AIS working OK
Moonstone of Aberdour
Allan and Claire Foster
Tue 16 Jul 2019 06:30
Shortly after leaving the Azores a Dutch yacht called us up on the radio to say that our AIS wasn’t working. We had seen Moonstone’s AIS report on the Marine Traffic website as we left Praia so I was puzzled as to what might have gone wrong.
I politely thanked him for letting us know but suggested the problem might also be with his receiver which he hadn’t seemed to have considered.
When offshore we have no way of checking our AIS transmissions and we have spent the trip concerned that this important bit of kit, that enables ships to see us, might not be working. A very big worry when we returning into the crowded English Channel.
Yesterday a very large American container ship, the ‘Yorktown Express’ on it’s way to Antwerp came within two miles of us so I radioed their watch officer. A young sounding American voice enthusiastically told us that he had identified our AIS report twenty miles away, indeed it was before he had seen us on his radar! We talked for a short while about where each of us were heading, It was a very pleasant chat and I was relieved to know that our AIS transmissions are good.
All being well we are going to make landfall in the Scilly Isles by Friday morning latest. An area of low pressure will bring rough conditions to the Scillies midday Friday and with strong local tidal currents it is not the most pleasant of waters to be entering during periods of wind over tide. We are expecting another cold front tomorrow (Wednesday) accompanied by more wind that will give us a boost in the right direction.