The Caribbean

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 at 00:42 | by Alistair Baillie

After we departed from Casablanca one of the other cadets spotted what appeared to be a SART (Search and Rescue Radar Transponder) on one of the radars and we subsequently altered course to investigate. As we approached we saw what appeared to be red flares coming from the direction of the SART so we reduced speed and engaged the thrusters.

Bearing in mind our close proximity to the coast of Africa the captain ordered patrols of all the outside decks and security were stood by at the aft mooring deck, we also turned on all the deck lights and had the engines ready to speed away if necessary.

It turns out after some investigation that it was 3 guys in a small boat around 50 miles from land fishing and after establishing communication with them and them telling us to go away, we promptly did so resuming our passage to the island of Madeira.

In Madeira we had a man overboard drill in the morning and then I went out in the afternoon to buy some supplies before we left Europe for the last time.

After 6 long and boring days at sea we arrived into the island of Bermuda, I don’t have a clue how the cadets on cargo ships can say they haven’t had enough time to do celestial – we were all so bored that we took to fixing the position at sunrise, merpass, sunset and at random times throughout the day using sun run sun just to pass the time on watch!

After a short stay in Bermuda – because of the reefs you can not pick up the pilot before sunrise and you must have disembarked the pilot before sunset, we sailed south to the island of Antigua and the temperature quickly rose to the high 20’s.

Today we were in Fort-de-france on the island of Martinique, I spent most of the day at the beach and as I write this the trusters have just powered up for our departure at 2100.

Tomorrow we visit St Lucia arriving at 0630 and departing fairly late at around 2300 for the short crossing to Barbados which marks the end of our 3 week transatlantic cruise and the start of our caribbean cruises.

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