Has Anybody Seen the Cat? 37:59.42N 038:31.08W
The Return of Irene III - 2018
Fri 8 Jun 2018 02:18
Many of you know that we departed the Americas from Bermuda. To the average
person in the street, Bermuda invokes stunning colonial architecture,
beautiful beaches and Rum and Ginger Beer cocktails. But let me remind you
of the mysterious, ghostly and unaccounted-for events associated with this
infamous island. Yes, I am referring to the notorious "BERMUDA TRIANGLE".
As a reasonably well-educated team of sailors we view these tails with some
derision and a great deal of scepticism. However, as we collectively discuss
(Sean, Tony and I) the day's events it is clear to us that there are some
unusual forces at work here?
At first, eye-brows were raised when we began noticing AIS Targets on the
Console screens. These are ships which appear in or around our tracking
course and Rhumb Line. However, when using the old reliable eye-ball vision
. they don't exist. There's nothing on the water??? Nada. Zip. Just empty
seas! We check the distance and time to closet point of contact and
confirmed that they are in range. Check the horizon, the foreground,
nothing! Are these apparition's or ghosts of the past?
A VHF radio operates on a "line of sight" basis as signals don't bend over
the horizon. It all started on Monday night when we received a call over the
VHF in "French". It took us a few minutes to recognise that it was Irene III
that was being hailed. We checked the screens and there were no signs of any
other vessels in the area. Naturally, we responded and began a conversation
with "Grande Ourse", a Spanish registered Yacht with a French Crew. Our
discussions took place in half French and a great deal of pigeon English. We
discussed the weather forecast, current position, departure points, planned
destination, the usual diatribe of boats at sea. Now I accept that there is
nothing peculiar in any of this detail. However, there was no sign of the
Grande Ourse, who we plotted to be two nautical miles on our starboard side.
Neither was there any sign of her on our radar or AIS plotters. Strange.
Very, very strange. We understand that she may be without Transponder, but
invisible? I should also point out another peculiarity; I don't speak French
nor do I do Pigeon! At least not sober! Yet we had a full-blown conversation
for nearly twenty minutes. Were these lost voices from history or shadows
living in parallel seas trying to contact us?
To further raise our "heckles", Sean keeps hearing noises on the boat. These
noises are predominantly knocking, high pitched squeaks or electrically
operated devices emanating from far under the floor boards. Only Sean hears
them. Why only Sean? In the middle of the night he has us lifting floor
boards, checking electrical components, shining flash-lights in hidden
crevices, looking for the sources of these sounds. Nothing. No noises.
Silence! Just the crashing of the waves! Being good sailing colleagues, it
behoves us to support Sean and console him in his machinations of ethereal
echoes and point to the unexplained. The Bermuda Triangle!
Then there's the lone "Arm Band" episode. Tony noticed a solitary arm-band
floating across the sea to our starboard. An eerie sight. He was very
concerned. Was there a partner arm-band? Where did it come from? Where is
the owner? Was the arm-band simply a child's lost toy or was it a
life-saving remnant of a downed world war II fighter pilot? Or, is this
another encounter with the strange, the unexplained, the Bizzare? The
inexplicable Bermuda Triangle!
As I compile this dissertation, we are nearing the Azores (391 NM's). We
have emerged from the other side of the Intrigues of the Bermuda Triangle.
We have discussed this topic amongst ourselves and carefully eye each other
with suspicion. Was he abducted and replaced back on board without our
knowledge? What is his behaviour like? Any different to last week? He looks
different when he doesn't shave? Is he Alien???
I ask myself the question, are any or all of them Alien? I'm taking no
chances. I have heard about the Marie Celest and others. I am sleeping with
the cabin door locked. Full wet-gear on. (It takes me twenty minutes to put
it on anyway - It should take an Alien much longer to remove it if I
struggle hard enough). Bible and crucifix in hand, garlic bulbs from the
Galley and so on. And before you tell me that these are only pertinent to
Vampires. I DON'T, CARE. I'm taking no chances!
There you have it, another example of the impaired thinking of TransAt
sailors. It may be attributable to too much sun, alternatively the
psychology of living in close-quarters with limited alcohol. Who knows? Once
ashore and a drink in hand the mind reboots itself and nobody is any the