Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Remote, yet busy
Our friend Dave from Mudshark noted that a couple days ago we were in one of the most remote spots on earth, as we were briefly > 1000 nm from any land. (Mudshark is another Express 37 where the Bullet return crew originally met. Dave was kind enough to lend us his Dacron mainsail for this passage, which has been a huge help thus far. Thanks again Dave and Beki!)
Though we are about as far from land as one can get, it also turns out to be a fairly well trafficked area for commercial shipping (when compared to the first part of our journey). We see one to two ships on Bullet's AIS display each day. Most of the time they are 15-20 nm away, and we can not see them. On Sunday evening, we saw the Hanjin Rome on AIS bearing towards us (commercial ships are required to carry a AIS transponder, which provides its position, speed, direction and other information to vessels with AIS receivers within about 25 nm). Once in visual range, we hailed them via our VHF and they agreed to pass us to our stern. Doesn't hurt to make sure the big boats can see us little guys, especially in this big ocean!
Though we will of course keep watch in this "busy neighborhood", being around shipping traffic has potential benefit. In the unlikely event in loss of an emergency, commercial shipping will likely be first on scene to provide rescue.
Pictured is Hanjin Rome about one mile off our stern.