Thursday, March 3, 2011

Earthquakes and Pirates

Here in Auckland, we didn’t feel the devastating earthquake that rumbled Christchurch on February 22. Christchurch is an island away from us. It’s in the South Island almost 500 miles from us here in the North Island.

What a horrible event. The people living in Christchurch have been experiencing earthquakes almost daily since the big one hit September 3rd. Today Maya and Kai and their classmates are wearing red and black to school and bringing canned food to support the victims of the quake.

Another horrifying event is the piracy in Somalia. We don’t know the Danish family on the boat Ing that is currently under siege, but people docked in our marina are good friends with them and said they received an email from the Johansen family just days before they were kidnapped stating that the parents thought they would be safe since they have three children on board.

I cringe at this naive statement and want to respond, “What were you thinking? Going somewhere so dangerous with your precious cargo?” Now isn’t the time to lecture and hindsight provides clear vision.

Many sailors that we know are considering following their route and sailing up the Gulf of Aden and through the Suez Canal. After all, that’s the shortest and easiest way to circumnavigate, plus it brings them to the Mediterranean and Europe. Some plan to participate in a convoy with a fleet of boats for protection; others are considering shipping their boat with Dockwise through Pirate Alley. If anyone asks me, I’d advise them not to go. It isn’t worth the risk. Go the other way – across the Indian Ocean, South Africa and Brazil. It might be longer and harder, but you’ll be much safer.

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