38 48.0n 20 0.0w

Fettler's AZAB
Jez Rowles
Sat 22 Jul 2023 16:50
Speed 5 kts 
Course 250  
Distance to Ponta Delgarda (as the crow flies) 278 miles at 5pm 
Smooth seas and a fair wind, this is perfect sailing and I have been reaching in 10 kts or so all day (sorry Tim it's the opposite of the Biscay crossing).
We are crossing a shipping lane (I think from Canada and the US to the straits of Gibraltar) and I have been dodging about a dozen ships since about 3am.  Most of these are fine but one (and you know who you are Cosco Jeddah!) was on a course to hit me and despite the fact that I am transmitting my position on AIS, called him endlessly from 10 miles out on vhf and directly using his number on DSC, I never got a response or any change of course.  I don't think there was anyone on the bridge and he was just ploughing a furrow at 17kts.
Anyway, I decided that it was better to be well out of his way when he was a mile off and reversed course till he went by. 
Spoken to other ships and they couldn't be more professional and helpful but I'm glad for AIS and the alarm that gives me early warning if someone is coming close by.  Rant over !
I've been reading the biography of Lord Cochrane,  a Nelson era ships Captain who was a bit "larger than life".  It's a brilliant story but I have had to put it down for a while because the inner voice that always talks to me when I'm sail handling or out on deck (hook on, think about what you want to do and where there might be problems, how will you fix it if this happens " etc) has started to sound like Horatio Hornblower.  I'll come back to it but it's Chicken Hawk and Heuys in Vietnam for now (also a brilliant book - I took recommendations on what to bring and they re turning out well)
Saw a single bird yesterday Dave.  The Collins wild guide on birds tells me that it was a Cory's Shearwater and he circled around for 10 minutes or so while I was in the cockpit.  Nice to see that it isn't actually dead out here. 
Em - hope you are keeping James and Betsy entertained .