The horror goes on, Danes released but French sailor killed by Somalis, thrown overboard...North Sea Passage ice record...the magic of the riding sail...the silent shackle in 'Infinite Loupe'...and much more
Why are cruising sailors still sailing in the Gulf of Aden?
Danish cruising sailors the Johansen family -safe at last after payment of a hefty ransom to Somali pirates .. .
I find it incredible, after all the publicity about kidnappings and murders of cruising sailors by Somali pirates, that some foolhardy adventurers are still risking death by entering their waters.
Just as the sailing world was rejoicing for the seven Danish sailors, including three young teenagers, who were released by pirates after the payment of a hefty ransom, another cruising sailor, a Frenchman, has been killed and thrown overboard and his wife abducted. The only good news was that she was rescued from the pirates before they reached shore.
Killing of the males and abduction of the females could be an emerging pattern, with the same outcome for a non-sailing British couple who stayed at a resort on the Kenyan coastline near the Somali border. He was shot dead and she was abducted. When writing this she is still in the hands of the Somalis.
In more positive news, no matter where in the world you sail, cruising sailors should be grateful for the existence of the AMVER organisation, which coordinates between rescue authorities and cooperating ships at sea. Again this week four sailors mid-Atlantic, far out-of-reach of helicopters and coastguard vessels, were speedily rescued by merchant ships. It can mean a long trip home via some unusual ports, as the ships resume their normal courses after the rescue, but it beats being stranded in mid-ocean, or worse.
Britain's Royal Yachting Association has created a manifesto, published this week, which articulates their role and position on representation of the boating world to government. It's very comprehensive and makes interesting reading.
Back to practical matters, and this week John Jamieson(Captain John) talks about the magic of the riding sail – just another technique to make your nights at anchor safer. News too on how the miracle material Dyneema is making a real difference to the world of sailing. Reputed to be 15 times stronger than steel and up to 40 times stronger than Kevlar, it is the material used in our product of the week, the Infinite Loupe, replacing noisy shackles.
Good news for cruising sailors but bad news for the planet is that the North Sea Passage has just reached an all-time record low ice level. If you ever think of making that crossing, it had better be soon, before it gets as crowded as the Caribbean!
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