Day 7: Azores to the UK
330 nm to go to the Isles of Scilly
It has been really foggy all day which is quite eerie and we can currently only see about 100 ft. Despite this we have had fairly good wind and are making steady progress.
Having not seen a ship for days, as I came on watch this morning AIS was showing a big cargo ship on a similar course to us, due to come within 500ft of us in 2 hours time. I monitored it closely on AIS, which gives it’s closest predicted point of approach and how many minutes away it is and it varied between 12 ft and 1nm. When the ship is 645ft long that isn’t much room for error! It was drizzly with thick fog and we were sailing downwind so couldn’t easily alter course. When it was only half an hour away I could hear his fog horn but not see anything so I called it on the radioed and a nice Frenchman said yes he could see us on radar and would alter course for us.
He eventually passed about a mile away and I still couldn’t see him. I then fleetingly saw a vague silhouette in the fog, it was massive and I suddenly realised how close he was. I thought this scenario sounded familiar so I looked back at “Triple Ds” emails and they had almost exactly the same thing in almost exactly the same place, with thick fog and a nice Frenchman altering course for them.
Anyway the excitement certainly woke me up. How will we cope when we get back to the shipping lanes?
Alan has now configured the radar and AIS to beep if it sees any more ships and it’s really disappointed that we haven’t seen a thing.
Position at 20:00 UTC Thursday 23rd July 2011
COG/SOG: 057˚T / 5.0kts
Wind: 280˚T / 13.0 kts