Tom's Tips About Remote Areas

1. Treat paradise like you would anywhere else. Don’t go into bad areas. You’ll usually know what’s a bad area if you listen to cruisers’ nets on ham and SSB radio, pay attention to the VHF and use common sense.

2. In remote areas it’s usually a good idea to travel and anchor with other known boats.

3. Don’t assume that just because some one is on a “cruising boat” that they’re OK. In cruising harbors where boats come and go every day and no one knows anyone’s past, bad people can say all sorts of wonderful things about themselves that aren’t true. They can, for the time, create their past.

4. When you’re cruising in remote areas of other countries and someone comes out from the shore and asks you to leave, it’s usually a good idea to do so, even if you have a “right” to anchor there.

5. If you see something going on that just doesn’t seem “right,” leave.

6. When you travel to or in remote areas let friends know your plans and itinerary. Cruisers’ nets on ham and SSB radio have check ins for people underway.

7. Sometimes people anchor out for the night (in settled weather) on the Great Bahama Banks when making the passage from Florida to the Berrys, Andros or Nassau. If you do this, do it with other known boats.

8. Remember that in other countries, police and the legal process may work very differently than in the States.

9. There are many things that you can do to protect yourself. Locking your dinghy or bringing it aboard at night, locking your hatches in questionable areas, and keeping well lit are just a few.

10. One famous world cruiser protected himself by spreading tacks about his deck when at anchor at night when he thought there was a risk of being illegally boarded. If you do this, just don’t forget you put them there—especially if you go to the side for a nature call at 2:00 AM.

11. Always use your own best judgment and the advice of competent authorities. The advice here shouldn’t be relied on to completely deal with these situations. It’s only intended to get you thinking about the issues.

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Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale

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