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Old 02-16-2006, 09:09 AM   #15
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Stephen,

I Salute You.

Kirk
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Old 02-16-2006, 01:07 PM   #16
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Thanks for the good wishes guys. I will, of course, keep you posted.

Incidentallly, the deal is not that bad as I have been offered stints of two months in post then one month leave with free airfares home. All being well, my first tour of duty should start just after Easter. My major concern is finding somewhere to buy whiskey in powdered form (just add water) so I can take a good supply with me.

Cheers,

Stephen

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Old 02-16-2006, 06:23 PM   #17
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Stephen,

I spent some time in Hodaida (several ways of spelling this) in North Yemen in the 1980's whilst serving in a Royal Navy survey ship. We were doing a survey for the Yeminis and had a Yemini naval officer with us as a liaison officer. Even then things were not easy and despite the fact that we were there at the behest of their government the local security personnel could be difficult at times.

In the afternoon nothing but nothing can be done because the whole country is in a state of stupor due to them chewing vast quantities of khat, a narcotic leaf which is grown there. We were stopped at the dockyard gate by a teenager in a filthy uniform carrying a rusted up rifle and despite being shown an official document by our Yemini officer he would not let us through. However, he was as high as a kite so we told our Land Rover driver to put his foot down and go for it. We looked back at the guard who shrugged his shoulders and went back into the shade of his little hut.

That said, the people were generally very friendly and the countryside on the way up to Sanaa, the capital, is quite spectacular. The souks are very interesting and bartering for your goods is a way of life, as it is all over the Middle East.

You will be doing all of us yachties and other seafarers a great service if you can get the coast guard up to scratch and make the area safer.

Good luck

Cheers

David
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Old 02-16-2006, 11:49 PM   #18
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Wow that sounds interesting! Just out of a purely selfish interest, would you be in the area thsi time next year?

10 days 14 hours to go...
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Old 02-17-2006, 01:00 PM   #19
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Hi Ben,

The proposed contract takes me up to the end of the year. In more concrete terms, from immediately after Easter until immediately before Christmas. But who knows, there may an extension proposed although it would be very premature to suggest that as we still have not completely agreed on the first contract. There are a few 'higher' instances which still have to put their thumbprints on it.

Cheers

Stephen

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Old 02-17-2006, 01:13 PM   #20
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Hi David,

Thanks for your input. The picture you painted is pretty much the same as the one I have of the place. I have spent very little time in the Middle East but have been used to working much in Africa and the Far East as well as Europe.

I have a friend whom you may well know, an ex R.N. commander, J.J. (Ian) Shea who is currently in Tanzania. He spent six years in Oman and has given me a 'blow by blow' account of the way of life there. I gather that this is no 'luxury assignment', in fact more of a hardship posting but the opportunity to do some real good (and earn a reasonable salary in the bargain) is not easy to resist.

As far as getting the coast guard up to scratch ios concerned, well maybe that is too much of a tall order in such a narrow time fram but if we can get them to go in the right direction then much will be won. Just getting them to sea will be quite an achievement!

I'll keep you all posted!

Cheers again

Stephen

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Old 02-20-2006, 11:14 PM   #21
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Certainly, but having a friendly 'face' in the region would make me feel a whole lot more comfortable! I hope we get to meet, Stephen!

ben

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Old 02-21-2006, 08:19 PM   #22
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Ben,

I would like that too.

Can I email you my contact details in the Yemen when I get to know them?

Cheers

Stephen
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:57 PM   #23
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Hi,

Of course. I will gladly do that

Cheers // Stephen
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:05 PM   #24
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Hope your stay in Yemen goes well Stephen. My limited experience with the Yemeni Govt makes me wonder how they will be able to finance the on-going operations of a Coast Guard. Maybe you will be able to give us the low down after your employment is completed. We plan to pass thru that area again early 2007, so hopefully we will notice an improvement. All the Best.

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Old 03-16-2006, 03:43 PM   #25
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Hi,

Apologies for the tardiness of my reply but I've been away for a while.

Sure, I'll keep you all posted as to progress. And yes, funding is a concern but I believe the U.S. is willing to pump in money to maintain security in the area. After all, compared to U.S. direct involvement in the Middle East the cost of running a small coast guard is miniscule.

I am just hoping that everything works out and that the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden once more be judged to be safe areas to sail through. To be honest, I am more concerned with what happens on the African side as the Yemeni Coast Guard will not be allowed to operate in Somalian waters. Anyway, one step at a time as they say. If we can secure the Yemeni side we will have made good progress!

Cheers,

Stephen

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Old 03-17-2006, 09:34 PM   #26
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Hi Stephen,

your project sounds great and will be very important not only for cruisers...

I do not want to advertise here, but if you feel that AIS might help you to fullfil your mission please contact me by email.

Best regards,

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Old 03-22-2006, 05:15 PM   #27
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Piracy in Melacca Strait and Indonesia.

Have not seen any, have not heard of any last year! But: What some pople 'reports' as piracy attempts/attacs very often seems to be angry fishermen! The biggest problem when sailing at night in these waters are local fishermen putting out miles of nets and very often in the middle of your route. It happened to me a couple of times on the way from Bali to Port Dickson,Malaysia last October. In pitch darkness we went by spinnaker with nav lights on (sailing with spinnaker at night I even use my 'engine' light to see the spinnaker, all of the sudden the whole sea came to ligh and small engines started all around us. We were in the middle of at least one hundred small sampans. They normally do not use lights as soon as the nets are out, they save power! They get a bit annoyed when you passes trough, as you will probably cut a net or more if unlucky. However the nets are mainly at a depth of 2-4 meters, but one thing is dangerous. They tie logs at different intervalls to the nets to attract fish! To determine which net that belongs to which boat is impossible in the darkness. The boats normally puts up a green/white light, the other end of the net a red. But there seemed to be no order, probably the local shop was out of the red or green and they used whatever they had! The main 'rule' is just to keep on with your course unless you are obviously crossing a net, whatever you do DO NOT STOP! Indonesia was worst, malaysia was no big problems in this way. Here the biggest problem at night is the barges that are towed with wires of hundreds of meters between the tug and the barge, and proper navigation lights seems to be difficult.

What has been reported of piracy are some cases of hi-jacked cargo sampans going between Malaysia and Indonesia, but this happends allways on the Sumatra side of the straight. In some areas in Thailand there have been some incidents with yachters being robbed, but mainly at anchor. So sailing wise this area, for yachters, seems to be rather safe!

Welcome to Langkawi, Malaysia, and if you are comming in Nowember may I suggest you join the Radja Muda regatta Port Klang -Pangkor-Penang-Langkawi! No one can make parties like the Malaysians!
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:16 PM   #28
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Hello all,

I believe that due to the Egyptian's interest in boats passing throught the Suez canal, the Egyptian's should maybe help clean the area of pirates. Did any entity approach the Egyptian authorities in the matter? Just my 2 cents.

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