Friday, May 15, 2015

Tenacatita to Ixtapa

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Ixtapa Marina

No wind…. 220 nautical miles and only a few hours sailing in the late afternoon, evening of the second day. About 46 hours, with the motor on for at least 40, the crew was contemplating mutiny.

The plus to flat calm seas was that we saw 19 turtles on the first day and 30 turtles on the second. I am guessing hawksbill or green, especially green, because some were very big. No photos because when they are close they quickly give you an indignant look and sink down out of sight and far away they really do not show up well.

A hazy dawn landfall near Ixtapa
Both Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas are large container ports so we saw several freighters and a couple of cruise ships. We were just northwest of Lazaro Cardenas as the second day turned to night and the wind reduced so our speed and manoeuverability also reduced.
We do not usually call freighters on the radio. We watch them intently on the AIS, the radar and visually and always take early evasive action, so we never have felt the need to get on the radio. While we do not have an AIS transmitter, we do have an Echo Max radar reflector as well as an earlier tubular model but I never assume we are seen, I am very attentive when I see big ships doing 18+ knots.
The AIS receiver is great because you do get the name of the ships passing. I am certain that a lot of the old day’s radio calls to “ship on my bow” went unanswered because no one had any identity. Last night after listening to the Clifford Maersk, approaching from our port stern quarter, radioing the Jian Hua, approaching from our starboard bow, requesting that they would do a starboard to starboard passing, I became very attentive.  The Jian Hua confirmed they would accommodate this passage because the Clifford Maersk was on the shore side and did not have much manoeuverability.
That would mean the Jian Hua would be closer to us than the Clifford Maersk in their alignment. The issue I had was that the course the Clifford was on already showed them with a 0.78 NM CPA (closest point of approach) to us travelling at 12.4 Knots. Where was the Jian Hua, moving at 18.2 Knots, planning on travelling? Time to break the radio silence,

“Clifford Maersk, Clifford Maersk, sailing vessel Kanilela – over”

“Kanilela, Clifford Maersk over”

“We are a sailing vessel under sail 2.4 miles off your starboard bow, your present CPA shows you at 0.78 miles in 7 minutes. We do not have an AIS transmitter, do you see us on radar or visual?”

Short hesitation…. “Yes, Kanilela we have you on radar and will pass on your port side”

“Thank you Sir, have a good evening”

“And you too Kanilela, Sir”

Okay, that’s the one that is closest looked after, but he wasn’t the greatest concern.

“Jian Hua, Jian Hua, sailing vessel Kanilela – over” long pause, no answer.

“Jian Hua, Jian Hua, sailing vessel Kanilela – over” another long pause finally….

“Kanilela, Jian Hua over”

“We are a sailing vessel 4.9 miles off your port bow with TCPA (time to closest point of approach) of 9 minutes. We do not transmit AIS. Do you see us on radar or visual?”

After a long pause “yah okay”

“Thank you Jian Hua, have a good evening”

And three ships passed in the night, one distinctly smaller than the other two.

No comments:

Post a Comment