Never was that phrase used in better context than my night watches across Biscay. Three different encounters with three different vessels all momentarily sharing the same patch of water, in a very large expanse of ocean, over which I was driving the boat (going slightly quicker than a slow jog) motoring, no wind.
When you encounter other vessels on the sea, that is a certain affinity with them. My three encounters were very different, the first was another sailing vessel within half a mile of me sailing in the opposite direction, it was a comfort seeing another kindred soul.
The second was almost a necessity as by 0300 hours, the stars had been hidden behind the clouds, the moon had set, and the horizon was merging into the sea in a big black mess, the ship was a leading light to me whilst I tried to steer a straight course. The last encounter was just downright scary: a large ship going 15.5knots heading directly up my derrière on a collision course. When it was within half a mile of me I decided the best course of action was to radio said ship, I was met with a gruff reply of “we are going astern of you”…. sorry I asked!
Now safely tucked up in port – we are here fixing a steering problem until Monday. We have had a great day – I’ll rephrase that – the girls and I have had a great day. Ryan has spent most of the day fixing the boat and has now arrived home to reveal that he has had a minor accident on his skateboard and has learnt that he needs to wear trainers instead of flipflops whilst skateboarding. Luckily I am very proficient with dressings (thanks kim!) and I am only 2 beers down so should do a great job at fixing him!