The area that we are sailing in, and have been for the last week or so, is absolutely full of container ships. It looks as if it is one of the main shipping lanes for all things Asia. We usually have at least one, if not five, ships that we can see. As with the Highway Code, there is a code of etiquette at sea. As we are under sail, most ships have to give way to us.
But there are exceptions, and as we are only a small dot compared to the humongous ships that carry hundreds of containers it is advisable to keep an eye on them anyway. One of the exceptions are fishing boats that are dragging nets, which is why we had to alter our course a few days ago to avoid the huge fishing fleet we came across.
Another exception is a ship that is NUC – Not Under Command. This means that they are not in control of their vessel, be it a steering issue or otherwise. So when a huge container ship was showing their NUC lights, and had sent out a security message to all ships in the vicinity that they were NUC, we had to avoid them. One small problem – we were on a direct course for a head on collision. There were about five other ships in the area, so we all had to avoid him, and each other. We tacked a couple of times, and everyone else got out of his way. After he had passed and was well on his way and we were back on our course, we checked him again on the AIS (computer system) and he had turned his NUC
It seems that he wanted to keep on going the way he was going, and everyone else could get out of his way. Think he should get penalty points for that, or be banned from driving!
“An” has now made a full recovery, and has taken his usual place in the prone position on deck during our watches. He has very long little finger nails, and I wondered from the outset why. Was it religious, or just fashion? Pete wondered as well, and as neither of us knew he decided to ask him. The answer – it is to clean out his ears and his nose. Some questions are just best left unanswered!
Kirsty, on the other hand, has not made a full recovery. She has been restricted to below decks only, which has not sat well with her. She has, for the first time, been upstairs today for the lunch meeting, but had to come back down straight after. Health and Safety – if she falls over again and hurts it even more that would not be good! She is in good spirits – but our watch is so quiet without her!
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The Stormhoek Social Spirit Award voting is now open for this leg.
Bridget’s spirit has been tested to the limit this leg, so please vote for Da Nang Viet Nam here:-