police are known to shake them down for what they can get. My wife says they are out of cigarette money. I can share other mre serious things, but I will let this suffice.

Not trying to be a nay sayer. I plan to sail Minggat there. Just know that the locals at least have a different perspective.

Having said that, I love the people. Recently my wife was stopped by a "bule" (pronounced boo-lay. That's one of us) and she got into a conversation with him in english. Soon there was a circle of people around who just wanted to hear english being spoken.

But also, one of her friends recently lost 5,000,000 rupiah (around $500 US at the time) in a simple con. The perps were "warm and friendly".
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Old 17-03-2009, 11:08   #6
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Yes, I think most Americans don't quite understand how openly corrupt the police can be in other parts of the world. I lived in Thailand and India -- both had problems in this regard. Both locals and foreigners were subject to the perennial shakedown in Thailand, while in India they mostly avoided the ferenghi.
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Old 17-03-2009, 12:08   #7
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Isn't it still against forum rules to say things like "the police are corrupt in" certain countries? Or that certain countries are unsafe?

I was specifically told that saying those kind of things, even if they were backed up by government policy findings and arguably true, was reason for censure here.

The international piracy incidents speak for themselves, they are documented on other web sites.
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Old 17-03-2009, 12:59   #8
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Advice on Piracy? Hmmmmmm...

I reckon Piracy is probably a better investment than a pension (401?) plan right now.
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Old 17-03-2009, 15:59   #9
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Customs officer on board: "Do you have a present for my children?"

"Yes! A present of Advice: 'Respect your Mother. Because your father is corrupt.'



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Old 17-03-2009, 16:08   #10
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Customs officer on board: "Do you have a present for my children?"

"Yes! A present of Advice: 'Respect your Mother. Because you father is corrupt.'



I'm guessing that this didn't actually happen. However, if it did, how did things go immediately afterwards?
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Old 17-03-2009, 17:01   #11
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I'm guessing that this didn't actually happen. However, if it did, how did things go immediately afterwards?
We always go in 'poor'.

On that occasion when we arrived in Tonga another boat rafted up to us to be cleared in. Thats the question they were asked and they gave a 6 pack of beer.

When the guy came on our boat (before the other boat) we had just arrived from a 16 day passage without refrigeration.
The first thing Nicolle says (like a happy puppy) "Would you like a drink?" It was swelteringly hot and the customs guy was perspiring... and he says Yes! Then Nicolle says: "Oh, we are out of coke and dont have lemonade, no tea or coffee left... but we do have some powederd fruit drink I can make up, but the water is warm because we dont have refrigeration."

He didn't find it necessary to ask for a bribe


I think one should have a nice clean boat upon entry, but put away the fancy 1st World luxuaries, hide the booze, DON'T give bribes! A bottle of Whiskey may be 2 or 3 weeks wages!

Offer as drinks tea, coffee, cordial and home made cookies etc.

We also talk to the Customs people as if they are the Tourism Board: Where shall we go, We are so excited to be in you country, Where can we see the tribal dancing, Do you have children what are their names, wow thats hard for me to pronounce! People love to talk about their home and will respond to your real excitement.

After 20 mins of that they are our friends and we always get an easy time

We ask all this stuff for 2 reasons:
1) We are genuinely exited to be in a new country and genuinely wish to learn about it
2) Nicolle can talk the leg off a chair to anyone anyway


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Old 17-03-2009, 17:46   #12
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One other thing about Officials (the real pirates of the sea!)

When we have heard bad stories from other cruisers its often not just the once it has happened to them... some have a litany of difficulties over months or years.

These cruisers often have similar traits: an authority problem, a superiority problem or an inherent negativeness.


It would be good to get some other opinions on this from long time cruisers.
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Old 17-03-2009, 20:57   #13
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65 foot motor vessel?

If you are crewing a 65 foot "motor boat", as you stated in the original post, then I doubt that you'd have too much to worry about. (Is the captain planning on towing something?)

If you were on a 65 foot sail boat, that might be considered by some to be a little more vulnerable.

Don't roll down the windows and don't ask for directions from anyone who looks like they need money.
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Old 17-03-2009, 21:07   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don77 View Post
I've been asked to crew on a 65ft motor boat travelling from Singapore to Darwin, probably in May.

We would only leave in a favorable weather window but I am concerned about the possibility of meeting up with pirates, or similar, during this trip.

Does anyone have experience in this area and able to give good sensible advice on where to go and, most inportantly, where not to go and when to travel etc.

Thanks

DonN
If you do a search you will see this topic has been covered dozens of times with a wide range of opinions. Sometimes if we are not able to overcome fear and stay in the here and now, we should stay home where it's safe and watch TV.
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Old 17-03-2009, 21:09   #15
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Quote:
We would only leave in a favorable weather window but I am concerned about the possibility of meeting up with pirates, or similar, during this trip.
As far as eye patch wearing cutlass swinging pirates I think you might need to look high and low. Confirmed situations are very very rare and skeptical in most cases. Most of the mayhem happens when you get to land. The folks walking around on the streets are the ones that should give you the most concern. Simple crime is always the most common.

Quote:
These cruisers often have similar traits: an authority problem, a superiority problem or an inherent negativeness.
Mark raises an interesting point and perhaps too obvious to catch. You are one in a land of many. As we say "You ain't from around here are you?"

Cruisers are optimists by necessity and resourceful because you miss too much if you are not. Making friends when you have none is always a good way to start a new destination. A closed mouth and a smile can save you from more than being loud and stupid. When being shaken down by a corrupt official he knows all the people you might complain to. He will generally accept less than they will.

Being critical of the behavior of others when you actually know no one is not the best way to enlist favors and convey a favorable impression. Most locals any place enjoy seeing a loud mouthed idiot being knocked down a peg. Being likable allows others to be generous. It's a way of dealing with the world as you find it.
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