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Old 21-04-2008, 09:20   #31
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There's some simple but effective advice at How To Not Get Killed on the Street:
Street Safety Tips
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Old 21-04-2008, 11:53   #32
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Hi!

Understand about the firearm issue - can be messy and folks tend to talk about you.

Dogs can be a pain - especially with quarentiene issues... then there is the whole training/space/food thing going on.

You can never find the pepper spray when you really need it - and you have to get up close and personel.

However, HUD3 had a variation of an idea that has the best of both worlds (IMO).

Get yourself a motion detector and hook it up to a recording of a rabid dog. You're sound asleep, someone steps aboard and sets off the motion detector. HUD3 is right about other cultures having a 'thing' about dogs. If anything else, this will slow him down long enough to pick up your handy tire iron and start to practice your best Barry Bonds swing.

The advantages are numerous:
1) Not very expensive
2) Effective
3) No training
4) No Quarentiene
5) No obscure laws being broken

That's my suggestion. Best of luck and smooth seas!
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Old 21-04-2008, 14:30   #33
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Thanks for the input --- there were some great ideas shared so far -- given that attitude, awareness, common sense, etc. are the starting points, what I was looking for were some concrete and possible things that would increase both warning and security in areas where there might be issues with intruders. I actually got a handful of new (to me) ideas, as well as some good laughs. As Wotname says, luck favors those with a plan, and I was looking for some ideas to implement along those lines. Here is a summary thus far, of varying degrees of precautions. :

- Have a tape/CD of a dog that you can either push play on the stereo, or set off by a motion detector.
- tape of deep gruff male voice below as well, set off by motion detector or in the stereo ready to play.
- installation of interior locks and/or stainless grids on companionways or hatches large enough to crawl through.
- keep an air horn, mace/bearspray (stream not mist), or a brilliant "SureFire" light in a known accessible place. Same with parachute flare or fire extinguisher. (I think the point here is to consciously identify and locate your item vs. have to create during crisis).
- put a tag on the spreader lights so you can flip them on quickly without fumbling.
- motion detector rigged to noise/lights
- spare dink/kayak attached to suggest visitors
- leave the radio on 16 in the event something happens so it's ready to go
- install fake camera under the boom with a flashing red light
- hang a few of those wonderful yellow "Caution Electric" fence signs on your lifelines even though they are fake --- the picture would make you wonder..... :=)

- buy andinflatable boyfriend and have him hang out in the cockpit with a cigarette and a beer for awhile after dusk. (and if he did dishes, all the better!)
- start rumors of pet cobras on deck at night, or other disinformation or preventive scenarios (i.e. you are being used as bait in a local sting operation to flush out people pestering the boaties).
- Take some good close quarters self-defense for women training.
- sleep dressed in the uniform of the local authorities and try to arrest them......
- Utilize local sources of info to be more "heads up" in trouble spots, but take it with a grain of salt.
- know local customs and norms, and consider having more or male crew aboard on certain portions of the passage. (For instance, while traveling in Honduras, having a male along as my partner def. helped/changed the dynamic from the times when I would be by myself --- again, traveling by land).

I'm now moving out of boat specific, which is what I was after, and into more broad-based "common sense" approaches --- also worth being reminded of. Again --- I'm looking for ways to take the proactive approach that lets you keep opportunistic folks from picking you out or following through with malice that looks easy. Thanks for the great ideas, and add any more you come up with!
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Old 21-04-2008, 14:41   #34
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We've spent a lot of time in the Gulf of California and the Gulf mainland, but would like to go further south to the canal, then over to Ecuador. After that, big jump over to the Marquesas and South Pacific to Australia. From there.....we shall see. I used to teach a lot up in the Straits of Georgia, so we have played with the idea of an San Fran to Juneau, AK and back "shakedown" before the big jump. We are more focused on GOING than WHERE at this point :=) Anyone know how to raise $40k within a year?
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Old 21-04-2008, 14:47   #35
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Loud noises.......

Radio shack has a "personal screamer" that is used for hotel room doors and the like. It works by pulling a small pin out of the unit making a battery contact and it puts out about 110dbl. I have used it in the cockpit of my boat when I felt the need. Mine was set up by running a length of monofilament a couple of places around the cockpit and attaching it to the screamers pin. A small tug on the line, like a trip wire, pulls the pin and the thing screams its head off. If attached to a purse I would bet the thief would toss the screaming purse fast and far. You could do the same thing on board with a car alarm and a pin switch and a few yards of mono.

As for off the boat a large hat pin, the kind our grannies had, works wonders. I used to hitchhike a lot when I was a kid and kept one pushed into the collar of what ever I was wearing. I had a few unwanted advances from a couple of guys(I must have been pretty hansome back then)who picked me up over the years but thankfully only had to deploy the "pin" once. All but one guy was put off his game by saying "Thanks for the offer but thats not my gig, I only like girls". The one old fart I guess didn't think I really meant "NO". As he put his hand on my leg I stuck him hard with the pin several times and bailed out of the car(we had stopped at the road side). I had to walk to the next light to continue my trip but I'm pretty sure he will think twice before putting his hands on another guy without being REALLY sure the guy is into that sort of thing.
It could have turned out badly had he had a gun but who's to say he didn't.

I guess my point is not only women have to put up with guys advances. Thankfully I think those days are long gone for me, now I'm 50 and(fat) not so cute anymore.

Oh ya and I'm a full time gunsmith and don't think I'll carry a gun outside the USA. It just seems to be more trouble than its worth most places.

I do however keep an(original) 1862 US navy boarding cutlass hanging over the galley table just in case of pirates...............m 03_big grin
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Old 21-04-2008, 15:33   #36
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Terri, I am retired Navy and have been to 42 foreign ports. Lots of good one's and and very few bad. No#1 for us out on the town was the Buddy system, it truely works. It pretty much put the muggers out of business. Second for me is BODY LANGUAGE. Especially for woman, all you have to do is smile at someone, even if they are not near you, that is all they need to see to approach you. And the Body Language of the bad guy, most simply cannot hide that they are bad. I truely believe that you have to trust your gut when you see certain people or an alley or park that makes you hesitate. If you really want to see some of the best videos in the world about how to stay out of trouble, pick out bad people etc.... contact a public affairs office aboard a navy ship. I am sure you will see things you never thought possible, that can help you out. Third has been said, the ability to lock you boat from the inside and then let people know you are in trouble. Fourth, guess what is one of the most recognizable sounds in the world, the chambering of a shot gun shell. You do not need a gun to have this sound. You can even do a machine gun sound. These could be last resort if someone is trying to shot there way in to your home (boat).
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Old 21-04-2008, 20:02   #37
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I think you need to revamp your whole life philosophy about personal security. You can live safely behind a virtual safety wall all your life or you can get out there and take risks. You have chosen the latter route and that is a good thing. Of course there are obvious things you can take to minimize risk but if you take minimizing risk too far then you end up restricting yourself in the name personal safety.

I would say, just go about what you are doing now and hope that something really negative never happens. I think that is the best that can be done unless you want to live behind a wall or have to put up with ridiculous things like electrified life lines or 50 pound attack dogs.

You might also want to look up the statistics on how many women are attacked on boats per year compared to how many women are out there on cruising boats. I would imagine you have a better chance of being eaten by a crocodile or being killed by lightning.

Living a free life is all about taking chances.

Please read my quote below from Mark Twain. Its all about taking the chances necessary to live the life you want to live.

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Old 21-04-2008, 21:51   #38
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A woman was just raped today in one of Jacksonville's better malls. She was going to the ladies room when the attack occurred. You (male and female) must be constantly aware of what is going on around you. With today's economy some people are desperate and will do anything for money or goods. You have to be positive and be ready to loose everything but your life. But we put our life on the line when ever we go sailing.

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Old 21-04-2008, 23:51   #39
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John? what's rape got to do with the economy?

and I never put my life on the line when I go sailing.

What kind of sailing do you do?
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Old 22-04-2008, 06:09   #40
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Pelagic,
Sorry for the mental leap. I think the following addresses the concerns of this thread.
Rape is a concern for women. Happens in many locales. Not just in bad neighborhoods or foreign ports.
Dinks have been stolen in ports and vessels boarded at anchorage or at dock for by theives looking for cash or goods. Here in St. Augustine, a man was sleeping on his vessel when an intruder opened the hatch in the middle of the night.
Unexpected things happen when sailing. Best laid plans do no always result in fair winds and blue skies. I recall a telephone pole, floating docks, and a 4X6 floating down the intracoastal. That was to be a relaxing day trip from Daytona to St. Augustine. A 40' power boat hit a sand bar and sent the occupants to the hospital. The Ponce de Leon and St. Augustine inlets can be very bad when the weather turns. Personnally, I like the 90% fair winds and blue skies.

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Old 22-04-2008, 07:50   #41
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Martial Arts training would be good on several levels. It will increase your self-confidence and reduce your level of anxiety. That, in itself, will make you more secure because you will appear less vulnerable.

It has important health benefits because it will get you into a regular exercise routine.


Answer these (to yourself, to anyone else is optional):
How do you react under stress? Do you freeze, shake, yell, get sick, tear up, feel blood pounding in chest and head, loose your temper or stay calm?
How do you react under threat of physical violence? Do you try to apologize, bargain, reason or convince the person? Do you cower? Do you initiate an attack before it happens to you?
How do you react under when the person you are with is in the same situation? Do you say ‘let’s just go’ to your friend; bargain, reason or convince the other person? Do you try to mediate between the two? Or do you pay minimal attention and look to see what else is happening?
How do you react under actual physical conflict? Do you tear up, try to guard what is hurting, flee call for help. Do you flail or have aimed responses?
How aware are you, in everyday life, of the details that go on around you? Are you the sort of person who says: “that’s the third time we’ve seen that …” or are you usually unaware as you have been totally focused on whatever.
How much do you stick out or blend in where you go? Do you really even know? Do you have a pattern?
How approachable are you in general?
If you see a group of teen age males walking down the sidewalk towards you, what you do? Are you the sort who will cross the street, try to duck into a building, walk past them without eye contact, walk past and look up/down/away, smile and say hi, or stare one of them down as you walk past?
From my experience, people have different reactions but an individual’s reactions are usually quite consistent and these stress reactions are tough if not impossible to change. You can drill in a reaction, that’s a lot of self defense, but you can’t drill in what a person will do prior to. I had a female friend of play paintball with me, she like it even though she got bruised. Another guy friend of mine was like Barney Fife at D-day.

Depending on your stress reactions, you take different preventive reactions. For some the solution will be lock up for the evening and go to sleep. For others the solution will be to have someone or something protect them. For others it will be a team effort. For some it will be don’t go. I suspect the last one you can rule out else you wouldn’t even ask as you would have said to yourself how you could never do that.

As for martial arts, it can help somewhat. But it rarely does it fix what needs fixing. Rent the first season of UFC – before there were weight classes, gloves and hot girls walking bikinis telling you what round it was. You had ‘trained’ fighters. All were good or better in their field. You still saw people drop their guard, try and run, and curl up in the fetal position while the other guy literally beat them unconscious. The other I noticed about martial artists is they get the ‘gunslinger’ mentality. They say it only for defense and don’t look for fights but too many times they overestimate their abilities. Besides you may be good with one guy, what about two… or more? As for exercise, you would be better served using swimming or sprinting … much more exercise and more useful, too.

In any case, traveling in a group is smart – safety in numbers. Sorry there wasn’t a whole lot of specifics but the #1 factor is you.
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Old 22-04-2008, 16:59   #42
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Alcohol Fueled Violence

In Australia at the moment we have a problem with what the media have been calling "Alcohol fueled violence".

It has been caused (according to the opposition groups) by too much relaxation of the laws on the serving and taxation of alcohol.

My suggestion is to plan how you will manage alcohol.

Possibly limit the amount that you carry on board, avoid bars, nightclubs and parties where alcohol is cheap, consider the implication of any social activity late at night and on weekends and watch out for signs of binge drinking in anyone that you might have continuing contact with.
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Old 22-04-2008, 17:58   #43
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I think you need to revamp your whole life philosophy about personal security. You can live safely behind a virtual safety wall all your life or you can get out there and take risks. You have chosen the latter route and that is a good thing. Of course there are obvious things you can take to minimize risk but if you take minimizing risk too far then you end up restricting yourself in the name personal safety.

I would say, just go about what you are doing now and hope that something really negative never happens. I think that is the best that can be done unless you want to live behind a wall or have to put up with ridiculous things like electrified life lines or 50 pound attack dogs.

You might also want to look up the statistics on how many women are attacked on boats per year compared to how many women are out there on cruising boats. I would imagine you have a better chance of being eaten by a crocodile or being killed by lightning.

Living a free life is all about taking chances.

Please read my quote below from Mark Twain. Its all about taking the chances necessary to live the life you want to live.

David
I hear this post loud and clear after having just tranisited FL. There were thunderstorms I was worried about getting struck in as well as crocs (alligators).

I was so nervous hauling out on the hard in a marsh (of aligators), I have to admit that I did ineed load up my little safety device and bring it out with me. Turns out the mud was too deep to work on the boat, but I wanted to have an option in case of a gator attack. I might be parninoid, but thinking through what you would do in a situaiton is acutally a good way to prepare for it. Same applies to this thread. Thinking ahead helps.

And Borcay: Yes... good point. Alcohol brings out the "real person inside" by ridding people of their inhibitions. If someone is nuts and they drink, it'll come out for sure.
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Old 23-04-2008, 03:49   #44
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How do you react under threat of physical violence? Do you try to apologize, bargain, reason or convince the person? Do you cower? Do you initiate an attack before it happens to you.
Interesting post. Particularly that under times of stress one has an ingrained reaction.

Reminds me of a few instances in Thailand where now and again Western fellas get into a spot of trouble, and a major contributor to excalating matters is being quite used to being able to physically and verbally intimidate or actually use violence in their own world and as a result get into way deep doodoo , by not appreciating that they were not on home turf, did not know the rules, did not have genuine backup, could easily and quickly be outnumbered, that violence utilised is not always the same as at home - and can be wayyyy more violent, that incidents are not always over at the time and IMO most importantly not understanding that physical shape / age / gender does not directly equate to the violence that could be unleashed...........or arranged.........especially a problem in an environment where you can get on for quite a long time acting like you are at home, without actually understanding that it's working for different reasons than back home.

The above is largely without any "cultural differences", just from being away from home in a strange environment, in the 3rd world.

Of course, the best defence against trouble wherever in the world is (IME) a black belt in..........not being a complete f#cking idiot (took me a while to qualify )......and add a large dollop of common sense......."the Way of the Warrior" is not an easy road to travel
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Old 23-04-2008, 09:48   #45
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In the US, "martial arts" was unheard of until the late 60's and the kung-fu movies. In the early 60's it was still "that dirty jap fighting" or karate and judo in more polite circles. Taught in low-rent shops in out of the way locations.

Then it became a macho thing and a respectable sport and the umbrella for other styles from other places. There's still a lot of Hollywood macho nonsense about it though.

To engage in any martial art as a SPORT, you need to have some co-ordination and competency. If you throw a blow against a sporting competitor and you are off by a half inch, you can do major damage. You need some some co-ordination to land a blow on the surface of someone--rather than striking them.

But if you are only interested in martial arts for self-defense, you should be able to make that clear to the "master" and only take it as far as you need it. If I want to disable someone in the first blow--I don't need to be very controlled, I just need to strike INTO them and precision doesn't really matter. The proficiency required is very different. Learning the places where a person will be hurt, and how to hurt them, should not require a long course of study. The basics are often taught in single-session self defense seminars.

If I may use the "N-word" the NRA sponsors FREE "Refuse to be a Victim" seminars around the country, with local law enforcement participation, and the sessions DO NOT push a gun agenda, they are simply about how to defend yourself from an attack--especially women. Typically 3-4 hours long, including some basic self-defense moves and of course, local contacts who can take you further.

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