Necessity is in Port Dickson
Eva and Jan Fr. Mack
Thu 25 Sep 2008 13:13
We did the Malacca straight at night. The main problem was not pirates, but rather lots and lots of debris in the water. Both Indonesia and Malaysia throw a lot of waste into the sea.
Another challenge was the enormous number of ships navigating through the straight. This is the busiest waterway in the world. We crossed just outside Singapore and had to use both visual judgment and the AIS system. The latter is really very useful showing all the main shipping and their vectors on our chart system.
Early this morning another sailing boat caught our attention by firing a white flare (there is constant chatter on the VHF, so nobody pays much attention unless there is some indication that you should). We called them up and got a reply in what sounded like the Malay version of English. They wanted help, but the reason was obscure. There are not too many Malay in modern sailing boats. Was this possibly a pirate ploy? This is what comes to mind in the Malacca straight at first light. After taking some precautions we decided to go a little closer to investigate. You do not leave a fellow sailor in need of help in the Malacca straight or anywhere if you can help it. Well, there were no pirates, only some unlucky French sailors in need of additional English lessons. They had got a big piece of canvas in their propeller, and wanted to borrow a diving mask to cut it free. We could help them with that and a little later we were both under way.
Eva and Jan Fr.
See also www.sailaway.no
Currently no local phone
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com