5 eerie things I’ve experienced at sea.
1. Swimming with the knowledge there is two miles of water underneath you.
2. St. Elmo’s Fire in the Rigging
3. 2 solid days of no wind, no waves and a sea surface like glass.
4. A skipper’s crazy prediction.
This is a pretty good sea story. I was on the bridge and everyone was talking about the upcoming Bluenose ceremony for the polliwogs first trip into the Arctic Circle.
The Skipper keeps marching back and forth reminding the watch to keep a close eye out for the Arctic Circle buoy marker. Along the lines of the left handed fog shifter, the buoy marker is made up and meant to drive new guys crazy.
So the Skipper has been keeping this up most of the morning. And wouldn't you know it, less than a mile from the circle we come upon a flat blue piece of flotsam maybe 30-40 ft. long. Looked like the top of a lost container floating submerged to me but none of us could tell for sure.
Except the Skipper. It has always insisted that random piece of sea trash in the middle of nowhere was his mythical Arctic Circle buoy marker.
5. Having a freighter on a collision course with you when no is in command.
Leaving the straits of Gibraltar, we almost collided with this apparently unmanned ship.
We had noted her steady bearing. decreasing range on the radar for an hour or so. She didn't answer to radio calls or horn signals. When you studied the bridge through binoculars it was clear that the only living thing was a dog that looked like it was barking constantly. Maybe the dog was in charge.
At the very last moment, someone appeared on the bridge and put their vessel hard over to starboard. That was actually turning more into us but it was the only chance. She crossed our wake and cleared our stern by less than 20 ft. A couple guys working on the stern almost jumped over the side, fearing collision. It was that close.
The vessel remained in its new course, never answered the radio, and we never saw another being either on the deck or the bridge again.