Lock it or lose it… NOT an April Fools’ joke.
The other day I showed how we used a length of chain to secure our dinghy to a bollard at the fisherman’s dock in Roseau. Some might have felt that that was a bit of overkill and in fact, from time to time, even we do ourselves. In spite of that, we religiously abide by the mantra of security conscious cruisers: lock it or lose it. Sadly, in many cases, it’s a necessity.
Late last night – or more accurately, early this morning, after a bit of socializing on shore with our friends from Earthling who just arrived here in Martinique yesterday, we struck up a conversation with a couple of cruisers who were sitting by themselves on the dingy dock. The reason they were sitting there instead of sleeping soundly on their boat was that their dinghy had just been stolen. Witnesses let them know that, shortly before their return to the dock, 3 men just jumped in their dinghy and took off. Yes, they shared that they had failed to lock it.
Sadly, locking the dinghy to the dock does not always prevent theft. Our friends Andy and Sharon from m/v Finally Fun recently had their locked dinghy stolen while they were on shore in Vieques. The thieves simply cut their cable and made off with their expensive RIB.
In both of the above cases, the parties who were robbed were left stranded on shore, dependent upon other cruisers to get them back to their boat, and later, to ferry them around until their dinghy is either returned (never happens) or replaced. The dinghy is the “family car” of the cruiser and in many cases, is as costly to replace as a decent used car!
We feel bad for Andy and Sharon, and the couple who we spoke with last evening. I believe both of them were insured and will ultimately, if they have not already done so, be able to recoup the money it takes to replace their transport. Many others would not be so fortunate.
This situation is a bit timely in that we were just discussing with our friends last evening about our planned ports of call between here and Grenada. While bad things can happen anywhere, a few spots have unfortunately developed a bad reputation for petty theft, or worse. While we prefer to make our own judgements about a place instead of relying upon hearsay through the “coconut telegraph,” we have only so much time and there are plenty of spots to visit. This leaves areas where theft is a well-known problem off our travel itinerary.