'Somali pirates - destroying the dreams of many would-be circumnavigating sailors'
Just one typical story that tells it all about today's situation for the long range cruising sailor. Scott Hufford had a dream of sailing the world. He has braved many adversities since he left California many years ago, spending time in many countries along the way. Now he has had to stop, and it's not because of ill-health or maintenance problems and he hasn't run out of money. It's because of Somali pirates.
Sailing a cutter-rigged Brewer 37 called Pure Chance, Scott Hufford, from Rancho Cucamonga in West Los Angeles, has reached Kochi in India with his Thai wife Alicia, but will now fly home, and have his yacht shipped by a cargo ship.
Visibly disappointed this week, the 60-year-old sailor said that after a life braving fires and rough seas, he knows discretion is certainly the better part of valour.
'Sailing is my passion. But my country has advised me to keep away from certain areas due to the pirate threat. They told that they will not be able to protect me from pirates if I sail back to the US,' Scott says.
While Scott and Alicia will take a plane back to the States, his yacht will be despatched home in a container ship. His $120,000 yacht is named 'Pure Chance' but Scott, who originally wanted to take the Atlantic route via Yemen, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean on the way back home, is not willing to take any more chances.
'As per the advisory from my government, pirates have stopped attacking big ships due to the presence of armed guards on board the ships and have started to target small boats and yachts.
'I have been specifically asked to keep away from Red Sea and Gulf coast,' Scott, a retired fire fighter from the US fire force, reveals.
It will cost him $ 20,000 for shipping his yacht to the US. 'I have sought permission from the customs and they are processing my papers. The yacht has been loaded into a flat bottom and top-open container,' he says.
Once the papers are ready the container will be loaded onto a vessel bound for Sri Lanka from where it will be off-loaded and loaded again onto a mother vessel which will carry Scott's yacht to the east coast of the USA. Scott will sail it home from there.
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8:47 AM Sun 29 Jul 2012GMT
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