06012016.234 There be Pirates?

Wednesday January 06th, 2016

Lately there have been more and more reports of ‘Pirates’ at work in the Caribbean. Here in the Bahamas we are dealing with the theft of a few dinghies and motors. Last winter when we were at New Providence (Nassau) we heard reports of cruisers being mugged at gunpoint at the dinghy dock. Word travels quickly among boaters. This is especially true when boaters are put at risk or treated poorly. Our reaction is heightened caution and we avoid going to the area where the thieves are at work. For example we didn’t go ashore at Nassau, didn’t spend a dime there. The only tool we have is our presence and our spending. However the reality is that in areas of growing crime the boaters leaving will be the only action taken. Policing in these areas is limited and ineffective.

pirate 2Poverty is the root cause of the crime supported by unemployment. Boaters and Tourists choose areas to visit, some areas get more visitors than others and get prosperous. Unemployed people move to where to work is often in numbers exceeding the availability of jobs. Now you have concentrated unemployment in these areas where the boaters and tourists visit… Crime becomes their only apparent option. The boaters and the tourists move to the next hot spot and the crime is reduced and the people move to where the jobs are and the cycle repeats.

Unlike our American friends we are unarmed. The cruising regatta is coming up next month and I wonder where the Americans will put their guns when they try to lighten their boats for speed. We are armed with wasp spray, bear spray, hammers, a rather nasty wooden club and a fly slapper. I have received several correcting slaps from the fly slapper and it is an effective weapon for close range work. The best defence is to keep your eyes and ears open and choose where to go wisely. An example is; people are robbed and mugged in Toronto, you choose where, when and if to go certain areas of the city.

We will move out of the hurricane hole today and find a place to anchor. The weather is supposed to be much milder today (lower wind and squall possibilities). I think the weather here will be fine for the next week to 10 days but a developing low over Cuba is bothersome. This low looks like it will stay north of us. Oh the tribulations of living on a boat. It is supposed to be sipping rum and playing dominos.

I am not a poker person but the cruising community has Texas Hold em poker nights at St. Francis Resort. The buy in is $5 bucks and all the fees go to the winners. I have been practicing on my IPAD and my tutorials so far have only cost me $35,453.92 I don’t think its real money but they did ask for all my credit cards? The weather was too squirrelly to encourage our venture off the boat so we will do poker the next time it’s offered.

more later

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