Does the thought of pirates ring a bell in your mind whenever you thought of sailing in the Caribbean? Relax! It is nothing as it is shown in movies. Actually according to sailors who have extensive experience of sailing around the World says, the Caribbean is rather the safest place to sail. The pristine blue waters, clear sky, and the fantastic weather of the Caribbean are perfect for sailing. It is evident from the number of tourists sailing that Grenada is the first choice when it comes to sailing in Caribbean. Sailing in the Caribbean is almost a common dream of wanderers. Often it is noticed that people back-off from sailing due to safety reasons. Though there is no such high risk of pirate attack on your yacht or dinghy, there are obviously cases of petty theft, boarding, burglary, and in some cases assault. It is noticed that violence occurs due to confrontation with intruders. So, it is always better to scare away the intruders and avoid further violence.
It is better to talk about how to stay safe while sailing in the Caribbean to make every traveler aware of the situation. The aim behind this is not to scare away travelers from sailing but actually making them aware so as to avoid any adverse situation. So, here we will discuss 10 ways to safely sail in the Caribbean.
- Anchoring: It is not a very clever act to anchor your boat in a lonely place. Always try to be in close proximity to others in a harbor. Also, make a friendly approach to others in the harbor. This might save your boat of intruders as there will be people to protect you. But in case you are persistent in anchoring at some lonely place keep someone on watch all the time to ensure safety. Keep the radio 24/7 on, if needed lower the volume but never turn it off to make your emergency DSC button work.
- Emergency helpline: Always set an emergency distress helpline number in your satellite phone, if you have one. You can also preprogramme an SSB/HF radio with stations that are monitored by authorities like USCG and others. Frequencies like 4125, 6215 kHz, etc are for emergencies. The Maritime Mobile ServiceNetwork monitors 14300 kHz round the clock, and it is for use of anyone in an emergency.
- Keep things locked: you never can guess it right how much opening is enough for a skinny kid intruder. So, make sure you properly rather securely lock every access point, ports, and even hatches while you leave your boat. It is always better to take the best of the precautions than to be sorry later.
- Install motion detector alarm: Scaring off an intruder is not so hard a job. There are multiple motion detector alarms available online. So, install such alarms at all access points. If a light goes up as soon as any motion is detected of alarm blares the intruders will automatically run away. Remember these people are usually petty thieves and love their life too!
- Keep distancefrom strangers: As it is already advised to make acquaintance with people in harbor, this may sound contradictory. But always make sure not to share your departure plans or your itinerary with anyone. You never know who is trustworthy and who is not in a land full of strangers.
- Managing your dinghy: Keep your Dinghy simple and untraceable. If you paint the boat number on your dinghy and keep it by the dinghy dock, it will imply that some people or all people of the boat are away. This gives a clear message to the intruders of the best opportunity to get in. Also, keep in mind not to leave things like snorkeling gear, gas tanks, and other important things unlocked or unattended in the dinghy even while you may be swimming in the beach. Also, keep the dinghy securely locked in the dock with a sturdy cable while you are away.
- Sacrificial stash and Back-up: While you are going shopping or sight-seeing for the whole day do not carry all your money with you. Hide your money and valuables in different places in the boat which are unpredictable. Also, keep a sacrificial stash which you will eventually surrender in case of intruders break-in and things go out of hand. Keep electronic copies of important documents in different places if one gets stolen or the original gets you have a backup. You can also keep a back up of GPS and portable Radio for any unforeseen situation.
- Dressing: While you are ashore keep in mind to dress according to the place. Putting on some flashy pricey looking accessories, jewelry or dress may put you in the radar of intruders or thieves. They also may follow you to your dinghy and even your boat for a better opportunity. Sailing in the Caribbean is to make memories and you can always wear your favorites when you are back in your place. Also, if you are in Grenada you will be able to look great irrespective of what you wear as the place is so damn beautiful.
- Be organized: While you are ashore keep in mind to keep things that are valuable for example money, camera, passports and documents and other things tucked close to your body in some backpack or waist pouch. It is easier to snatch away sling bags, purses, etc. Inform local authorities: In case you face any incident of theft, break-in, or even if you feel any danger do not ever hesitate to inform and seek help from the local authorities like, police, marina management tourist office, and other such authorities. This not only helps you get justice but also helps the local authority to take measures to provide safety to other travelers sailing to the Caribbean.
- Take advice from authorized local experts: Last but not the least, it is always a good idea to sail in the Caribbean with some local experts. If you are a tourist, it is always a good idea to invest your money with local sailing experts. This has various advantages like you will get to enjoy delicious authentic local meals, you will be safe, you will be able to soak in the Caribbean culture in a better way and also you will be able to enjoy sailing in the Caribbean with fewer things to worry.
So, if you are little confident now to see the beauty of Grenada and other places of the Caribbean, plan your vacation for sailing into the Caribbean to have a lifetime experience and refueling yourself for your daily life until your next vacation. The white sand and blue waters of the Caribbean never disappoints anyone.