I take a certain amount of comfort in the fact that I have a transmit/receive AIS transponder. Not only can I see the other ships but they can also see me. Coastal Europe has far more ship traffic that I experienced traveling the coast of the North and Central America. As a general rule this is not a problem as the ships alter their course and go around me. I have stopped calling each individual ship as they all tell me "don't worry about it, we have you covered." Even so the AIS has a proximity alarm and if anyone gets within 2 miles of me the alarm goes off. This can be really annoying but, as you will see, a very good thing. I was just south of Sines, (N 37 09.254 W 009 17.871) early in the morning but daylight, 25 knot winds, 6 foot seas. The alarm goes off and I see MSC Maria Saveria heading at me. The closest point of approach (CPA) is 100 feet. I don't worry, everyone else would start turning and the CPA would open up. As they taught me many years ago you don't want CBDR (constant bearing decreasing range.) Well, for the next 5 minutes I am getting CBDR. So I get on the radio and call them. After 3 or 4 fruitless minutes trying to get them to talk to me I realize that they are really close. I jump up from the radio to the cockpit and there they are, A quick tack and I stall Reboot and then start heading the other way. They go steaming blissfully by. I doubt the bridge watch ever realized he almost ran me down.
I will be sending a complaint to the owners, once I figure out their email. Feel free to send them one too, telling them their ship almost killed your friend.
Fair winds and following seas.
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