I have a  friend in Cape Town who often functions as a good Samaritan for stricken sailors who limp into port for repairs. As he can repair anything these chaps are soon on their way again to far-away capes but for my friend it is not a ‘get rich’ business. He has now devised a mechanism to discourage East African pirates to board vessels of prey. As the attack becomes imminent, suddenly thick streamers of razor wire decorate the sides of the attacked craft to discourage the piratical boarders. It is an excellent system but I would like to improve on it. The first people that apparently inhabited South Africa, the Bushmen, called San today, had a finely developed science of mortal poisons. This product, applied to my friend’s razor wire, might well lower pirate insurance premiums for ship owners.

Mind you, personally I have nothing against these pirates. Had I been forty years younger  I might well have gone into this profitable business. These pirates from Somalia and there abouts have twigged on to the monstrous cowardice the western wellfare states have engendered in their populations. In Holland, bicycle country, people insure themselves to ride a bloody bike. Cops advice in case of attack,”don’t resist, let the bastards do what they want.”

Long past are the days when european ships used the oceans as a highway to subdue the world. Good or bad, it needed willpower and courage and these necessities seem to have been lost.

I’ll now tell you how this craven funk has infiltrated the yachting world. You may know  that the firm Volvo sponsors an ‘Around the World Race’ every four years. It used to be south from Europe, around the capes, Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn and back to Europe. My son sailed a few of them, tough, each race he lost between 10-15 kilos. The quacks estimated these blokes needed 8000-10 000 calories/24hrs. No insurance, standby ships in the Southern Ocean are a laugh. Icebergs are not.

Now listen what has been organised in our brave new volvo world this year. For the first leg the boats go to Cape Town, still a safe harbour thanks to the apartheid Boers. From there the crews are to get to some arab country in the Persion Gulf because there, Volvo would like to sell trucks, hoping that these oil arabs still have some boodle. BUT, in order to get the competing boats to their destination without running the Pirate Risk, these boats are to be loaded onto some bloody great container ship with a SECRET destination, whence they are to proceed to the Persian Gulf to help Volvo to sell a few trucks. Sic transit, gloria mundis, How can they still find crews for these boats?

Francis Joyon, not having left his craft since the capsize has been assisted to Montauk where the trimaran has been put right way up. He found most of his gear, broken mast, sails and is under way to Newport for shipping to France.I think he had a good tug skipper.

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