Friday, December 23, 2016

Weapons as Security

Written by: Donn

I have written about security and firearms before.

There are no firearms aboard Brigadoon, nor are there any plans for them in the future.

“Well,” the internet forum user responds, “I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by six.”

Good justification. I like the succinct quality. The brevity, almost lacking in foundation of thought…but I digress into criticism where the reasonable thing to do would be to offer my well-thought-out reasoning to support my position.

First, a little credentialism or, as reasonable people like to say, “establishing the context and the experience of the speaker.” Note that this is not speaking from authority. It’s the experiences I’ve gained that formed my decision, not the titles I held or the places I served.

I’m as experienced and comfortable with firearms as I need to be. I learned to hunt at thirteen years of age, maintained expert weapons qualifications scores in the military, scored at the top of my class in the police academy, shot expert in Army qualifications before being deployed to Iraq as a private security contractor, along with training private security in general and advanced defensive tactics.
So, former military, LEO, mercenary and instructor. This informs but part of my decision, along with the opinions and experience of my First Mate and partner, Kerry. She is also experienced and comfortable with firearms, having worked in armed security in the past. This is from where our opinions are formed.

So, while there have been in the past, there are no firearms aboard Brigadoon, nor are there any plans for them in the future.


We have come to the decision that the complications far outweigh the potential benefits.

If I chose to carry I’d have to:

·   Declare the firearms in every port, to every customs official. I’m smart but, foreign jails are full of people who thought they were smarter than local customs folks when they thought their hidden weapons/drugs wouldn’t be found.
·       Change my cruising plans, and miss perfectly safe destinations due to their laws.
·       Deal with each individual country’s views and laws for firearms, some of which may put me and my crew at legal risk. “Billy? Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?”
·       Ensure that the firearm is properly maintained in a salt water environment.
·       Ensure that the ammunition is properly stored for a salt water environment.
·       Ensure that the firearm is properly stored to protect it from theft.
·       Ensure that every single person on board who has access to the firearm is fully trained and competent in its use.
·       Understand and accept that the mere presence of the firearm means that it is there to be used, misused, lost, or stolen. Three of those four are unacceptable.
·       Understand and accept that it may become common knowledge that we have firearms aboard.  People do talk at ports ya know, especially if you check in with a nice semi-automatic or two, and have the port officials hold your weapon.
·       Understand and accept that our firearm may not necessarily protect us from people that want those firearms, our other possessions or us.
·       Understand and accept that, by the time one of us is pulling the trigger, and possibly taking the life of another, we better have taken countless steps in order not to get here – that is; shooting someone.

There are many steps we can take to mitigate risk to ourselves and our vessel.

A firearm does not need to be one of them.

More Reading if you are intersted:

Monday, December 12, 2016

Casting Off

I wanted to put this in here, to make it official.

We are both gainfully unemployed, have left our slip in Tacoma's Foss Harbor, and are headed north for Port Townsend.

In Port Townsend, we plan on a final refit (standing rigging, prop and rudder inspection, new wind vane and other incidentals) before the spring.

I will publish my first novel in February.

In April we head for the San Juans, then to Alaska. Kerry keeps talking about Kodiak Island and, if I can get her there, I will.

In August we return to Pt. Townsend for a final visit before we head west out the strait and make a left. That will have us bound for Mexico, the South Pacific and the rest of the world.

I had to get that all down because it sure seems this is actually happening.

Brigadoon ran great and here we sit, the first night out, snug at the dock on Blake Island, fending off nosy rangers and trash pandas.

Here we go.