Pirate attacks in St Vincent
To the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club at Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, for lunch this Sunday last. Sitting next to a blue water sailor, who has covered many miles with her husband, including several crossings of the Atlantic, I was all ears when she started to talk about piracy in the Caribbean.
She told me that piracy in St Vincent – about which we are writing in the next issue of YM – is a well known problem among sailors in the area.
She told me that the ‘pirates’ had been known to climb aboard vacant yachts open up the cooker’s gas bottles and blow them sky high.
She also told how a yachting couple were murdered by St Vincent pirates some years back and how the usual suspects were rounded up and put in jail when film crews descended to shoot Pirates of the Caribbean epics.
“Boat boys” can be seen paddling up to five miles out to sea on surf boards with a few coconut husks to sell and touting for the yacht’s shore business.
However the other side of the coin is that experienced by a tough Belfast sailor Anne met who accepted some boat boys’ offer of assistance and had the time of his life with friendly St Vincent natives feeding him and offering all sorts of goods and services including cheapo jewellery. Because he was an obvious live-aboard with all the normal accoutrements of such living strewn along the deck, they treated him not as a wealthy yachtty but as one of them.