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Telling us to lie to authorities not the best idea

In your story “Cruising in Mexico may surprise yachts,” [page B1, February issue], I take exception to this paragraph:
“If they ask, ‘do you have guns, drugs,’ say no and let them look around,” said Dick Markie, a long-time area cruiser and harbor master at Paradise Village Marina. “They take for granted that you have guns and that they are locked up. If you say yes, they have to write it up in the paperwork.”
Really?
I cruised western Caribbean quite a bit, though it has been some time since I boated in Mexico. Even so, there was always the understanding that lying to federal officers was not really the right thing to do.
I always told them about the guns, all the guns. Sometimes we were able to keep them on-board securely locked up and sometimes the navy (in Isla Mujeres) kept them until departure.
It appears that Mr. Markie is advising us to commit a crime, or am I wrong? Regardless, notwithstanding his intimate knowledge of Mexico, this would most certainly set one up for serious bribes with officers of questionable character, something of which Mexico has an abundance.
The rest of the article was well written and interesting.
Capt. James St. Julien
Owner, Caribbean Aero Nautical
Ft. Lauderdale
Editor’s note: We ran that sentence past Dick Markie, who wanted to clarify.
“I did not mean for yacht captains to lie. What I meant to say was that on megayachts, officers very seldom ask about guns. They almost take for granted that yacht crew have a way of defending their vessels. If they do ask, the answer should be ‘none that are coming ashore, and they are locked in a safe.’”

 

Define cheap

In your From the Bridge captains lunch story [“Define cheap: Captains on yachts and their owners,” page A1, February issue], two things jumped out at me:
First, a yacht does not need to be commercial registration to do a few charters a year in the Caribbean. (Those are Cayman flag rules, anyway.)
Second, the key phrase that I have been recently taught when dealing with expenses is to manage expectations.
I have regularly filled out time cards for the stews to protect them from being laid off when not on charter, but equally the girls I have on board are very supportive. If there is little to do inside, then we happily have them working outside.
When we have a choice to make, I regularly have to demonstrate where two paths will take us and have the owner/ manager make their executive decision. It is then up to me to present my case, just as in all other businesses that the boss is into. Needless to say, I am getting better at presenting things so that I get the answer I am looking for.
Capt. Chris Lewis
M/Y Ellix Too

It’s important to look past yachting
Brilliant article by Rob Gannon [“Your yacht career may have a shelf life; watch for transition,” page B12, February issue].
This is a concept that I have been working hard to instill in my kids as well as my crew. I will be posting a copy on my fridge at home and in the crew mess.
Thank you for the well-articulated message.
Capt. Chas W Donahoe Jr.
M/Y Giga-Byte

Triton reach impressive
I just want to take a minute and say a big thanks for the great article. [“Cruising in Mexico may surprise yachts,” page B1, February issue].
I have never had such a response from anything I have ever done. You must be proud of the influence you command in our industry. I have had phone calls and e-mails from yacht owners, captains, maritime attorneys, other magazines and lots of personal friends. Your article made my trip to Antigua a success.
Thank you again.
Dick Markie
Harbormaster
Paradise Village Marina
Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

 

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