May 14, 2020 on the Atlantic. Close encounters with a tanker
Close encounters with a tanker of 333 m length and a beam of 58 m on the Atlantic.
Having sailed 1,200 nm over the last 13 days and not seen any ships at all, Faule Haut’s AIS (Automatic ships Identification System) collision warning went on in the middle of the night and disturbed the skipper’s slumber. His iPad and iPhone screen showed a tanker who was about to cross his path and said that a collision would most likely occur (if none of those boats would alter its course). Well – good to know!
The tanker, making 15.1 knots of speed, was still ten miles away, so there was no danger whatsoever – thanks to the warning of the AIS (Skipper’s sweetheart).
So Skipper Ingo got off his berth and started watching what that sucker would do, because according to the IRPCS (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea) the tanker, being motor powered, has to yield to a boat powered by sail.The Skipper decided to wait and let it come close to no less than 500 m before taking any action, if need be.But then – early enough- the tanker changed its course to port to let Faule Haut pass in front of it. Thanks – Captain!
Almost exactly the same thing happened when Faule Haut was sailing from Panama to Pitcairn. Over a distance of 4,260 nm miles, and 39 days of consecutive sailing, the skipper saw only ONE boat and had collided with it if none had changed its course. There, the distance was even closer. It was also a tanker of 330 m and passed Faule Haut at a distance of only 360 m. There as well, the tanker changed its course correctly to avoid a collision.
This is proof again, that singlehand sailing is only possible with AIS and/or RADAR on board.