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Old 03-09-2004, 14:51   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
Boat: Hartley Tahitian 45ft. Leisure Lady
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Red Sea

I have just read a story writen by Stuart Pedersen, a NZ'er that is currently in the Med area. In 2003, they sailed through the Red Sea. At the same time, a fleet pulled together and made the passage together. The Kiwi wanted to see the sights on the way, and so they and an Ausie vessel, sailed together. While in a small out of the way port, Al Mukalla, an official told them, that the Pirates in the area are actually People Ferrying Somali refugees across to Yemen. The Piracy was a side line and a chance of extra cash should the opportunity arise. The other interesting point, was these desperate trips are made Early to mid-morning. So avoiding that time makes the trip safer. So the two yachts avoided that time and had no unpleasant visitors. Interestingly, the flotilla did. One boat was shot at and another robbed. Another bunch was also shot at, but starting engines and making 8 knots, they pulled away from the powerboats. It seems they are so loaded with people, they can not make much head way if the water is lumpy and so the persuers gave up the chase.
Just some interesting notes. This won't hold true for all area's, but at least for the Red sea, it may make passage a little safer for anyone wanting to venture there.

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
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