Thursday, December 12, 2019

Travel Blogging IX

At sea, en route to Tenerife: We had an unusual piece of action today. A passenger reported to ship personnel they saw something unusual in the water. The captain turned the ship around and sailed back to the estimated location of the sighting.

We circled in that vicinity for perhaps a quarter of an hour and, finding nothing, resumed our course for the Canary Islands. The captain announced that we are obligated by both custom and law to provide assistance if someone in difficulty is encountered or suspected.

What we did not do is count noses on board to see if anyone was missing. This suggests that what was seen (or imagined) was wreckage or a life raft, not someone going over the rail.

Both as ship lecturers and as paying passengers we’ve cruised more than most people who aren’t crew. We’ve never before experienced a search for people in trouble.

A thing I found interesting was how the direction the ship is pointing affects its reactions to rough seas, which we are experiencing. In the process of searching for someone in trouble we probably were at least briefly pointed in every conceivable direction. A couple of times we were almost calm for 2-3 minutes.

For sure on our course south-west to Tenerife the sea is not calm. These are the roughest seas we’ve experienced since departing Venice.

If the ship’s map is to be believed, Tenerife is almost due east of Ft. Lauderdale. I hope we don’t have rough water all the way to Florida.

The Atlantic in December is no millpond although it’s the North Atlantic that has the bad reputation. This far south ... one can hope.