Thursday, 4 February 2010

Deckhands Log #10 Pirates, Yodelling and Haircuts

With nothing huge happening and a lot of little things passing by I thought it was time to write a deckhands log. My definition of huge might have changed a bit. So don't be surprised if you are surprised.

We left Malta on Tuesday night. It was a lot smoother than our exit from Italy although customs took longer to clear us than they should have. If you ever want to be a super villain become a customs clerk or immigrations officer. Once we were under way it was time to resume our navigational watches.

Our boat has some seriously advanced hardware which means it drives itself between way points. It only really needs assistance when we enter and exit ports. We still have two people in the bridge to keep a lookout for other vessels and monitor the many monitors, gauges and horizon. With the weather behaving the Captain thought it would be prudent to expand my musical tastes with a very eclectic mix of music. The aural treats included,

Roxette
Both halves of Roxette singing Swedish pop
Swedish folk music
Swedish country
Austrian yodelling hits from the 1700's (good music to go skiing to apparently. I told you skiers were weird)
Swedish Musicals
Hard rock from the 70's
The Beatles
An assortment of lounge music
Swedish comedy routines

Obviously a lot of the lexicon was Svenksa and I was impressed at being able to pick out various swear words in the very bawdy Swedish comedy routines. We have also been blessed by having had some very nice moon rises each night at about 10pm. Roxette, moon rises and the sound of the ocean are a very potent mix.

We are now over half of the way to the start of the Suez canal. Naturally we are excited about spending some time in Egypt but the real fun will start when we join a Chinese navy convoy and head through the Gulf of Aden towards Abu Dhabi. There is a lot of press about piracy in this region but you only really hear about ships that get captured. A lot of ships are attacked and are fended off successfully. We are not a cargo ship which is good. There are also a host of things you can do to lower the probability of attack.

-Travel at night with no lights
-Keep your speed at least 16 knots
-Post increased lookouts
-Carry security personnel
-Carry an El Fuerte

What is an El Fuerte ? You will have to read my next crew profile.

I have been giving my birthday month a bit of thought and it has not been festive enough. I think I will celebrate my birthday again when we are back in New Zealand in April. This celebration will be the one third of a century celebration. I think that is a fantastic cause and I am sure everybody will get behind it.

Tune in next time for the tale of El Fuerte.
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