ARC 2006 – Sailing Vessel Persuader Too.
Log entry December 3, 2006 – Transatlantic crossing, day #7.
For days, we have not seen another ship. On Saturday all of sudden a vessel popped up at the horizon. We locked her on the radar and observed she was not moving at all. It was a fishing vessel, which looked like hovering on one spot. We were speeding on our massive green kite, autopilot set to follow the wind, about 155 degrees off wind, a course that brought us heading straight for the fishing vessel. – is it not odd, that for days on end you don’t see any other ship, and when one is spotted, it always seems to be on a collision course? –
Anyway, there she was, just hovering on one position, not moving at all. She did not drag any fishing gear, just ‘lay there’. We called them on the radio, in English, No response. In French. No response. In Portuguese. No response. In Spanish. No response.. It was not until we raced past her, a hundred meters off her bow, that all of a sudden we heard a voice on the radio. It seemed the crew only saw us the moment we passed her.. The guy on the radio sounded surprised… Probably he was on watch on the bridge, and had dozed off, until he saw us speeding by. I mean, put yourself in his place, here you are, in the middle of the Atlantic, minding your own business, not seeing anyone or anything for days on end and all of a sudden, this sailboat with this massive green sail comes racing past you..
Anyway, they were very friendly. They were Portuguese fishermen (what is a Portuguese fishing vessel doing so far south in the middle of nowhere, we wonder?). They asked who we were, where we were going to.. We answered we were on our way ‘to Saint Lucia’.. And he said ‘but you are going the wrong way, Santa Lucia is behind you..’. It took us some time to explain we were not going to ‘La Ilha de Santa Luzia’, one of the islands in the Cape Verdes – indeed now one day off our stern - but to St.Lucia in the Caribbean..
So we parted, with the fishing vessel left in our wake. We were wondering what the hell a Portuguese fishing vessel was doing so far south, just hovering on the spot in the mid Atlantic. And they were probably wondering what a sailing vessel was doing crossing the Atlantic only to go from one from one St.Lucia to the other St.Lucia.
Looking back... Video courtesy of Thomas Mallet
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