Live Piracy Map

This was just posted on the Passagemaking Under Power list, and is interesting enough I wanted to immediately repost it here.

It’s a map that shows where pirate attacks occur. You can even click on individual incidents to get more-detailed information.

The Caribbean is amazingly pirate-free, as is the Med, Australia, New Zealand, most of South America and many other places.

And, the best news is, it appears our route to Japan is 100% pirate free! What we’ll do after we get there is a tougher question…

And, on a different topic:

If you haven’t been following Kosmos’ adventures lately, it’s a good day to read their latest report:

It raises the issue of one of my deepest fears about boating, and one of the things which is really the greatest nuisance of cruising. 

I have always had a rule which drives Roberta crazy. When at anchor, I don’t like to let the boat get out of sight. I like to know that if the wind comes up I can be back on the boat in minutes. I still remember the first time I had to break this rule. We were anchored off a small island, in the Med. The island was only about 2 miles around and Roberta insisted we explore the island. I couldn’t imagine being out of sight of the boat, and it took her a serious effort, and some harsh words, to get me to hike.

Over the years since, I’ve loosened up, and more relevantly, built confidence in my ground tackle. Depending on where we are, and how the skys look, I can now comfortably leave the boat for a few hours. But, irregardless the weather, I’m never really comfortable out of sight of the boat while it is at anchor. I can’t imagine “leaving the boat at anchor for a day or two” so we can go inland exploring. Even if it were a completely protected anchorage, how do I leave the tender? There are few safe places in third world countries where it is safe to leave the tender for several days. And, if you lose the tender, in the middle of nowhere, it can be a long drive to go fetch a new one.

-Ken W

7 Responses

  1. Peter: Sooner or later we’ll do the south pacific. Maybe next year. I haven’t really thought that far ahead, although it does seem like we’ll have shot ourselves in the foot by taking the route we’ve chosen. If we now decide to head down to the south pacific we’ll have another slog into the prevailing winds, and I suspect we’ll have had our fill of it on this trip. We’ll be in the mood for some good times.

    My guess is that we’ll cruise Japan for a season. Although, the group might fragment at Japan. I had an office in Japan, and our son lived there for seven years, so I’ve been often enough I don’t really need to spend time there cruising. That said, Japan by sea would be a completely different Japan than Japan by subway and taxi.

    As to piracy: I worry about it, but usually, piracy is fairly easy to avoid. Here’s a few rules that I use…

    – Don’t anchor close to shore, alone, in poor countries
    – Cruise well offshore when running dangerous coasts
    – Travel with other boats when traversing pirate-prone places
    – Use motion sensitive alarms. We have a electric dog unit that barks loudly when anything approaches the back of the boat. Motion sensitive lighting also helps.
    – Don’t leave the boat open and unlocked when sleeping (at anchor, OR at the docks)
    – Use common sense.
    – And, there’s the techniques I use which are infinitely less honorable, but also effective:
    —-Ship the boat, to bypass the most dangerous of places
    —-Choose alternate routing to bypass the danger
    —-If in doubt, don’t go there

    By doing the above, I suspect we’ve trimmed substantially the odds of something bad happening.

    We would like to do the Sailindonesia rally. My memory is that you are doing it this year. We’ll be jealous!

    -Ken W

  2. Ken,
    I have been interested in the discussion on piracy and believe so much is sensationalised by all this hype. I don’t know which city you hail from, but if the police did a mugging/bashing/murder chart similar to what we see around the world from pirates, you would probably never leave your house.
    So I guess you and I will probaly go through the Malacca Straits and Gulf of Aden around the same time 2009/10, unless you plan to still be unconventional and go via the Cape of Good Hope.
    However I think you have missed a great experience by not going via the South Pacific. You actually get blown to Down Under thanks to the warm SE Trades, and the wonderful people and their culture you will experience along the way. Very wife friendly environment.
    You could have gone from New Caledonia straight to Darwin and joined the Sailindonesia Rally for 3 months and experiencing something unbelievable before heading NW to SE Asia and beyond.
    You wouldn’t have to even got off the boat in Darwin as you could fuel in Noumea (clean & cheaper), and you could have your boat provisioned by the likes of my wife and I without even clearing in, because of the Shelby issue, and we could rendevous offshore with the Rally.

  3. Sam: There are certainly times when VHF radios are left in transmit mode, accidentally, or deliberately, and it can be REALLY annoying. On the Kosmos blog, they talk about traveling for thousands of miles where another boat deliberately transmitted non-stop gibberish on channel 16. I’ve had several times where I needed to use the VHF and found it impossible to use because some idiot left his mike transmitting.

    In your case, in the center of a city, it’s also possible, and perhaps even probable that you are just hearing some form of radio interference.

    Good luck! – Ken W

  4. JC: I’ve looked at a few systems for eliminating growth in sea strainers and through-hulls. I don’t want to give bad information, so I’ll just say that I don’t understand how these work, but I’ve heard that they do. There is an electric component to them which is what I worry about. I’ve heard horror stories, none of which I’ve been able to verify, of them eating through the through-hulls and hoses. If you get more information, let me know. – Ken W

  5. Hi Ken,

    I just got home to Mercer Island and flipped on my hand held vhf to 16. I started picking up static and music. Any idea why? Seemed very strange. The only thing I could come up with was an open mic where there was music in the background.

  6. Ken,
    I thought you may want to look into these products. (
    We are a dealer for most of their devices used in airflow but have a catalog that lists marine devices. Not listed but I imagine very important to you may be the “Intake Strainer Growth Elimination System”. This may solve your potential growth and eliminate the need to monitor the flow. I suggest you call them, the owner has a 100ft plus yacht that they test these issues on. They also have bilge oil/water separator pumps that may save you on fines if oil is pumped overboard. Hope it helps

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