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May 11, 2009
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Banner Mountain couple in pirate waters


Local residents John and Dottie Scott recently got a close-up look at the pirate threat in the Gulf of Aden, near Somalia.

The couple have lived on Banner Mountain since 2002, when they retired and moved up here from the Bay Area.

Since then, they've enjoyed travel, including seven weeks in Alaska last year. This spring, the Scotts are on a 35-day cruise which has taken them to an area hit by pirate hijackings in recent months. The trip ranges from the Far East to the eastern Mediterranean, including stops in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and Greece.

They expect to sail through the Suez Canal this week.

They started in Hong Kong, where they boarded Oceania Cruise Lines' Nautica on April 7.

John Scott sent this update dated May 2 from the Gulf of Aden, and he added photos for The Union readers to enjoy:

"The Nautica is a moderate-sized cruise ship, currently carrying 300-plus passengers. We generally spend a day or two in various ports, often visiting a single country more than once.

"We also have days at sea during which we are in transit on the water. We have sailed the China Sea and the Indian Ocean are about to enter the Red Sea.

"The trip has been a fascinating introduction to countries we have never visited. Many are near the root of civilization with relics and structures dating back thousands of years.

"At the time, we are in the Gulf of Aden, north of Somalia. We have seen our Navy escort ships several times and had a helicopter fly-over at dawn this morning.

"Pirates use small fishing boats as 'mother ships' from which they can launch an attack using smaller powerful boats. There are many fishing boats in these waters, so the ship is on guard all of the time."

The Scotts disembark at Athens and fly to Munich on May 14 and back home May 24.

Next year, they plan a cruise around South America, John Scott said.

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The Union Updated May 11, 2009 02:33PM Published May 11, 2009 02:29PM Copyright 2009 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.