Cruising SE Asia – Security Tips

Published 11 years ago, updated 4 years ago

Our thanks to JJ Nicole of SY Calypso Magic for sharing these excellent cruising security tips.

In all my cruising, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, PNG, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Borneo, Philippines – I have never felt threatened.

Security, for myself, is linked to your judgment of the daily situation and is, as such, a non-topic.

Get your mindset ready.

I’ll explain.

  • If you see a flotilla of fishermen (i.e. in Thailand), knowing that these people are “slaves”, badly paid, badly nourished, and so on, do not anchor close to them. Go to the next creek! If you have to anchor close to them, go as far away as you can and then do not stay more then 1 night.
  • In the South China Sea, Chinese boats have sunk in the past. There are boats operating in this area looking for treasures, pottery, vases, tiles etc. but today the treasures are deeper and deeper. So they need diving equipment. Do not anchor alone in a creek next to them! North of the Ambas Islands is one of the spots.
  • We know that officials have not been paid in the Anambas Islands. So do not cross from Tioman to Borneo and vice versa close to the islands. Put a few nm in between.
  • Sometimes if you are harassed when at anchor with people visiting your boat who want to sell you goods, it’s best to buy a few items as your “insurance” for the day.
  • When you cruise and see fishermen trying to sell fish and there are 5 men on board and you are only 2 – do not stop!
  • If you anchor in a bay and you are the only boat, do not stay long. 1 or 2 days. Do not give time to those who are thinking about how to get at your wealth. Remember – you are the rich one.
  • Last but not least, be ready! Always negotiate. Your Life is more important than things! Get some money ready to give them (I have 300$ ready). Better lose your SSB, PC, phones than your Life and your loved ones.

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