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Piracy in Costa Rica

"October 12 was both exciting and costly for us here in Costa Rica," write Bruce Stevens and Clark Nicholson of the Dana Point-based Gulfstar 50 Two Amigos. "We were anchored off the beach at a resort town of Quepos. About 7:30 p.m., while it was dark and we were below watching a movie, we were silently boarded by six or more heavily armed bandits carrying shotguns and pistols. They had been observing us for two days, it appears. We were duct taped and, because they were worried about me, I received extra tape plus electrical ties and had two armed guys watching me. They took our three computers, cash, and all the boat electronics including radar, chartplotter, two ham radios, VHF radio, two handheld radios, a pactor modum, inverter, three cell phones, two handheld lights, and our copy machine. One of the bandits was crazy and probably on drugs, waving a knife and pistol and constantly making threats. They also took our large dinghy but I was able to recover it on the rocks by the beach later. They tried to steal the outboard engine, but it was too heavy.

"We have filed the police reports but have little hope of seeing the items again. The most important thing is that Clark, myself, and a guest are still alive, especially since I gave them a hard time. Our plan is to initially get a handheld VHF and GPS. With those and our paper charts we can continue. We will gradually replace the stolen items as we progress along. We will also now move at least every two days in case we are surveiled again. To say we are disappointed in Costa Rica is to put it mildly. This is over and above the difficult time the authorities give cruisers."

We hope to have more to share about Bruce and Clark’s story in the December issue of Latitude 38.

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