Surrounded by Giant Behemoths

And the long night just started.

Dauntless track in magenta showing the jog we did to avoid one of these large ships. This was actually midnight, but I put the screen on "daylight" because i needed to make sure i understood the situation.
Dauntless track in magenta showing the jog we did to avoid one of these large ships.
This was actually midnight, but I put the screen on “daylight” because i needed to make sure i understood the situation.

Plan B did not last very long.  Once it got dark, surrounded by giant behemoths, I knew I needed a new plan, ummm let me think, let’s call it Plan C.

So let’s recap:

  • Plan A. Run for 12 hours, stop for 12 hours, do this for three days straight.
  • Plan B. Run continuously for 36 hours through the day, night and another day.

its dark and It’s near midnight.

There are lots of ships all heading for the same point around as we are all heading around the same point of land.

There are six ships in sight, not counting the trawler that I had to go around a few miles back.

I have a new plan.

There is too much traffic not to pay constant attention.  It was busy enough in the afternoon, but now that it’s dark, it has become really taxing.

The Navigation Program, Coastal Explorer with the Maretron display on the same monitor
The Navigation Program, Coastal Explorer with the Maretron display on the same monitor

One must correlate with what you see on the radar, then with the AIS depiction and what you actually see out of the window.  The last four hours have been constant scanning, the radar, the nav program (with AIS), what do we see out front, and on the beams?

And most of all, what do we see behind us? These cargo ships are going at least twice my speed and Dauntless barely shows up on radar.

I must constantly go from side to side in the pilot house, open the door and check to make sure of what is behind me, then return to the radar and AIS to make sure I am seeing everyone.  And they can see me.

Without AIS there would be a whole different problem, more like something like this, when small boats meet Giant Behemoths:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKctlvSSThM

which I had wanted to avoid, thus Plan C:

AIS display at 19:34
AIS display at 19:34 I’ve been able to get to the far right side of the fairway (just like a highway, with a center line (the white line just to the right of Dauntless, whose track is depicted with a magenta line.

I will anchor just on the west side of the Skagen peninsula.  I will curl around to the west and anchor just offshore in about 20 feet of water.  Now, the only problem is that is still 25 miles away, more than 4 hours.  I probably won’t get anchored until after 04:00, but it’s better than being run over.

P.S. In writing this, I apologize for not having more pictures to help me describe the situation better.

i thought I did, but in the heat of the moment, I was just trying to get run over or run into someone or something,

 

Three Days; Three Plans

Day one started absolutely gorgeous.

Evidently this is the reward for being patient and getting the things done yesterday that needed to be done:

  1. Complete bus heater installation

    Dauntless Travels over Flat seas while Richard makes his first and last selfie
    Dauntless Travels over Flat seas while Richard makes his first and last selfie
  2. Replace port side Racor fuel filter
  3. Replace both engine fuel filters
  4. Open the starboard tank, yet again and clean out
  5. Change the starboard tank vent line

By 18:00 hours all was done.  The fuel tank opening was necessitated by once again having some water in the starboard tank.  Which led to only the second engine shutdown and the first one in over two years?

Opening the inspection port, which I hate doing, was necessitated by my not having moved the fuel vent previously after cleaning the tank.  Just plain lazy on my part, and I paid the price by now having to do double the work.

The newly installed Bus Heater under the stairs
The newly installed Bus Heater under the stairs

The tank turned out to be in not bad shape, only about 1 quart of water, along with about a pint of black sludge.  When I was done, I put about 30 gallons back in the tank so it would not sit totally empty and start rusting, again.

On removing the hose for the fuel vent from the fitting, there were some drops of greenish liquid on both the fitting and the hose.  Since I’ve been suing green tinted fuel, I thought it was that, but I figured I better taste it to find out.

It was sea water, sweet and salty.  Almost refreshing.

Yep, the smoking gun was revealed.  That helped me feel better and justified moving of the vent once and for all.

So today, Wednesday, Plan A, its 190 nm to Norway, that will take 30 hours, 10 hours per day for three days, putting me into Kristiansand, Norway Friday evening.

Wanting to take advantage of the light winds I got up early, cast off and was underway before 07:00.

The next time I must open the fuel tank, I will get a helper
The next time I must open the fuel tank, I will get a helper

The day has only gotten nicer.  The winds are even less than earlier, now down to 6 knots, with flat seas, or at least as flat as we ever see.  Dauntless is motoring at its most efficient engine rpms of 1500 getting 6.1 knots.

This means a little better than 4 nm/gal (6.1nm*hr-1/1.5gal* hr-1)

We both could not be happier.

Also, I am reminded how much I love being on the water when I am not being tossed around like in a washing machine.

Plan A:  motor 12 hours today, anchor for 12, then do it twice more, so on the last day, Friday, head WNW from the northern tip of Denmark to Norway;  is being modified into Plan B.  The forecast calls for light winds today, then tomorrow continued light from the east, but getting stronger Thursday and Friday.

And while the forecast winds for Friday are going to be stronger, 15 to 20 knots, with seas building to 4 feet, since it is from the east and I would be going just north of west, it would be following sea and the KK loves following seas.

But I think I will hedge my bets.  I’d rather not take the chance on Friday’s winds.  If they are off even by just 40° it will make the trip much more miserable.

 

Coastal Explorer AIS depiction of the ships off Anholt Island, everyone is heading for the same point to head north. the dashed lines in front of each ship represent the distance the ship will do int he next 6 minutes.
Coastal Explorer AIS depiction of the ships off Anholt Island, everyone is heading for the same point to head north. The dashed lines in front of each ship represent the distance the ship will do int he next 6 minutes.

Mid-afternoon, I am coming upon the marker just to the east of Anholt island and it seems everyone has the same thought.  I have seen a lot of ships today, far more than I saw while in the English Channel.

And now we all seem to be chased to the same spot. the problem is these behemoths are so much bigger, like a fly compared to an eagle and they are usually going twice my speed.

It’s going to be a long night.

It’s 19:45 hrs. Evening depiction of the AIS tracks. Alongside the Maretron environmental info