Dear fellow sailors., I am also a sailor and I have a coronado 25. I live in Venezuela and go sailing arround the eastern coast of Venezuela with my family once a month or two. But the pirating is true and becoming a big treat...Just last week there was a sad story when couple of American sailors from the sail boat "chill" were roberied and one got killed on saturday 08th Nov. 2008 by the crimanls with fire arm. So becarefull if your coming to the eastern part of venezuela. here below the full story in spanish from a local new paper:
Los hechos: El Tiempo Monday 11th Nov. 2008
Peters y su esposa se encontraban en su velero cerca de la Isla Borracha, cuando varios hombres abordaron su embarcación de nombre Chill.
La pareja estaba acompañada de Davis y su mujer, quienes viajaban en otro bote y esperaban la hora de su zarpe a los Estados Unidos, pautada para la noche.
Según algunos testigos, los hampones habrían tratado de atracar a los tripulantes de otras embarcaciones.
Funcionarios de la Guardia Costera informaron que recibieron un llamado de auxilio pasadas las 6:00 de la tarde y, al llegar al sitio, ya Peters estaba sin vida.
Last edited by SIROCOVZLA; 11-12-2008 at 08:29 PM.
Venezuela is a very dangerous place to cruise these days. What would you expect from the likes of Hugo Chavez..
Everyone I know who has sailed there, with few exceptions have had mucho problems...mostly with dingys stolen..more the rule now, than the exception. The current administration could care less, so it's open seson for the criminals there.
What I'm conveying is all second hand knowledge from cruisers I met in Cartagena, who would cruise there every couple of months or so because of visa expirations in Columbia..It's now pretty much off limits with visa renewals being made at Obidalia..Columbian/ Panama border and entrance to the San Blas.
2 boats however that I know quite well, one American, one British who sail as buddy boats..had a great experience there enjoying inexpensive beer and fuel.
Cruising the Caribbean is a bit dangerous..I've learned the hard way not to take things for granted...Once you let your guard down you are going to be a victim.
In all fairness, Columbia has enjoyed a bad reputation, but what I experienced is just the opposite . The present govt is working hard to change that to encourage cruising and tourism.. Found Cartagena to be rather safe, both day and night spending 6 weeks there on the hook off Club Nautico
I learned the hard way..wandering around Colon like a tourist..within 3 hours held up at gunpoint, fought my way out of that jam but they got my passport..
Nobody is watching your back..The American Embassy, couldn't have cared less..fill out the forms at window 11 and pay $100 at the cashier's, and we'll give you a new passport in 10 days..."What a let down"..All the American Embassy cares about is processing Visas for Panamanians to the States..The place looks like where you get your drivers licence renewed..2 windows for Americans..18 for Panamanian's...I went away thinking "no one is watching my back"...Welcome to a piece of America..well I expected a bit more..maybe an interview or something..even had my ripped clothes with me from the fight..Lucky not wearing a toe tag... They couldn't get me down..got my balance, when I pivoted around..hit the guy with the gun, solid in the face. What I had going for me, they have to do the job fast..once there is resistance they are gone..
One day at anchor at Colon...criminals cut the lines on the dingy gone next morning.. Should have had it out of the water...I figured maybe they felt it was like taking candy from a baby..and return to rob me the next night...The Good Lord I guess, even looks after criminals..I was angry enough after these two incidents to kill..I was locked and loaded with 6 in the chamber on my 12 guage..waiting...They never showed...and I have one hell'uva fighting temper
There is a problem...not having a permit for that country...irrespective of criminals coming aboard, if I use the gun on them $10,000 fine...probably no jail time..The solution..get a permit..here its $20 as they say in James Bond "license to kill"...Im not that angry now to kill..accept it..learn and move on..I'm at the yacht club now..after 9 months on th hook
Look we hear these stories down here all the time..a couple of boardings yesterday at Rio Dulce..one crewmember, one criminal dead in a shoot out...As a result I heard the authorites now patrolling 24 and 7 up there..This is now yacht club conversation in the Carib.
Good sailing friends met in Providentia..got held up off the Galapagos..got an E-mail from him the day after it happened..a la sideband..
At the fear of rambling on..I just wanted to reply to the area of piracy that IS real...I've been a victim..and know other victims and have heard some terrible stories down here and that's my point.to pass on information from experience.
In part why I'm writing this is that the cruising community being aware of this increasing problem will begin to think and act in accord with some viable solution... I know not.
Please remember 95% or more of the people are wonderful..There is that element who watch you all the time looking for vulnerability in a strange land..They know you have rsources, they have none...and will try to take it away from you
Last edited by saltysailor07; 11-13-2008 at 09:40 PM. Reason: one moe paragraph
Yes my felow sailor. But i do not understand why thy outlaw/criminals needs to take the life of others. Also, it is very sad for me that this thing are happening here in Venezuela on my sailing grounds. I am a Venzuelan Citizen and i was born and rise in the part of Venezuela and I remeber when every body respect your property and ypur life...but now thing are changing...and yes your right this president we ahve now "Chavez" had encourege the piople to act like this as criminals without any authorities control. I think will come the time when all sailors will need to reate a brotherhood of the coast to protect eachother from such things.. This week end i am planing to sail a little be with my family...I just bought a fire arm hope will not need to use it...!!
Watch this video about anchorage in Venezuela:
I guess this ends most of the discussion on whether one should go armed into the Caribbean. The only question I have now is whether I chamber #1 or 00.