Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sailing to Mazatlan 3, 9 December 03:08

Well, my watch started early with a bit of excitement. Renee called me up to the deck around 23:30 as she was concerned about a large ferry ship, the La Paz Star, closing on us from astern. They were only 4 nm behind us, traveling at 12 knots heading directly for us. We were making about 6 knots, so that meant only 40 minutes until they would run us over if nothing changed. Renee had tried to hail them on the VHF, but could not make contact. We were running hard under only the Code 0 in moderate swells which put some limit on the course we could sail.

I attempted to hail La Paz Star on the VHF with no luck. I initiated a DSC (Digital Select Call) to them but got no answer. I finally made a DSC "All Ships" safety call, which sets off an alert on every ships' VHF within range. That got the ferry's attention!

After a bit of confusion on the part of the ferry with respect to the course they wanted to steer, we agreed that they would alter course and pass us to their starboard. That required quite a turn for them and I'm not sure why they did that. Maybe they are supposed to stay within some prescribed track or something, I don't know. In any case, they seemed a bit annoyed with us and told us not to call them anymore! That was fine with me, once I knew they weren't asleep at the helm, knew where we were and passed us safely.

The rest of my watch was uneventful. The wind picked up quite a bit, so we rolled up the Code 0 and unfurled the jib. We're making a steady 5+ knots under just the jib, which is good enough and makes for easy sailing. Still pretty rolly, with 3+ foot swells closely spaced at about 6 seconds.

90 miles sailed, 145 left to go.

Time to sleep until I'm back on at 06:00.