Monday, December 2, 2013

Day 4 - Ships that pass in the night

We were in the vicinity of two low pressure systems for 36 hours, finally coming out of them early this morning. Three reefs in the main and little to no jib for all this time with short lumpy seas making it difficult to move about below without two good hand holds at a time. We heaved to for 6 hours to let the low move further south of us hoping to avoid the higher winds forecast for just below us.

Early this morning the AIS alarm went off, reporting us on a collision course with the bulk carrier "San Francisco" en route from NZ to New Caledonia. I hailed her on VHF and asked her to watch out for us, giving our position, course, and speed. The officer on watch said he would, but the ship continued on her same course and speed and we were required to take evasive action, pulling in the jib and rolling off dead downwind. Even so, we passed well under a mile apart and could have collided had we not altered our course and speed. A half hour later a sister ship was also detected by the AIS on a parallel course to the other carrier. Again we would collide or come extremely close without action, so without bothering to call I turned Ladybug off dead downwind again and we passed about 1/2 a mile apart.

The wind has clocked into the west now and we jibed around 4 am and are running on starboard tack for the first time in 3 days. The seas are still rough amid drizzle and heavy cloud. It is noticeably colder and we are wearing fleeces for the first time. We have both not had much sleep for two days, but hopefully the wind and seas will steady today and we will have a pleasant couple of days as we approach the North Cape of New Zealand.

Our position at 0700 NZ time, 1800 GMT was 29 42 S and 170 55 E with a total 114 NM sailed over 24 hours, 103 NM made good.


Anonymous said...

What bad luck to come across two uncooperative ships. Hope the rest of the passage is less troublesome. Are you coming into Opua? We got in yesterday - we'll keep an eye out for you. Don't pack away the oilskins tho' - it's pouring with rain at the moment!
Carol & Jon, Arnamentia

Ann Adams said...

Wow! You are attracting ships! We only saw one in our whole trip and it was just off of Suva and was a cruise ship! And please do not take offense at the San Francisco name. If it had been us we would have moved for you!
You have clearly passed the half way mark! Yay! And I guess no more going up top in just your undies Chris, too bad!
Stay warm and safe!