Sat 21 Nov 2020 10:40
We have had two close calls with ships at night recently.
First a fishing boat, on AIS but not showing up on radar. They were not showing the correct lights and were veering all over the place. Calling them on the VHF, we established that they spoke Portuguese and not English, and we don’t speak Portuguese. We had to alter course by 20 degrees to avoid them.
The second occasion was a large, over 100m tanker with lights on, but going nowhere. This was not on AIS but did show up on radar. Again, reaching for the VHF did not help, all we got in reply was three mic clicks, and then they shone a search light at us. As we passed them with about a mile clearance, again having altered course, they started their engines, turned off the lights and motored away!
We know a number of cruising couples who just go to bed at night and leave the boat to sail herself. I do not know how they do it...
Just over 200 miles till we sail south of Barbados and so cross our “out track”.
Still horrid sea, still no fish
Alasdair, Gill, Carmen and Dan