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Old 07-15-2012, 08:18 PM   #21
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Our Esprit 37 could be trucked so we are interested in hearing more when someone does this. I did not like the idea to go around south Africa and we can not see leaving our boat here in SE Asia to fly places to visit the Med.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:53 PM   #22
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Great News to Report regarding Piracy in the Indian, GOA and Red Sea.

Last week was the first week in over 3 years that there was zero piracy reported! The trend seems to be reversing and the coalition appears to be making a difference.

The cost of replacement outboards is too high.

http://www.oni.navy.mil/Intelligence...W_07122012.pdf
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:15 PM   #23
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Default The Dubai - Aqaba Option

Thank you redbopeep for starting this thread and also to Trim50 for the excellent input of a viable and interesting option, as opposed to sailing through the Gulf Of Aden and the Red Sea, with all the dangers that entails.

I joined this forum a number of years ago as CruisingSpirit but have been unable to log in again for some reason and have, therefore , rejoined as S/Y Spirit.

Until recently, Spirit was berthed near Langkawi at the Rebak Marina. Unable to find a solution towards getting her into the Mediterranean Sea and home via the Gulf of Aden, putting her up for sale in Thailand appeared to be the only remaining option.

As Trim50 stated in one of his postings further upthread, the entire issue can be described in simple terms as follows: “For many cruisers, we have worked hard to arrive in places like Australia, New Zealand and Langkawi only to be faced with the big question of “What now?” Do we sell our boat? Do we just forget the Med and sail around South Africa and onto Brazil? Or even worse, sail the Pacific Rim all the way back home! Or, do we find alternative methods of getting to the Med?”

For those of us, who live in Europe and want to return with our boats to the Mediterranean, these questions are, perhaps, even more prevalent.

When I bought Spirit in Malaysia several years ago, my plan was to sail her down there for a few years and then bring her back up into the Mediterranean. Subsequent developments in the Gulf of Aden now make that undertaking nearly impossible as neither my ship, nor my crew, nor even my person as skipper are insurable when sailing through the “HRA” or High Risk Area, which now comprises the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. It is currently a declared "war zone".


“Rolling the dice” and sailing alone towards Suez is not an option. Selling my boat in S.E. Asia means that I will probably be able to sell her at only 1/3 of her actual value, if even that. This is not an option. Abandoning her is not an option. Sailing back to Europe across the northern Pacific Rim is also not an option. Going southwest and doing Africa and the Cape of Good Hope route might be a good way to get to Brazil, but not to Europe.

Accordingly, taking the land route from Dubai to Aqaba appears to be more than interesting.

Spirit’s max height is 4.5 meters and otherwise fits the specs. I’ve contacted NABRESCO and have asked them to make me an offer from Dubai to Aqaba, although I know that they would first need to send their truck to Dubai. However, they have the experience and $11.000 is a lot less than the $48.000 I received from one shipping company 3 years ago.

All I’m interested in, is getting my boat into the Mediterranean as safely and cheaply as possible.

I know, that there are a lot of other ship owners in similar situations and believe that a company like NABRESCO could provide a solution to this most unique problem.

I’ll keep you informed regarding how this develops. At the moment I see this as the only realistic way of getting my boat into the Mediterranean without endangering my boat, my crew or myself.

If there’s any way of doing it, this is the course I’ll be taking.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:38 PM   #24
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G'Day Spirit,

Thank you for you input on this subject.

Please keep us posted regarding any feedback you get from any of the shippers, good or bad. Any and all data will be very useful to all those currently waiting and still arriving in Australia and SE Asia for an option to the Med.

Cheers,

Ken
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:04 PM   #25
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G'Day Trim50

You're welcome and I'll certainly keep the forum posted. I am well aware that I am not the only one in this position. There are any number of yacht owners currently looking for a viable route into the Mediterranean.

Frankly, at this time I see no other options for Spirit. Concurrently, I hope that NABRESCO or another company will recognize the business potential of this solution to a dire problem for many yacht owners.

Even if sending a truck down to Dubai from Aqaba costs an additional $1000, this is still more economical than any other way forward for many of us.

What I do know, is that I'm not leaving my ship in S.E. Asia. That's not any way to treat the fulfilled dream of a lifetime. :-)

Spirit is coming home.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:25 PM   #26
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I have continued to wonder if things will improve (in some years) but if not, certainly the trucking sounds to be a viable option.

A reminder that before the days of the canals, the clipper route was routinely used by grain ships from AU to Europe Clipper route - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cruising yachts in the early part of the 20th century also used the Clipper route.

Now, of course, it is primarily used by racing sailors or those wishing a bit of sailing adventure. A few years ago (2009?), I attended a lecture of a US young sailing couple who'd zipped around the world to-from their SoCal harbor with little problem using the Clipper route. I usually remember this sort of thing in quite some detail. I'm drawing a blank because it was quite an unremarkable trip and quite an ordinary vessel and quite an ordinary couple. Only remarkable in that they had the self confidence to travel the route, when given all the "ordinary-ness" of they, their boat, and their prior sailing experiences, most others would not have done so. That thought bodes well for any other set of ordinary folks who want to use the Clipper route.

Fair winds,
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:34 PM   #27
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Here is a quick update concerning the most recent developments:

Having attempted to contact NABRESCO (Odeh Naber & Sons Transport Co.) in Amman, Jordan by e-mail, I received a message this morning that my e-mail was deleted without having been read. Accordingly, I reworded the original message slightly (leaving out any mention of the transport of S/Y Chinook from Aqaba to Dubai) and sent another e-mail to NABRESCO.

Concurrently, I also sent an identical query to the offices of NABRESCO’s sister company Naber & Co. International Forwarders but have since received the message that this e-mail “could not be delivered”. Whether due to server-issues, censorship or firewall parameters, e-mails from Europe are not getting through at this time.

Perhaps it’s time to give them a phone call.

This afternoon I called the Munich, Germany offices of the Magdenli shipping company for which Trim50 supplied a link a few posts upthread. Had a long talk with the general manager there and was informed that Magdenli there only deals with transports to and from Turkey. They used to handle some shipping into Iraq but that has since ended due to the conflict between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdistan. Nonetheless, Munich suggested I contact the head office in Ankara, as they might be able to put me in touch with Saudi Arabian shipping companies that undertake such contracts.

Based on a query made to the Bremen, Germany offices of the Pangea Cargo Company concerning transshipment by sea, I received a polite reply from their Bangkok offices concerning the dimensions of my boat, which I immediately sent them. Am still awaiting a reply for a quote for transport from Phuket to Port Said, Egypt (cradle included).

It is quite possible that shipping companies such as these prefer to work with other companies as opposed to dealing with private individuals. I therefore sent an e-mail to the general manager of Blue Bell Shipping located in Dubai, who I know personally.

Link: Blue Bell Shipping

What I want to find out, is if Blue Bell might be interested in addressing (and possibly cornering) the “niche market” of overland yacht transports on a one-way basis from Dubai up to Aqaba. Acting as “general contractor”, they could handle all customs and duty formalities, provide cradles on loan and essentially oversee the entire logistics of the transport of the yachts from Dubai to Aqaba as general contractors.

The more thought I have given this option, the more viable I find this solution for many yachts owners wanting to reach the Mediterranean from S.E. Asia in the foreseeable future.

Any company willing to specialize in what is essentially a lucrative “market niche” with a lot of potential might find this to be interesting. In my estimation there are a good many yacht owners, who would be willing to take this route in order to complete a circumnavigation via Europe respectively the Mediterranean.

Here are the dimensions of my Warwick Cardinal:

Length 14.02m
Height 4.50m
Beam 4.14m
Weight 12500kgs
Mast 18.28m

Accordingly, it could be transported without difficulty overland. I look forward to further developments with interest.

What I am sure of, is that because of the general decline of shipping volume, due to the current global economic downturn, shipping companies can and will be found, that are willing transport our yachts at fair prices. Any shipping company, which recognizes the incredible potential of this market and is willing to follow “creative solutions” (read: low cost, full service) will be able to make a substantial, long-term profit.

The overland route from Dubai to Aqaba seems to me like a brilliant way forward for all concerned.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:18 AM   #28
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Thank you for all the information!
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:59 PM   #29
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Short update:

Today I received a positive response from Blue Bell Shipping concerning an estimate for sea-transport of Spirit from Phuket to Port Said. Sent their offices in Dubai images of hull so that their estimate will include the cradle.

I’ve requested this quotation, as I expect that it will be the most realistic one I will ever receive for transport by sea and will use it as a reference when comparing overland prices for the Dubai – Aqaba route.

I also asked the general manager whether Blue Bell Shipping would be willing to consider alternative solutions towards moving yachts into the Mediterranean.

For the sake of argument, it would be interesting to compile a list of yachts in S.E. Asia currently waiting for a means of reaching the Mediterranean. Has a comprehensive listing of this kind ever been compiled? If not, how might one best go about getting it done?

I believe it will be necessary to have a list of potential or interested “customers” on hand, in order to convince transport companies that there really is a market there for the safe and economical transshipment of yachts over land into the Mediterranean.

In the end, NABRESCO’s sister company Naber & Co. International Forwarders received and read the queries I sent, but their offices have not yet replied. I think I will give them another 24 hours and then send a query to Raed Naber, the operations manager at NABRESCO, directly.

According to some rough calculations I’ve made, if 100 yachts were to take this route the total “official turnover” for the area would come to around $1.5 million. This does not include, however, any other living expenses or tourist expenditures made by their crews in Dubai or Jordan.

One might think that Dubai would be especially interested in seeing an increased influx of people, doing more than tax-free shopping for a few hours at their airport. Further, the UAE would also be seen as a major player and conductive element towards maintaining safe passage of ships into the Mediterranean. From a public relations viewpoint, it would be more than effective. More yachts, more visitors, money spent in the UAE, positive world-wide media attention – the whole shebang.

Further, the Dubai – Aqaba route would serve as one more method of undermining the “profitability” of piracy in the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, as fewer yachts would take that route, knowing there is an economically acceptable alternative. Those, taking this route upon themselves, would actually be “blockade busters” and doing the entire world a service.

So, that’s the theory. Now, it just needs to be lined up in such a way that not just one or two, but perhaps hundreds of yachts can be accommodated on what would become, essentially, an “underground railroad” for west-bound yachts.

It might also be interesting to learn what the position of the Saudi Arabian government to a project like this might be. There is a large Saudi Embassy/Consulate in Vienna (due to OPEC) and I believe that an appointment with them could be arranged.

Again, a comprehensive list of yachts awaiting transit to Europe would be helpful in stating our arguments. If the Saudis were willing to back such an endeavor, as the yachts would cross much of their territory, it might be that the costs could be even further reduced.

Tja, my “short update” has turned out to be a bit longer than envisioned. Nonetheless, it’s good to simply offer the ideas that come to mind and, perhaps, your feedback will bring forward further ideas.

Redbopeep has quoted Yoda as saying "Do or do not. There is no try."

I fully agree.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:18 PM   #30
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Regarding further developments, today has been a quiet day.

With regard to the estimate for sea-transport of Spirit from Phuket to Port Said, Egypt, Blue Bell Shipping informed me that as the length of the flat rack they intend to use is 12 meters, whereas my mast is 18 meters long, the shipping carriers will levy heavy additional charges, due to the overhang.

I asked Blue Bell to find out, whether the mast could be shipped separately on deck, thereby reducing the overall costs and was told that they would look into this option. It looks like it might be more economical to transport the boat and mast separately. It might be that many previous estimates have been based, at the end of the day, on the length of the mast and not on the actual length of the boat. Separating the two for the duration of transport could significantly reduce the transport fees.

Also asked Blue Bell Shipping to give me an estimate on transport from Phuket to Dubai.

I was also informed by Blue Bell that they are experienced in handling OOG cargo, which means “Out of Gauge Cargo”, defined as cargo with dimension which exceed standard container internal dimension. My next step is to inquire whether that expertise also applies to over-land transports as well.

As you may have noticed, I am taking this forward on a step-by-step basis because many “shipping companies” are in the business of doing just that: transporting goods by ship. What we need to find, however, is a “shipping company” willing to work together with a “transport company”, if they do not have the flatbed-trailers, required for getting yachts to Aqaba.

Ideally, the “shipping company” should deal with customs, the logistics of preparation for transport and all of the administrative details involved. The “transport company” should move the boat from Dubai to Aqaba. Upon arrival, there should be another “shipping company” on-site, overseeing the logistics of getting the boat back into the water, operational and all formalities concluded.

If one Dubai company can do this alone, then it’s fine. If it takes two companies that can, presumably, also be arranged. The purpose of the exercise now, is to find out which companies in Dubai would be willing to undertake these steps, in order to get our boats up to Aqaba. Perhaps the shipping company in Dubai could work better together with a company in Jordan like NABRESCO in Jordan, as opposed to each ship-owner having to reinvent the wheel for each transit.

What it comes down to is that we need professionals in Dubai to get our yachts prepared, we need professional transport to Aqaba and we need professionals in Aqaba to get our boats back into the water and ready to sail again. Essentially, it’s a three-step venture that shouldn’t cost more than $11.000.

I’m doing now what I can to see if this can be arranged. What it comes down to is finding companies interested in making money on this. It becomes really interesting if a good number of yachts take this route.

Further updates pending.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:44 PM   #31
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The logistics department of Naber & Co. International Forwarders in Jordan have responded to my email query concerning overland transport of S/Y Spirit from Dubai to Aqaba.

Preliminary negotiations are underway.

Update follows.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:13 PM   #32
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I wonder how the price would be affected, and whether as a result it would be worth considering cutting the mast into two lengths, then fitting an internal sleeve to rejoin the spar when it is due to be restepped.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:15 PM   #33
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Sounds good in theory and this would certainly lower the costs as there would be no overhang.

However, although I’m no structural engineer, I would say that no matter how good the effort, that mast will never have the same physical strength as it did before it was cut in two. At the same time, can it ever be made as perfectly straight as it once was? Dunno.

I’d say, find a shipper willing to transport the mast separately as a courtesy to the customer and in the interest of more business to come.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:48 AM   #34
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Quote:
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I wonder how the price would be affected, and whether as a result it would be worth considering cutting the mast into two lengths, then fitting an internal sleeve to rejoin the spar when it is due to be restepped.


Did I say "eek!" ummmm... there are actually ways of trucking masts very inexpensively with a pickup and a special (low cost) trailer. Our masts are a good 20ft longer than our boat and the boat has moved overland 3 times, each time the masts required a separate hauler than the boat.

Ours were moved with a big mast-moving truck two of the times, one time it was with a nifty expanding trailer that could be hauled with a regular pickup truck. Low cost method, that.

Cutting the masts apart I dunno. Seems a bit extreme.

There are specialty trucks for just moving masts. The company that moved out boat all three times happens to specialize in big mast moves--here's one of theirs:



they've got other pics on their website here


Here's a picture of a mast being moved out (or in?) to a boatyard using one of those pickup truck trailer things. I've seen different ones--here's the smallest I've seen: This mast being moved in the pic was more than 70 ft long, I'm sure. If this is going to be a new business for an entity there, perhaps they'll invest in something like this. The trailer accordians up into something small.

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Old 03-17-2013, 08:43 PM   #35
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Things have been very quiet today, insofar as none of the quotes I am awaiting have materialized.

I’ve been hanging around the computer all day, although I know that these things take time to work out. Having learned, when doing business internationally, that there is the concept of “European time”, as opposed to how clocks tick in other parts of the world, it is best to simply let thing run their course with patience. I believe that anyone, who has ever conducted negotiations in Egypt, for instance, knows what I’m talking about. These are ancient negotiating rituals and in a way I’ve come to appreciate them. But, sometimes, finding that patience is difficult.

It certainly gives one time to think.

One thought that has been recurring today is something I read over the past few days concerning the Dubai – Aqaba solution, but cannot find again. A poster wrote (paraphrased here), “If one can successfully transport a yacht over the desert from Houston, Texas to Los Angeles, one can transport a yacht over the desert from Dubai to Aqaba.”

How right he is. Every time I think that, perhaps, this solution might really be “too far out”, I revert back to this observation and take heart again. Also, this thread begins with another simple but applicable statement: “Where there’s a will, there is a way”.

Accordingly, I’ve been giving the developments so far a bit of thought.

If Naber & Co. International Forwarders in Jordan are willing to accept transports such as this on a continuing basis, half the battle has been won. They have already transported a yacht from Aqaba to Dubai and thereby gained experience in managing such an undertaking. I certainly hope we can reach a mutually satisfactory business arrangement for further transports, albeit in the opposite direction.

However, should we not come to an agreement, other options remain open, that can be investigated.

The fact is, we are trying to set up this solution on the basis of “connections“ others have established and used, in order to conduct such a transport. It worked once, but might not work again.

Should this be the case, there are still several approaches that can be taken, in order to find overland shipping companies willing to undertake such transports. As we obviously do not have an extensive overview, of which companies might come into question, the next step will be to contact the commercial attachés of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and explain the situation to them, with a request for a list of the those companies operating in their countries, which have the capacity to make such transports.

This could easily be undertaken from a neutral country here in Europe (such as Austria) and might give the importance of such an endeavor a bit more weight in the above-mentioned countries. Let it be understood: we are not looking for a handout. We are paying customers, looking for a way to transport our yachts from Dubai to Aqaba and will pay well for that service.

In a post a bit further up-thread I mentioned that it might be interesting to learn what the position of the Saudi Arabian government could be towards an anti-piracy project such as this. When I wrote that thought, I had to laugh, because I immediately envisioned many reader’s reactions to my audacity with a, “Sure, CruisingSpirit is just gonna walk into the Saudi Arabian embassy in Vienna and tell ‘em like it is”.

Well, folks, that’s what it might come down to.

Anyone can visit the commercial attaché of an embassy, in order to discuss business. That’s what they are there for. Many commercial attachés are happy to be of assistance, especially if it means increased business opportunities (and great public relations opportunities) for their countries.

What I would like to achieve, thereby, is a complete waiver or at least a reduction of the usual “transit fees”, as these circumstances are for all sailors and yachts owners an “act of God” situation, as the insurers call it. No yacht, no crew member underway through the northern Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden or the Red Sea is in any way insured or insurable. It is a declared war zone. These are extraordinary circumstances and, perhaps therefore, the usual transit fees required could be reduced or entirely waived, as an act of solidarity.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I do not believe that those of us wishing to reach the Mediterranean should continue to “suffer in silence”. We need to make ourselves heard and we, very probably, find ourselves in the position we are in, because we have not spoken out sooner.

Time’s come to change that.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Your thoughts?
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:04 PM   #36
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I’m no structural engineer but I chatted with our local Rigger who is well and widely know with many years experience and he tells me that a mast cut and then sleeved properly when rejoining will be aligned correctly and loose no structural integrity. The correct size sleeve actually takes care of the alignment and the sleeved area tends to be slightly stronger than the rest.

Could be worth considering when thinking of the costs involved if the mast is required to be shipped separately.

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Old 03-17-2013, 09:27 PM   #37
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The word from the naval coalition managing the pirates of GOA and Red Sea is that private sailing vessels are warned not to attempt passage and that assistance in case of an emergency is not likely to arrive. Sailing vessels are too slow and freeboard too low to secure against piracy.

However, private armed guards are available for hire and pirates are known to retreat 100% of the time when fired upon...especially when rounds come near their outboards.
This mirrors my conjecture. Hire security and travel in caravan. Way less than trucking. You could even consider acquiring guns you would give up at the next port where they are not permitted (toss in the ocean)
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:56 PM   #38
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Quote: February 2013

“The Maritime Shipping Centre-Horn of Africa (MSCHOA), NATO Shipping Centre, UK Maritime and Trade Organisation (UKMTO) and MARLO are united in their advice that sailing yachts should avoid transiting the High Risk Area (HRA) in the Indian Ocean for the foreseeable future.

To pirate groups, sailing yachts are an easy target and possible source of revenue. Sailing in large groups is unlikely to be a deterrent – groups of sailing yachts could be seen as a larger and more lucrative target.”

* * *

I understand where you are coming from, Nicholson58. Hiring “security” sounds great until it falls apart when the convoy comes under attack. How many yacht owners do you know, who are able to efficiently use automatic weapons when under fire themselves? How willing might they be to use them, knowing that their crews, wives and kids are either topsides or somewhere below deck with only 8mm of GRP to protect them?

And if only one of them are injured or killed, uninsured as they all are, would you be willing, as the skipper, to spend the rest of your life paying compensation for their injuries or even one death?

I don’t think so.

With all due respect, you won’t be one to be sailing Roxy through the Gulf of Aden anytime soon.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:59 AM   #39
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I am not advocating anything as I have no desire to transit to the Med. At this point in my life I am happy sailing the Australian Coast and exploring SouthEast Asia and could do so for the rest of my life without experiencing all there is to see and do. Spending a day or two somewhere just isn't enough time for me and think about all the interesting places we sail past every day without being aware of what we are missing. I decided to stop and smell the roses more frequently and am glad I did because it has resulted in many good friendships and experiences. Day hops and short 2 or 3 day passages work well for me.

Just a thought or two on the Gulf of Aden ...

When was the last private yacht attacked when transiting the Gulf of Aden ...

We hear all the bad news stories and generally never the good ... so ... how many yachts actually transit the Gulf of Aden each week or month ...

I would hazard a guess that some yachts we are not aware of have done so and are probably still doing so as we speak. While it may be advised not to do so, it is not illegal to travel in the area.

What value to a pirate is a private yacht. I understand that they mostly attack large commercial vessels and hold them to ransom from the boat owners and insurers.

The several incidents I heard about in detail, showed that any defence by fire hose or weapons fire resulted in the pirates breaking off the attack.

Draw your own conclusions.

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Old 03-18-2013, 09:08 AM   #40
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236
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Contacting the commercial attaché at embassy is very reasonable. When I lived in Washington, DC I was part of a technology council there and frequently attended parties at a variety of embassies that were focused on getting new business partnerships/ventures for that country. It is reasonable if you're trying to set something up that will be a long-lasting business.

Here in the States, we also can contact the State Department and get in touch with the person (or people) who are expert on a particular country and with connections there--this will be dealing with government employees who are part of the diplomatic corps and work that county's issues. That way of reaching out to a country often leads to very nice connections which are more likely to lead to success for the final venture.

Good luck.
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