Dolphins cheer you up!
Trip Start Dec 31, 2011
54Trip End Apr 20, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
As I looked forwards from the starboard wing of the bridge, I saw two dolphins take it in turns to leap out of the water towards the bow of the ship. They are so graceful and so sleek. They weren’t in view long, but although the sky was still overcast and there was slight precipitation, there were breaks in the cloud and I think this brief sighting heralds improvements all round.
We are still shuffling along at 14 knots but the schedule published on the bridge has us arriving in Hong Kong on 22nd February, so I am guessing we will crack on as soon as we are through the canal. I know for sure that we will burn some oil at the bottom of the Red Sea as it is difficult, if not impossible for small boats to come alongside a ship that is travelling at over 18 knots, and we will exceed that by 30%
There has been a marked absence of other shipping over the last few days and this morning was no exception. I stood on the bridge and looked through more than 180° and saw nothing but the imaginary blue line that separates the sea and sky. It was only when I looked through binoculars that I could see, just over the horizon, the tell tale signs of other life. Given I was standing just shy of 150’ above sea level, those signs are a goodly way off. As we made towards them, their indistinct shapes started to take form. We were heading into one of the many gas fields off the coast of Egypt and within a couple of hours we were in amongst gas platforms, supply ships, ordinary shipping and fishing boats, all of us going about our business independently of each other. Even at out speed we slowly overtook the OOCL Hamburg which we will no doubt meet again this evening.
A walk round the ship found me on the forecastle and memories flooded back when I saw the Suez light, this time not hired from the Egyptian authorities at an exorbitant rate (complete with not required operating crew), but belonging to the ship and mounted on dedicated brackets. It is still an absolute requirement to have one.
(It has just dawned on me that some readers will not know what a Suez light is. A photo will accompany the text in due course, but it is a searchlight with a lens about 2’ in diameter that is mounted on the bow – in fact on the bit where those two stood with their arms outstretched in the film ‘Titanic’)
Buckshees are still necessary in this part of the world and appropriate ‘gifts’ are to hand. Some things haven’t changed! Going through the canal tomorrow is one of the highlights of this trip.
17.45 hours local. We have dropped anchor off Port Said along with many other vessels and await the call.
Sent by email from the ship and posted by the Old Sea Dog's PA