Deep-Sixed the Guns off Mexico...


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Travis McGee
December 26, 2006, 07:47 PM
Well, I just arrived in NE Florida at dawn on Christmas Eve, after leaving San Diego in late October on my home made steel sailboat. Okay, but what's the gun-related aspect of this? Well, I had planned to bypass Mexico entirely, due to it's tradition of shaking down gringo yachties when given the chance, particularly when it comes to guns on board. In Mexico, guns on yachts are just plain prohibited, period. "Declaring" firearms in Mexico is like declaring herioin or Semtex.

Well, the winds were so light the first few weeks of the voyage, that it became clear we'd have to stop for diesel in southern Mexico, or risk being out of fuel and stuck off the Gulf of Tehunatepec, notorious for sudden dangerous gales. In this area, the currents were 2-3 knots against us, we were becalmed, and lingering there waiting to get slammed by a "Tehuantepecer" gale would have been really stupid.

So the difficult decision was made to dump the guns, before heading into Huatalco Mexico for fuel. I've always advocated keeping basic and cheap guns on board, so this decision was a little easier. The day before arriving off of the coast, we had a shooting festival off of the stern of the boat, firing several thousand rounds of 5.56mm out of the Mini-14, as well as .22LR, and .357 and .38.

The most fun was heating up the Mini with a few hundred rounds rapid fire, and then "quenching" the entire rifle by submerging it into the ocean off of the swim platform. You should have seen it make the water boil for a few seconds! Then we put more mags into it and kept going, for several 100 more rounds, repeating this process several more times before the first failures to feed. These were cleared and the gun kept firing. This is no way to treat a rifle...unless you are going to chuck it into the ocean anyway.

As far as why I didn't bouy and cache the iron...the coast is too deep, too close to shore. It was over a 1,000 feet deep within easy eyeball range of shore. I wasn't about to risk 10 or more years in a Mexican prison for the sake of under $1,000 bucks worth of easily replaced generic firearms. And in fact, when we entered port, we had a "welcoming committee" come aboard in black BDUs, black kevlar helmets, M-16s, and with a German Shepherd!

So now I'm in the market for new boat guns, and SHOT Show 2007 is only two weeks away!

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george29
December 26, 2006, 07:53 PM
Nice to be rich, never had that opportunity but glad someone else can and brings us a different point of view. Next time, leave a few hundred dollar bills where the Mexican Police will find them, I hear $$ gets you out of any predicament over there.

Cosmoline
December 26, 2006, 07:59 PM
You were shooting those guns in the wrong direction.

jamz
December 26, 2006, 08:12 PM
HEck, if you own a boat, a thousand bucks is nothing. :) Betcha got a shortwave radio on board worth five times that.

Sounds like a recklessly fun, once in a lifetime good old hedonistic time though!

What other guns besides the mini did you have to dump?

hagar
December 26, 2006, 08:16 PM
Next time, take an SKS! And I would rather throw mine overboard, than spend a single $ bribing some corrupt mexican official.

Fu-man Shoe
December 26, 2006, 08:18 PM
That's an interesting story.

Too bad about your loss, but sometimes I guess you've
gotta take unsavory actions dictated by unfortunate
circumstances.

Just an idea, but what if you had a sort of well..how
shall we say.."discrete" type of waterproof compartment
located on your hull somewhere, beneath the waterline.
(perhaps by the stern, towards the engines)

If it were bolted close on, and only accessable by a diver
in the water, well...it'd be your little secret, I suppose.

Just an idea.

Kaylee
December 26, 2006, 08:18 PM
Wow -- thanks for the report. I hadn't thought about that aspect of shipboard life. So.. what prevented leaving them at some known GPS location was the depth was too much for an anchor line to make finding anything again possible? Am I understanding correctly?

dm1333
December 26, 2006, 08:26 PM
Leaving the guns in a "secret" compartment is a bad idea. In the Coast Guard we regularly use things like underwater cameras, divers, etc. to check for things like that. It wouldn't surprise me a bit to see Mexican cops doing the same thing. Better off to dump them than spend the rest of your life in a Mexican jail. Buoying them and trying to retrieve them later is also not the best idea. People regularly pull markers, crab or lobster pot buoys, etc. to see what is attached to them. It would suck to have your guns stolen then used in a crime where they can be traced back to you by the serial number. I know of a few people who carry a few flare guns and plenty of flares for safeys' sake.;)

Travis McGee
December 26, 2006, 08:28 PM
Rich? You all got the wrong sailor. Why do you think I have a HOME MADE steel sailboat? I don't even have radar or a SSB radio.

As far as why I didn't cache them at a GPS point etc....the water is too deep for that, even 1/4 mile off shore. Like over 1,000 feet deep. Way deep. IOW, any place I could have done that, (very close to the shore) some local fisherman or beachcomber could have spotted the float and checked it out, or what ever. Not a risk I was willing to run. Ten+ years in a Mexican prison, vs. a few generic guns? Not even close.

grendelbane
December 26, 2006, 08:30 PM
The most fun was heating up the Mini with a few hundred rounds rapid fire, and then "quenching" the entire rifle by submerging it into the ocean off of the swim platform. You should have seen it make the water boil for a few seconds! Then we put more mags into it and kept going, for several 100 more rounds, repeating this process several more times before the first failures to feed. These were cleared and the gun kept firing.

There are some people who claim that the mini is unreliable. Nice to see that yours took so much abuse before it malfunctioned.

FerFAL
December 26, 2006, 08:31 PM
Hi Travis! Merry Christmas.
Good to hear from you. Take care out there.
Edited to add: Good call in not risking Mexican jail, would have done the same myself.

FerFAL

hoji
December 26, 2006, 08:32 PM
Thank you for the report.
To anyone who pipe in "Why didn't you just hide them?"
Think about this. An empty .22 shell can get you 5 years in a Mexican jail:what:

theCZ
December 26, 2006, 08:43 PM
Great story! I'd love to hear more about your adventures on the ocean.

Travis McGee
December 26, 2006, 08:55 PM
Grendelbane: Reliability is one of the things I liked about my very old stainless steel Mini. As long as it has good mags, it would always shoot. Not a tack-driver though, that's for sure! But on the ocean, I don't really aim, I adjust fire by the splashes. Just keep banging away, looking over the barrel, watching the splashes. A boat on the ocean is moving too much to use anything for a rest, all shots are "off hand" with a rolling deck beneath you. But the nice thing is you can see your splashes impact the water at any range, and you just "walk" your shots to a boat-sized target. Usually we use balloons for targets, they stick to the water, and get further and further away until they are out of range if you don't hit them. And half of the time, they are hidden on the reverse slope of waves.

CZ: here's a cut and paste of something I wrote today as a recap about the voyage.

Dec 26th, 2006

San Diego to Panama took forever, mainly due to lack of wind. The Panama transit took, I think, 8 days from arrival to departure, which is really fast considering all of the bureaucracy involved. The actual canal transit took two days, with an overnight moored on Gatun Lake. (Ironically, I went through the Canal to the Pacific 9 years ago to the very day.)

The trip from Colon Panama to the Yucatan Channel was "dramatic." First, we headed east for 2 days toward Cartagena Colombia, to get "easting." At the bottom of the Carib, the east winds bend north, so we followed the old Spanish Galleon method, of using this north wind to fist sail east. This "easting" then gives a sailboat a favorable "slant" to head for Yucatan on a near reach instead of having to beat to windward.

After tacking to the north, we really took off. The winds at first were NE, then east, as we expected. The winds were never under 25 knots for the 2 weeks, and we sailed under a storm trisail on the mast, and a storm jib on the staysail stay. This was a total of 400 square feet of dacron canvas, as opposed to 1,400 square feet of "full working canvas!" IOW, the wind really blew, but hey, what do you expect crossing the Carib in December?? The waves were always about 10-12 feet, from the side. Anyway, we made about 130 miles a day, which is great for a 48 foot steel sailboat weighing about 35,000#.

After rounding the western tip of Cuba, things went way downhill. We were planning to motorsail to Key West, to get more of an upwind angle. After a couple of hours, the Perkins died from fuel starvation. This happened as well about 50 miles south of Balboa Panama, so I thought a rapid fuel filter change would solve the problem. It didn't. After a full day of trying various things and bleeding injectors etc about 20 times, our battery levels were at the point where we had to give up, in order to have enough power to run navigation systems etc. As it was, we ran the next 2 nights in the Florida Straits without our electricity sucking Aquasignal tricolor masthead light. We only put it on when ships were REALLY close. (We were getting a dozen ship contacts a night in the FL Straits.)

Since the wind was right on the nose from Key West, instead of a one day motorsail run, we had to beat to windward under sail only for 2.5 days, until we were about 100 miles south of Key West, when we could finally tack over one more time and lay the course for Key West. The high point of the trip was about 30 miles south of Key West at 4pm, when our "collision avoidance radar detector" started making a bizarre rapid chirping, unlike the slow sweep of ship radar. 30 seconds later, from out of the cloud cover, roared a big white USCG C-130 Hercules, flying 500 feet above the waves. This was a great welcome home! I called CG Sector Key West to put in a status report, and really to thank them for the flyover. 20 minutes later, the C-130 returned from the other way, and banked around us at low level while rocking its wings. This was a huge thrill, to get two C-130 fly-overs as a "welcome home."

We sailed up the main ship channel into Key West and anchored off the Key West Bight. All of this was done purely under sail. Next day we were Seatowed the 1/4 mile into the Key West Bight Marina. Two days later, a diesel mechanic pronounced the problem to be purely bad fuel, and the engine was restarted after some tank cleaning. (I have great access to my 150 gallon fuel tank. I can sit on top of it in the cargo hold in the center of the boat at the bottom. It has an easily removed 10" circular inspection plate on top. I built the boat, so I made sure Id have good access to things like this. It really pays off in the long run.)

So we let the engine run for a few hours at the dock, and at 2 PM on the afternoon of Tuesday Dec. 19th we were ready to head out again, for the final leg to NE Florida. We motored out of the perfectly calm marina into the channel (with lots of wakes and chop) and the motor crapped out again. This was a major bummer. We coasted right to a nice anchoring spot across the channel, and I went to work again on the fuel tank in a major way. The motion of the boat in the channel must have shook loose more gobs of sludge, which then accumulated around the bottom of the fuel pickup tube (1/4 inch ID stainless). This choked out the engine again.

So I pulled off the inspection plate again, and created a little fork device about 3'feet long with wire barbs on the end, to scrape the entire interior of the tank's walls. The added motion of being in the channel assisted by moving the sludge gobs down to the bottom of the tank, like gold nuggets in a pan. After a few hours we restarted the motor and ran it at higher RPMs for over an hour at midnight. Even with the boat motion out in the channel, it ran without a hiccup.

Next morning we ran it another hour to make sure, and then we took off again. Once out of the Main Ship Channel we turned east, once again with a 25 knot east wind on the nose. You cannot power a heavy sailboat with high forward windage into the 8 foot close period waves this kind of head wind produces, so once again we had to tack off SE under sail, until we were about 90 miles south of Miami.

Once we had a favorable slant we tacked north and really took off. The wind went to SE and we were in the Gulf Stream. We were making 9+ knots over the ground by the GPS, which is really flying for my boat. Two days later we arrived at the Mayport jetties at midnight, and because it was an ebbing tide, it took 7 more hours to reach our new marina. We tied up at dawn on Christmas Eve. I never thought, back in San Diego, that the voyage would take so long. After our slow transit to Panama, I thought we would be very lucky to make it before Christmas. With the engine problems, I really doubted it. But we persisted, we really pushed the boat, we got some breaks at the end with good winds, and we made it.

Now the boat is way up the river, safe and sheltered. It needs a lot of major refitting, hauling, painting, new everything just about, but at least it's on the same coast that we're living on, and we are 100% out of "Aztlan."

I had great crew the entire way, no whiners or crybabies, all real men, my brothers. Also my wife gets major kudos for running my book business in my absence (better than I ever did it I should add.) She also was "home base" for the voyage, sending out the email updates and keeping everyone up to speed on our progress. All's well that ends well, and now my voyaging is over for the foreseeable future. Next I need to focus on writing my third novel in the trilogy, "Foreign Enemies: State of Emergency." (The subtitle is not certain.) I will say that Ranya will not be the main character in FE, it will be Phil Carson from EFAD, and it will be focused on the Southeast and central states.

GRIZ22
December 26, 2006, 09:15 PM
Travis, nice trip (no ocean passage is complete without exciting moments).

Disregard the suggestion for a secret compartemnt. Just having one on your boat makes it subject to seizure for being outfitted for smuggling.

I'd rather dump the guns than try to bribe Mexican officials. Then you may lose your guns, your money, and still wind up in jail.

ripcurlksm
December 26, 2006, 09:20 PM
Good story, glad to hear you're back after quite an adventure! Stay dry Travis. :)

Kali Endgame
December 26, 2006, 09:22 PM
What you should have done is landed, signed up for welfare, demanded a drivers license and petitioned to recieve SSI.;)

Gun Wielding Maniac
December 26, 2006, 10:24 PM
Why not seal the guns in plastic, run rope from the bag to a balloon, and drop the load in some isolated shallow spot? IT seems better to me to risk having the guns stolen then to simply throw them overboard and certainly lose them to the ocean. Screw the Mexicans.

atblis
December 26, 2006, 10:27 PM
it could be worse. If I had to deep six a rifle, the Mini14 would be near the top of my list.

Jim Watson
December 26, 2006, 10:49 PM
Wow, and I thought John D. McDonald was dead.

cassandrasdaddy
December 26, 2006, 10:51 PM
shudder!! i'd rather remarry wife one than go to a mexican jail.

roscoe
December 26, 2006, 11:12 PM
I have wondered how they would treat one of those Mossberg line-launchers. They are essentially a white-painted 12-gauge with a barrel blocker of some sort. Seems like you could rig up a spear gun with it.

mljdeckard
December 26, 2006, 11:33 PM
cassandrasdaddy said it all. Try to weigh a thousand dollars worth of guns, vs winding up in a Mexican prison. If you wind up in the prison, you wouldn't hesitate to give up the guns to get out.

AZTOY
December 27, 2006, 12:07 AM
Sorry about the guns.:(


Why do you think I have a HOME MADE steel sailboat

I want to see a picture of this boat!

Zoogster
December 27, 2006, 01:40 AM
You know the Mexican constitution actualy has a clause borrowed from America to have the right to keep and bear arms? However in that clause they included that the police and government could determine what type of arm was suitable. So now only .22's are legaly suitable, yet a full auto AK-47 can be had illegaly for like $500 by most Mexicans with street connections.

Funny how you have to disarm yourself heading in the direction of the most dangerous nations in this hemisphere (Columbia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Venezuela etc) where you actualy can run into modern pirates that cruise up in powerboats with AKs and have thier way with the people on board. Many people travel in convoys of other sailors to deter this and avoid the most trecherous areas entirely. It is a pretty good way of life for some. Some radar, and a fast cheap powerboat are all such modern pirates need to see you coming from far away. They can scrap the boat, or simply rob and scuttle the boat after doing away with those on board or kidnapping for ransom from relatives in the USA as is common in some of those places. Over 90% of them go unsolved in Columbia as well.

Yet you have to ditch your firearms...

iiibdsiil
December 27, 2006, 01:40 AM
Yeah, this thread is definitely worthless without pictures! :D

redneck2
December 27, 2006, 06:34 AM
Start by saying I have NO desire to go to Mexico. I know a lot of people do it. Seems like an invitation to disaster, and I'm a wuss when it comes to being Raul's prom date in prison. There's a reason it's called a third world country. First two worlds gave up on it.....

anyway, I see ads for hunting trips to Mexico. I've talked to guys that go down to bird hunt and take their guns, so there's a way to legally take guns in.

Ever check into that?? IIRC, your firearm has to be something that doesn't use military rounds (9mm, etc.)

Travis McGee
December 27, 2006, 07:14 AM
Zoogster, the type of piracy that is fairly common along the Caribbean coasts of Colombia and Panama is not the type you have described, which occurs in SE Asia and the Red Sea. In Colombia and Venezuela, boats at anchor at night are boarded and attacked. We left Colon's massive ship breakwaters, and were soon out of sight of land in VERY rough and windy water. Nobody is out in the middle of the Carib in 30 knot winds and 14 foot steep close-period waves hoping that a sailboat passes by. It wouldn't pay! The Carib pirates just sneak up on anchored sailboats in sheltered coves, after watching them from shore or from a passing fishing vessel, and sizing them up. In some cases, the armed crews successfully fight them off. More often, the pirates win. Still, it is very uncommon.

In Panama itself, we were at least as safe aboard our boat than in, say, the Port of Miama. The city of Colon is a wretched nightmare, to be avoided, but the boat was safe within the so-called Panama Canal Yacht Club nearby. On the Pacific, Balboa is as safe as San Diego, or safer.

I was sorry to drop the guns, but I don't regret it. When a squad of armed Mexicans come aboard your boat with M-16s and a German Shepherd, you are at their mercy. If they had decided to "really" search the boat and had found even one bullet, you would be reading about Travis McGee's sad Christmas in a Mexican prison. And we really had to get the fuel, no ifs ands or buts. Hiding the guns was not a choice, and neither was bouying and cacheing them. Believe me, I considered both options long and hard.

Now I'm in FL, where I can buy replacement boat guns as easily as motor oil

Travis McGee
December 27, 2006, 07:28 AM
iiibdsil: Here is a picture I have handy that's already hosted of "Escape Pod One."

http://matthewbracken.web.aplus.net/sailingpic2.jpg

starbuck
December 27, 2006, 07:34 AM
Welcome to Jacksonville :)

Manedwolf
December 27, 2006, 10:00 AM
When a squad of armed Mexicans come aboard your boat with M-16s and a German Shepherd, you are at their mercy.

Particularly since dogs can be trained to sniff out ammo by the powder... And yes, what someone else said. Even HAVING a secret compartment can get your vessel seized for being "fitted for smuggling". Drug runners try all those tricks, and the authorities know them all.

Oleg Volk
December 27, 2006, 10:16 AM
What if they made a Third World and nobody came
Why, then Third World would come to you...

Seems that some of the things you describe are pretty close to how things are in Puerto Rico, NYC, Hwaii and the like...no wonder your books are outlining "progress" in that direction.

benEzra
December 27, 2006, 11:26 AM
Travis, nice boat!

You said that was homemade, and steel. Is there a site anywhere that describes what you did (you or somebody else with a similar boat)? How much would building a boat like that cost, assuming one did all the labor oneself? Or even a boat half that size.

I love sailing, can't afford an expensive boat, but am handy with tools and plans and wondering what's out there.

Gun Wielding Maniac
December 27, 2006, 12:25 PM
Might I ask why caching and marking the guns was not an option? I'm really curious as I go boating from San Diego a couple of times a year. My step-father keeps a couple of guns on board and this is important information.

mljdeckard
December 27, 2006, 01:35 PM
I actually looked into the FAQ's for one of the hunting guides just over the Texas border, they said that because of the restrictions in bringing guns into Mexico, it is often worth it to leave yours home and use guns the guide provides.

I'm not really concerned about the tourist sections of Mexico. Places like Cancun or Puerto Vallarta. (I suppose if you went to a strip club on the fringe, and got shaken down by the owner, and refused to pay, you could find yourself in trouble, or so my little brother says,) but I'm not heading into the interior of the country.

CornCod
December 27, 2006, 01:55 PM
Next boating trip save some cash and bring a $75 Mosin-Nagant with you.

Guns R Tools
December 27, 2006, 02:15 PM
Interesting read.

Keltec 223 Rifles might be good replacement "disposable" guns.
Maybe Hi-Point carbine. Super cheap and reliable from what I read.

Good choice on dumping rather then risking.

Joe Gunns
December 27, 2006, 02:44 PM
FWIW RE: hunting in Mexico Just read in the Washington Arms Collectors mag that there were 33 Americans kidnapped in 2006, of which 20 are still missing and it is not known who took 'em. The incident featured in the article was 5 guys taken from a hunting ranch. Two/three (the article said two, but gave three names) were released, nothing is known about the others.

For info on building or refurbishing boats check out back issues of PASSAGEMAKER magazine @ passagemaker.com. There have been several articles over the years featuring "home" built/restored boats. Magazine deals mainly with trawler-style power cruisers.

Jerry Morris
December 27, 2006, 03:05 PM
There is absolutely nothing in Mexico worth throwing 10 one hundred dollar bills into the ocean!

Never been there, don't ever plan on going there.

Jerry

Jerry Morris
December 27, 2006, 03:06 PM
Though on it more, I would not throw two dollars into the ocean to get to Mexico.

Jerry

Thefabulousfink
December 27, 2006, 03:35 PM
Jerry, How much would you be willing to throw away to keep from being adrift with no power in rough seas? Normally I would agree with you that there is nothing in Mexico that would be worth my time; but when sailing in blue water you often have to make choices that can have profound effects on your survival.

Here's a photo-journal of a 55' steel power boat for anyone who's interested in the process. (it's not mine, I just found it on the web).
http://www.dieselducks.com/55build.html

Jerry Morris
December 27, 2006, 04:48 PM
Thefabulousfinkwrote:

Jerry, How much would you be willing to throw away to keep from being adrift with no power in rough seas? Normally I would agree with you that there is nothing in Mexico that would be worth my time; but when sailing in blue water you often have to make choices that can have profound effects on your survival.


The man was on a sailboat. He was not adrift, not even becalmed. It was not a life threatening situation, IMO. It was a case of "what if". I would have busted my chops to stay out of Mexico.

For thousands of years, there were no motors on boats. A decent sailboat today puts those old boats to shame. If he was in dire straights, I'd have to say he was poorly equipped. He had weapons for security reasons, that means he was in risky waters. Getting back home meant no weapons for that security reason. If I took a boat out into blue-water, I would be sure to have full fuel tanks, extra sail, water making capacity and COMM gear. Now, this may sound like putting the man down, but it isn't really. He had his priorities. Mine do not match up to his. He likely made a comfort decision.

Jerry

Travis McGee
December 27, 2006, 05:08 PM
BenEzra: I would check out Bruce Roberts boat plans as a starting point. He has over a 100 stock designs from dingys to 100'ers, as well as terrific over views of the various hull builing methods. (Fiberglass, cold-molded wood/epoxy, steel, aluminum.) The other faster/cheaper way to go if you are handy with tools is to buy a beater fiberglass boat and restore it. You can get an ugly looking mistreated glass boat and bring it back to show-room condition with nothing more than time and TLC. A 35 footer is plenty to cross any ocean, and a 20 year old badly mistreated boat like this might be had for 15 or 20K. The price of a brand new top name 35 footer is over 100K. What some single guys do is buy such a beater boat for a lowball price, and then move aboard tools and all, and restore it as they go, section by section. In a year or two, you have a boat which is comparable to that 100K boat. Of course, you would have to sink another 20K or so into the boat over time, in the form of epoxy, paint, new rigging, engine overhauls, etc.

Thefabulousfink
December 27, 2006, 05:13 PM
It would be a tough choice to be sure. He had to decide which was more valuable, the security that the guns provided or the security of a full tank of diesel. Either way you are sacrificing some level of protection. Many ships have sailed in those waters without engines, and many ships have been lost. A working engine allows you to drop sails in severe weather and set a course against the wind. If your sails or rigging is damaged, a motor allows you to limp to safety.

I don't know how Travis' boat handles or the conditions he was in, but I bet that he didn't make the decision to pitch his weapons and head for Mexico lightly.

Travis McGee
December 27, 2006, 05:19 PM
Gun Wielding Maniac: Cacheing would have been an option off a coast with a long gentle dropoff. Where I needed to go to get fuel (the only place for 100s of miles) the ocean is over 1,000 feet deep to withing less than one mile of shore. IOW, anywhere I could have bouyed and retreived the "package," I could have been seen from shore. My movements could have been tracked by Mexican patrol boats on radar, even at night. Any bouy I left could have been recovered by anyone, including Mexican CG or LE. I wasn't going to leave such a cache literally within pistol range of the shore, where I could have been observed. It's not worth it. $1,000 dollars worth of guns was not worth risking 10+ years in a Mexican prison. At the port where we got fuel, we were not far from Guatemala, and in a "border" region, the Mexican LE/CG are very much on their toes, looking out for smugglers, including gun smugglers, because this was the Mexica state of Oaxaca, which if you have been following the news, is in a state of near rebellion. The Mexican govt down there is very "twitchy."

As it was, in that port we saw several Mex military/LE (hard to tell who is who) in gray/green patrol boats from 40 to 100 feet. In fact, my boat was immediately boarded by a squad of Mex soldiers/LE in black BDUs, black kevlar helmets, M-16s, pistols, and with a German Shepherd. These guys were NOT fooling around! Cacheing weapons within easy eyeball range of "their" coast....if I had been caught at it or seen and reported.....I'd be in a cell for life as a weapons smuggler, no doubt about it. They would have assumed the weapons were being dropped off for terrorists or rebels. Would you risk $1,000 vs spending decades in a Mexican prison?

yooper_sjd
December 27, 2006, 05:19 PM
Sorry to hear about your dumping the weapons, but mexico will be mexico. And it just makes you wonder about how people who protect the elegals that make it here, :cuss: . But it is just like:banghead: . Maybe we should treat all the elegals caught crossing the border like you were pulling into port. That should cut down on the crossings

Travis McGee
December 27, 2006, 05:24 PM
First, if any of you have not crossed oceans in sailboats, you don't have a clue. You might as well give advice to astronauts on how to jury rig rockets during a space walk. Really, it is the height of hubris to second guess someone with 30,000 ocean crossing miles (6,000 solo) on such a decision when it comes to sails/engines/gales etc. I just about laugh out loud. It's like being a mountaineer in Nepal who has turned back at 25,000 feet in a storm, and getting armchair advice from someone who has never left Ohio in his life.

If you want to better understand my decision, google "gale Gulf Tehuantepec."

Travis McGee
December 27, 2006, 05:33 PM
http://www.oceannavigator.com/article.php?a=8879

The two terrors of Central America

snip///A number of these experienced voyagers recounted the rigors of passages they had through one or both gulfs, often despite very thorough preparation. They told of blown-out sails, lost masts, dinghies and life rafts torn from their mounts, or in the saddest cases, of boats lost.///snip

(My comment: Anybody who finds himself adrift in this water because he ran out of fuel is a damn idiot, if he didn't go to get fuel when he could. Being adrift and becalmed in the GOT, out of fuel, waiting for a Tehuantepec gale, would be idiocy.)

kungfuhippie
December 27, 2006, 05:49 PM
If I took a boat out into blue-water, I would be sure to have full fuel tanks, extra sail, water making capacity
I hope you meant water purification, I mean making water seams like it'd be harder than filtering.:neener:

roscoe
December 27, 2006, 06:15 PM
Just out of curiosity - what happens when a foreign boating tourist shows up in a US port with firearms? I can't imagine we just let them keep them.

ripcurlksm
December 27, 2006, 06:15 PM
I live an hour north of mexico, been there once. its great but it gives me the heeby jeebies although so many people come and go there everyday. When you are going there and are EXPECTING corruption from officials you need to rethink your trip. I have been to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic 2x and love it, no worries. but wouldnt do mex again... well maybe once more for the thrill but srsly its a shakedown all for what? Nothin! If anything I could see going down to mainland mex or something but up near the border, they expect americans to be there so they crack down extra hard to squeeze it out of you.

From what I've heard its good to always have an extra 60 dollars on your person, they love bottled water and sad to say it here on THR but they love playboy magazines all used for bribes. And to me, its worth it to ensure a safe trip, IF i decide to go again.

redneck2
December 27, 2006, 06:25 PM
I heard that there is no spanish translation for "due process"

pedaldude
December 27, 2006, 06:42 PM
Anyone with critical comments about sailing and whatnot most likely has little experience other than a sailing dinghy if that. With the time and money invested in building your own boat anyone would hopefully be cautious. Yes plenty of boats have sailed around the world w/o engines of any kind, it also used to be pretty common for boats to run aground and get thrashed to pieces on rocky shores. The decision was sound and reasonable. I'd like to hear more about the boat and the voyage.

Also were there any other boats around or with you that could have held the firearms, or traded for rum, gifted? I guess that you didn't want to broadcast that for anyone to know but I've read many stories and questions of firearms on boating forums. It seems that regardless the political leanings once you read X amoount of pirate stories you'll want to pack something. Another reason for the buddy system, one boat can get supplies while another can stay in international waters with the verboten items.

Also many civilized countries will provide for visiting boats firearms storage if you call ahead first. I've read of people doing just that and happy when their goodies get returned unmolested and in there original packaging.

many attacks it seems though occur in port or at anchor during nighttime or early morning hours using small rowboats with a motor attached for a quick getaway. haven't heard of too many full on pirate stories but there are enough that you need to be prepared one way or another.

Jerry Morris
December 27, 2006, 06:46 PM
Travis McGee wrote:

First, if any of you have not crossed oceans in sailboats, you don't have a clue. You might as well give advice to astronauts on how to jury rig rockets during a space walk. Really, it is the height of hubris to second guess someone with 30,000 ocean crossing miles (6,000 solo) on such a decision when it comes to sails/engines/gales etc. I just about laugh out loud. It's like being a mountaineer in Nepal who has turned back at 25,000 feet in a storm, and getting armchair advice from someone who has never left Ohio in his life.


It would seem you directed this at me, now who is jumping to conclusions? I imagine I have never gotten past the city limits? Rough seas and you are playing games with the guns before you deep six them? I have seen rough water and I had no desire to do experiments with hot rifle barrels. I would have been getting my butt and those with me into sheltered waters as fast as I could. This is what leads me to believe it was not as rough as you say.

I am sort of beginning to giggle myself. Let's just say you made your decisions? I likely would have made altogether different ones. Maybe from day one (hint). A sailboat is a beautiful thing. It is made for sailing. My own preference for the motor is to make power for utilities like charging batteries for lighting, potable water making and comm equipment. Fuel lasts a lot longer when you run under sail. Why have sails and run it like a stink pot? Surely, you didn't leave port under the same conditions? I think you knew what you were doing, I do not think you too foolish. If you have those miles (and I will believe that), you know the sometimes wicked ways of blue water and what they do to plans. I will say this, I would not have thrown those guns over the side. Going the way you did, I likely would have left them back at home. If they are not important enough to try to keep for the return trip, they likely were not needed for the way down. Guns will get you into deep stuff, in many ports. Some of them here in the U.S.A.

Ah well, each to his own.

Jerry

geim druth
December 27, 2006, 08:22 PM
I for one would like to hear more about shooting from a boat in the open ocean. Are there any particular tips for technique or accuracy?

ready4shtf
December 27, 2006, 09:43 PM
wow, is it really that deep? I thought most of the gulf of mexico was like 80-150 feet....

Travis McGee
December 27, 2006, 10:17 PM
Tell me about your ocean crossing voyages aboard small boats Jerry, and we'll talk some more.

Owen
December 27, 2006, 10:30 PM
ready, wrong Gulf. He was on the Pacific side.

wildburp
December 27, 2006, 10:38 PM
I did not wade through the rest of the thread (will check it out later), but I wish I could tell a story (read write that well) and fit into those pants! :D

wb

R-Tex12
December 27, 2006, 11:33 PM
Great story, Travis M -

Glad it all worked out well. OK, now that you're back and (presumably) rested, get to work on the third book. :rolleyes:

I mean, anyone who's both a John D. MacDonald and a Beach Boys fan should take at least a little pity on his deprived audience! :neener:

Seriously, I'm really glad it turned out well & welcome home!

(Oh, and Happy New Year!)

Rick

jrhines
December 27, 2006, 11:34 PM
...another long night at another Shot Show?? I've got a couple of new sandbox stories and I want the details of the trip. Did you bring the gang? Hope so...
In any case, see what you get for mentioning anything here? It's like the time I said I didn't think Les Baer guns were all that red-hot. Momma-frog, I didn't know it was possible to step on that many toes at once...
The kid & I will be in on the 10th, pm me a cell number and I'll return mine.
Safe travels...

And you never told me you was rich $$$$$$$$

wooderson
December 27, 2006, 11:35 PM
And it just makes you wonder about how people who protect the elegals that make it here,

I am utterly confused as to how Mexican gun laws and corruption relate to "protecting illegals" here.

Dave R
December 28, 2006, 01:09 AM
I'd rather dump the guns than try to bribe Mexican officials. Then you may lose your guns, your money, and still wind up in jail. I can't believe no one has said it yet.

The bright side is, now you get to buy new guns!

HiroProX
December 28, 2006, 02:08 AM
More proof of the criminality of the mexican government. Of course the mexican police are going to dictate nothing more than a .22, they ARE the biggest criminal syndicate so why would they want to make their job robbing the people blind more hazardous?

zinj
December 28, 2006, 02:14 AM
That boatings gets expensive doesn't it.

S_O_Laban
December 28, 2006, 02:45 AM
Great story, Matt. Thanks for sharing.

I would love to make a trip like the one you described, problems and all.

Glad to hear Divine Providence has shined on you and your family with a safe return to the great state of Florida.:)

Jerry Morris
December 28, 2006, 04:07 AM
Travis McGee:

Tell me about your ocean crossing voyages aboard small boats Jerry, and we'll talk some more.

It wasn't my boat, it was a might bigger than yours, 120 foot without sails. It was the Atlantic. It cured me of my blue water boat buying dreams. When you spend more than one full day on an "express-elevator" that does the 10 to 15 foot yo-yo, you tend to re-evaluate your desires.

Now, I never said I had your mileage and you seem just a little too touchy about my point. I won't deep six a thousand dollars of property, unless there is no way around it. This falls into the overall planning, not just getting caught in a storm. You obviously made your plans and allowed for it to happen. I won't do that. Especially to be down around Mexico. This old miser has more use for a thousand dollars.

Jerry

0007
December 28, 2006, 04:54 AM
Good to know you made it (mostly) OK. Stuck in China at the moment.

hagar
December 28, 2006, 07:13 AM
Somebody needs to invent a device that you could use to dump stuff overboard, and then later inflate with a radio signal or a timer.

Shanghai McCoy
December 28, 2006, 01:23 PM
Ahhh Mexico "federales'....
Whilst in the Merchant Marine I was at a..dance hall in Manzanillo,La Rosa was the name...anyway,the raucus show and surrounding tables became VERY quiet when the uniformed and well armed patrol showed up that night.Everyone avoided eye contact and kept their hands on the table till the "cops" left....
There is a reason why the Third World is still "third".
Good story tho,thanks for sharing it.

Fly320s
December 28, 2006, 03:52 PM
One point that has been overlooked...

TM dropped those guns in deep water in the Pacific Ocean. He is now living in northeastern Florida. Even if he had been able to cache the weapons there for future retrieval, the cost of the trip to get them would be more than the replacement cost of the guns.

Remember, TM didn't want to drop the guns overboard, but considering his circumstances, that was his best option. That was made obvious when the Mexican coast guard/navy came aboard his boat to inspect it. If the Mexicans had found guns on his boat in Mexican water, then TM wouldn't be here to tell the tale.

So, help him get his guns replaced by buying a copy of his new book. I'm ordering mine right now.

roscoe
December 28, 2006, 04:04 PM
We are ragging on the Mexicans - but I still want to know what happens if a foreign boater shows up in an American harbor with a Mini-14.

JCF
December 28, 2006, 04:39 PM
We are ragging on the Mexicans - but I still want to know what happens if a foreign boater shows up in an American harbor with a Mini-14.

LOL...

I always get a kick out of it when folks begin getting indignant about other countries limiting their ability to cross with a gun. Before I moved to the United States (from Canada) I had to sell every firearm I owned - handguns and long-guns. I could get permission to move to the United States, work in the United States, purchase a home... but not bring in my guns.

While I certainly don't agree with Mexico's gun laws, it certainly stands to reason that they are enforced by Mexican law enforcement. Going on about welfare, "shooting the wrong direction", illegal immigration, etc. in response to Travis' post is just plain sad, and just plain offensive.

Travis McGee obviously enjoys travelling and adventure, and his decision to protect himself and his shipmates from legal trouble in Mexico was laudable; admirable judgement in my opinion.

And FWIW: When I moved to the United States, I caught a significant amount of flack from ignorant Canadians who felt that there was "nothing in the USA worth seeing". I have travelled, to and through, Mexico. It has some rough areas, plenty of beautiful ones, some great people, and some pathetically ignorant ones... just like the USA.

sigarette
December 28, 2006, 06:10 PM
I have done some blue water sailing of the Atlantic and I have had to deal with some nasty weather way offshore. I can say, without reservation, that Travis did the most prudent thing he could do given the circumstances. Only a fool would have continued on into territory known for bad weather, with few chances to make for a port, and with low fuel reserves. To take that chance for $1K worth of firearms, would be plain idiocy.

Jerry seems to have the idea that Travis got himself into this bind through poor planning. Read Travis' account Jerry. They had light winds and had to motor alot on the way down from CA. They were trying to make headway in a current with poor winds. He was using fuel becasue he had to. Hautulco was on of the few spots available before moving into notoriously stormy waters. Who wouldn't stop to refill their fuel tank in this situation? Besides ol' Cap'n Jerry.:rolleyes:

Apple a Day
December 28, 2006, 09:18 PM
Glad you made it TM and big hello from Poquoson, Virginia.
I don't blame you. You never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never go out without a backup. Only someone with a deathwish would go out on the water and count on one means of getting home... and a 35k pound boat is too d@mned big to paddle around.
Reading about your boat takes me back to refurbishing a 20' motorboat with my dad to use out on the Chesapeake Bay. When we got it the thing was a fiberglass hull full of rotten wood. I hated it most of the time we had it and cussed it plenty but now I miss it. Ain't that the way with boats? Post more pictures!!!
I just happened to be re-reading your second book and remember you describing an Mini-14 as a "crummy" rifle given to the D-Camp guards probably because they were the cheapest contract the government could get. Does this change your image of the Ruger?

Hawkeye
December 29, 2006, 09:50 AM
Glad to have you back safely. ;)

Pevey
December 29, 2006, 02:44 PM
Excellent post, CFriesen along with an excellent thread. Very entertaining reading.

Mexican cops get a bad rap from us in the States because, of course, everyone here is honest as the day is long, right? Always bad to judge someone you don't know. For every bad cop in Mexico, there are those that believe in their job, look forward to going to work every day and literally, put their lives on the line. In Nuevo Laredo, one police chief was assasinated within one hour of being sworn in. He knew his life was in jeopardy but he took the job anyway. The drug war is fought for real with guns and money. Occasionally we get a brief glimpse into it and its not very pretty. They have their oun assumptions about Northerners and its not very accurate either.

As for Mexican gun laws, we may not agree with them but it is their country. Kinda where the ugly American sentiment comes from. We are always right, you should be like us and be right also. Just be very careful about some laws cause some, like the gun law, can get you in a heap of trouble.

CFriesen, you may not be from Texas but you sound like you fit in fine. Hope you stay awhile.

Don Gwinn
December 29, 2006, 02:44 PM
Jerry, you and I disagree.

Travis, I think you did what Phil or Brad would have done. That's a compliment.

Ranya, of course, would have sweet-talked those cops, assassinated them one by one, and quietly motored out of the marina while feeding the police dogs beef jerky and drinking a Corona.

cardboardkiller
December 29, 2006, 06:35 PM
Just one quck question, Why didn't you ship them or drop them off with someone to hold until you got to your destination and then had them sent to you?

I figure shipping on your firearms couldn't have been more that about $200, could have saved yourself some cash and still had your firearms.

As long your buying more, no worries I guess.

Welcome to Florida!!!

dm1333
December 29, 2006, 06:45 PM
I don't think Travis had any plans on stopping in Mexico but the weather conspired against him. He had the guns along for protection but instead of trying to sneak them into and out of Mexico he chose to comply with their laws and got rid of them before entering port. Tough break but the fuel was more important to him at that point than dumping the guns. As an active duty Coast Guardsman who has spent the last 13 years at west coast surf stations I know he did absolutely the right thing. Jettison the guns, pull in and refuel, and then continue on. Talking about what YOU (not specifically you cardboardkiller) would have done in his situation is fine but Travis made the choice that most prudent seamen would have made. If you venture into the Pacific and you don't take every precaution you can possibly take such as fueling up whenever possible then you are asking for trouble. I am looking at his actions not only as a Coastie but as someone who made bluewater sailing voyages to Bermuda, Nova Scotia, etc. long before I joined the Guard, the Army Reserve as an 88K, or the Navy. I've also raced offshore, raced dingys, Lasers, 420s and FJs, taught sailing, and have kayaked in and out of the surf, rowed, and took an open 19 foot sailboat from CT to ME and back again. Besides it was only a Mini 14 and half of the guys here are still pissed off at Bill Ruger.:evil:

CajunBass
December 29, 2006, 07:19 PM
Funny. When I read the story, I thought they were HIS guns to do with as he pleased. :confused:

Great story BTW.

Zundfolge
December 29, 2006, 08:22 PM
HEck, if you own a boat, a thousand bucks is nothing.
Unless you run into some unsavory types on the way back :fire:

Tokugawa
December 30, 2006, 03:24 PM
Guns are cheap. Being dead in the water off a lee shore in heavy seas is not fun. Trust me on this one.

silverlance
March 27, 2007, 04:38 PM
Hey Travis... hate to resurrect this dead thread, but what is your opinion of the Mini-14 now?

Very sad to lose guns, any gun, but I've always wanted to hear about torture testing the Mini-14.

ps: isn't it hard to walk around on deck with those big brass ones? :p

Leedavisone
March 27, 2007, 09:19 PM
I am glad you resurrected this thread, for I found myself frowning at all the misconceptions thrown about... about Mexico, pirates, safety at sea, firearms, and the 'third world' in general. I spent 5 years on a sailboat with my wife, and logged 50,000 miles. Had I been in that situation, I would have done the same and deep sixed the guns. that said, Mexico is still one of the most pleasant and safest places that I have ever seen, and we carried a gun! Granted, it was our 25mm flare pistol, with a barrel sleeve so it could shoot .410 shotgun shells. But that will pass any inspection anywhere, and did.
Panama was a dangerous place, but only in Panama city, or Cristobal Colon after dark. You just can't get safer than when you are on a boat. And there are no pirates. The places that have full blown pirates are Indonesia (and the military offers protected passage for a fee), and well... I can't think of anywhere else. There have been people robbed when they left their boat in many places, but it just doesn't happen that pirates come aboard and do you in... Believe me, the long distance sailing community is a pack of gossips, and they hear all the stories.
I have included a picture of a US Army gunboat patroling while we were anchored off the Panama Canal on the pacific side. (We anchored off the island where Noriega was being held). The guys on the patrol boat said that we were as safe as it could get, with the US Army guarding us!, though they admitted that they were bored, and wished for a little action. In Mexico, several times we traded Spam, Playboys and .22 bullets for diesel fuel from the government docks. In Costa Rica the Port Police were downright apologetic and deferential when they came aboard the boat to check us in. In Grenada, we had no port clearance papers from our last landfall (Cape Verde Islands), so a receipt for diesel from Portugal was good enough.
By the time our daughter was 10 months old, she had been in 18 countries. Never once did we have any fear from the locals, military, police, or anyone else. Mexico is much like every other country... they want to please you and make your stay enjoyable... what they are afraid of is a reputation for being a bad place. People have all kinds of stories, but those are the people who have never been there. Their fear of the unknown, based on rumors prevents them from enjoying some fantastic places. Man, this is starting to make me miss the boat! (the other picture is of the boat dried out for repainting the hull in Scotland)
Not to worry... I am off to the Sierra Madre in Mexico on my BMW motorcycle soon. I am going to do an inspection of the cantinas Y Moras. Lee Davis

Leedavisone
March 27, 2007, 09:24 PM
Whoops... here are the pictures, I hope

zedsdead
March 27, 2007, 10:28 PM
"picture of a US Army gunboat"

An Army??? gunboat? Didn't know we had any...

Kimber1911_06238
March 27, 2007, 10:54 PM
That sucks, bring an sks next time......if you have to toss it you're only losing around 100 bucks

Mr Kablammo
March 27, 2007, 11:23 PM
I would gladly pay $100/yr or $8/mo to avoid Mexican Prison. Well done, TM.

Browns Fan
March 28, 2007, 08:15 AM
Quote:
"The most fun was heating up the Mini with a few hundred rounds rapid fire, and then "quenching" the entire rifle by submerging it into the ocean off of the swim platform. You should have seen it make the water boil for a few seconds! "

Wow! A water-cooled mini14!:cool:

Travis McGee
March 28, 2007, 08:31 AM
Silverlance: I think the Mini is a fine rifle if you're not looking for a lot of accuracy. There are a lot of factors, but I'd guess you're looking at a 3 to 5 minute of angle gun off the rack. For shooting on the water, you're more or less adjusting fire by your splashes at long range, so it's not that critical. Like Kimber1911 said, an SKS would have been a better choice, similar utility, and a lot cheaper.

dm1333
March 28, 2007, 02:54 PM
At the time I was an 88Kilo the army had around 6000 boats and ships but I didn't think they had any gun boats. Now I need to waste more time on the computer finding out what they were and how they were armed.

Cosmoline
March 28, 2007, 03:45 PM
An Army??? gunboat? Didn't know we had any...

My reaction as well. I had no idea we were still sending guys out on little gunboats like the "Sea Pebbles." I figured Panama did it or we had subcontracted it out.

BigG
March 29, 2007, 07:52 AM
I think deep sixing a Mini 14 would be fun as all get out. :D Thanks for a great tale, Travis! :D

feedthehogs
March 29, 2007, 08:27 AM
In Mexico, guns on yachts are just plain prohibited

Not true in all cases.

In 01' I delivered a 54' Ocean sport fish to Isla Mujeres for a customer to fish Sails for a month.

Customer carried a stainless mini 14, 200 rds of ammo and stainless mossberg 12 g.

Upon pulling in and having the dockmaster meet us on the boat and check us in, the parade of 4 customs inspectors began. Having done this before each inspector was treated with a drink, some food and 50 bucks for their trouble.

The inspector who asked about firearms, admired the mini 14 and I thought he was going to keep it but handed it back.

This is a high class place and the poorly paid customs inspectors are not going to shoot themselves in the foot by hasseling boaters who's tips keep them comfortable.

In Port Adventures, I encountered the same.

Since the boat did not carry enough fuel to cross from Key West to Mexico, I carried 3-55 gallon drums of fuel on the back deck and transfered half way.

Well on the return trip after transfering fuel, I tossed the three drums over board and proceeded to use up the two hundred .223 rounds and the couple of dozen 12 g rounds into the drums sinking them.

Best part of the trip.

Essex County
March 29, 2007, 01:16 PM
Mordida? the little bite? I've spent enough time as as resident of border cities and a frequent traveler deep into Mexico to know that greenbacks can easily cover a multitude of sins...........Essex

RCouch
March 29, 2007, 01:49 PM
Had not seen this thread before today. Very informative. Was interested in Oleg's comment #32 about the "third world will come to you" and realized that in Texas, California and other border states that has already happened.

Leedavisone
March 29, 2007, 11:15 PM
Mexico is a wonderful place for Americans, and especially boaters. A little mordida goes a long way, and I should know... I have had literally hundreds of episodes with the Mexican customs people bargaining on how much I should pay (I have a business in Mexico, but live in the US). It works out to be cheaper than tax in New Mexico. I have sailed both the pacific coast and part of the atlantic coast of Mexico, and dealt with customs, immigration and Los Capitans de Puerto in two dozen towns on the coast. I have presented pistols as gifts to a half dozen friends in the Police and Customs, been in Jail (for peeing in the street), romanced Moras Bonitas, bribed government fuel dock workers with bullets and playboys in exchange for diesel (what a deal!), and had the best food and parties of my life.
A gringo's life in Mexico is Golden... if you appear to be fairly well to do. If you are a down and out, you are ignored. If you look rich (and we all do, what with our nice cars and trucks), you are silently watched over. I went into a pharmacy to buy some Nexium for my father (prescription? never). I kinda parked a little odd, for space was limited. When I came out, 3 cops were standing at my truck... guarding it from being dinged. We talked a bit, joked some, and I found three more friends. They didn't want anything from me... just to have another tourista with pleasant feelings.
Sailing in Mexico is one of the best things I have ever done. At Bahia Magdelena, the Port Captain came out to our boat with his young son. He wanted his son to meet Americans. We were later invited to their home for dinner. In Acapulco, we went ashore at the Acapulco Yacht Club... guarded by two Mexican Military commandos with machine guns at the door. We stayed off the yacht club because the best bar in Mexico is across the street (the Mitla Bar). In Zehuatenejo the Customs man took us on a tour of the town, and the surrounding countryside, just to be neighborly.
I did have one bad experience though... The prettiest gal I have ever seen in my life wouldn't talk to me. I think it was because of all the bandoliers of ammo I was carrying. Terrible, terrible


"Fortunately, I always keep my feathers numbered" -Foghorn Leghorn

ClonaKilty
April 6, 2007, 12:39 PM
Leedavidson, great to hear your stories about Mexico. I have lived & travelled a lot in Asia, and can attest that going to another country is one of the best life experiences you can ever have. Glad to see someone else like-minded here.

ctdonath
April 7, 2007, 11:22 AM
Glad the thread was resurrected. Had heard some of Travis' stories, but had missed what happened to the guns.

pete f
April 8, 2007, 03:03 AM
I too have some experience in boats, from beetle cats, to wyano srs, to a whole slew of cape dory's and lymans. I sailed a 32 foot colin archer to Hawaii with a high school friend for what amounted to about 6 bucks a day. I have sailed in the carib and in new england waters. I too know what it is like to be in a position of being forced to choose options not up to you liking, but the only applicable one at the time. When we were sailing the colin archer, which had been built in Denmark and was an amazing sea boat, we faced several days of 40-50 knot winds and 30 foots seas. You have never felt as small as you really are when you are at sea in a storm 600 miles from shore. We had no motor and we ended loosing nearly 3 days of sailing from being blown back toward seattle. The boat did amazingly well, but it was literally the slow boat to China.

Dropping a few hundred bucks worth of guns overboard is no big deal. If they seize the boat, how many thousands would that have been instead? Paying the bite really only works when you know the options are just uncomfortable rather than painful. And offering the wrong bribe may just get you the same charges as the weapons possesion.

One time on a bare boat out of Antigua, we had to just bite the bullet and pay for a few extra days of charter and loose out plane reservations because the weatherwas just not going to allow us to make the return date. Sure, I could have pushed it, but in a rented boat, with an ok crew but not real experienced sailors, my options were not terribly good that I would make it back without paying just as much if not more in damages to the boat. Having to beat 130 miles into prevailing winds is not the most fun anytime, but into 8-10 seas with 25 knots on the nose, it just is not worth making the trip change from we had a wonderful 10 days in the Leewards, to "we were all seasick, and we lost two sails trying to make it back for some stupid deadline."

s&w 24
April 8, 2007, 03:52 AM
any new heaters yet? Any idea what you'll pick up as your new anti-pirate blasters?

ProficientRifleman
April 8, 2007, 05:09 AM
I got the book in the mail today. I look forward to reading it...that is, the rest of it. I read the first few chapters online.

Anyway, thanks for getting it to me quickly. Thanks to your wife for responding to my email also.

PR
APO AE 09391

ProficientRifleman
April 8, 2007, 05:13 AM
I also have a gun shop up and running in Montana. Come by and see us.

PR

MIL-DOT
April 12, 2007, 02:13 PM
i just stumbled on this thread, and should probably keep my mouth shut,but....
it ain't a big deal declaring guns when entering port.NOT declaring them,is. i have worked on several yachts,( and at this moment am babysitting a 103 foot cheoy lee in florida) and have declared guns in the bahamas,jamaica,honduras,and yes, mexico. they typically inspect the weapons,count EVERY round,and in mexico, put some kind of "do not remove" crime scene tape on your gun locker. i can't believe 'ol travis just threw away a mini-14,.357,etc.:confused:

shooten
April 12, 2007, 09:17 PM
TM, Glad you made it safe. San Diego is poorer for it but I understand. Enjoyed both books and looking forward to number 3.

Scott

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