We are not a particularly fearful family. We camp, travel, leave windows and doors open all summer. I was the parent who got in trouble from the school (3 times) for allowing my 7.5 yr old to walk the 6.5 blocks home alone. I finally got frustrated with their judgement and suggestions that he was not safe to walk alone. I suggested to them that I was less afraid of him being abducted than hit by a bus or repeatedly struck by lightening, and so made him walk an extra half block that made him cross at a light. They huffed at me, but never stopped him from walking home again. Yes, I am that parent, we are that family.
Brent has sailed a lot. He has Salty Tales; of surviving through a hurricane, crazy crew, crazy owners, of southern cafe owners explaining that he can’t eat here but as he clearly “wasn’t from around here” -kindly sending him across the street where he was “supposed” to be, of breaking things, of fixing things, sunsets, sunrises and amazing stars and, of pirates.
As a new to cruising family–really a “wannabe” cruising family; How do we evaluate cruising grounds? In particular with regards to safety? Where strangers trying to board and steel and or where violence are a more regular occurrence. I’m not suggesting no care and vigilance, but relative safety levels. I roughed out this blog over a week ago now, and since writing it I have seen two violent acts reported (a fatality in South America, and abductions in the Philippines) within the cruising community. Some of the blogs we follow are, for example, in Madagascar, have traveled through Indonesia, some have come through waters that are “known” by “landlubbers” as definitively unsafe. How do we separate the information from infographics that show areas of risk, but are they applicable to a family sailing? To vessels that are small, and not loaded with cargo?
Yet I know these experienced sailors, some with families, are not all risk taking, thrill seeking, adrenaline junkies out pirate baiting. They know more, know differently, have more current information, local information. How do we join this club of knowledge? **As I edit this post, I remember another example of those doing exciting things in questionable places, read one of these kinds of stories here http://www.sailingtotem.com/2015/10/the-not-so-perilous-port-of-mahajanga-madagascar.html. I want to question “what is the safety plan?, what do those nuts and bolts actually look like?” These are conversations I will have.
I am learning a lot from reading various blogs, and following group discussions. Understanding that politics can change quickly at times, and that media has a way of twisting and or exaggerating situations. I want more info. Hot spot maps? reporting sites? Is the connectedness within the community of knowing, something that comes once we are there, living it, constantly immersed in sailing. I am perhaps, impatient.
We will continue to research. To watch, read and learn. Even the armchair version of this life is amazing. Tick-Tock.