We are getting close, well closer. The target/destination changes daily, sometimes hourly depending Ahab’s strategy and information. After 42 years as the youngest child of three, and almost 20 years in the Moseley clan, I have very little problem just going with the flow. In this case, where the tide takes me – literally. Today’s updated target, as of thirty minutes ago, is now to all the way into, and maybe even through, the Kiel Canal. I was only slightly let down, as I had fantasized about a spot of afternoon tea with my pinky out, the other hand cramming crumpets with strawberries & cream in my face. But the UK will just have to wait. In the meantime, we have to get our game face on. We are just entering the English Channel. After weeks of crossing the open ocean (as D-Bro relates to driving your granddaddy’s Caddy through an open Jersey Mall parking lot), we now come upon civilization. Back in the neon days of the 80s, if you were of the age and mindset of the video gaming revolution, then you played “Frogger”. More high tech than its predecessors, Pong and Space Invaders, a peer to Donkey Kong, and an ancient relative to Call of Duty and Mortal Kombat. The object of the game was to safely get Sir Froggy across various obstacles. He starts, happy in his lush verdant glen, easily hopping a ride on moss covered logs, that glide down the lazy river. That was WIDAGO, out in the open ocean. Calm, not much to see, even days without seeing any traffic or contacts. As Sir Froggy advances to the next levels, he is emboldened by his success, tree logs, start speeding up—–
—- whoa—– time out—— Just had a major freak out incident as I’m typing this.
William (coming in from the helm): “Huh? Is that a bird? Or a plane? No, that’s too low to be a plane. Mom, check this out!”
Me (slowly rising from the nav station, anticipating a seagull sighting): “Huh? That’s not a bird, it’s a plane. That’s weird, he’s kinda low”
William: “Um, Mom….he’s turning….towards us.”
Me: ” Holy $&@?! Guyon! Guyon! Get up here!” Guyon is down below in his rack, knocked out, just entering a deep sleep cycle after finishing the 3am-until Ali wakes up, showers, and has coffee shift.
The plane is now for sure “below the hard deck”, only a couple hundred feet above the water, and he’s coming right at us. My adrenal glands fire their cannons. Heart pounding, stomach clenched, pits dewy. This small private plane buzzes our mast, so close that I can see the pilot’s smiling face, as he rounds about us. I’m sure he enjoyed getting a nice close look at WIDAGO, I however am just happy that he didn’t decide to dive bomb us, and I don’t have to go change my knickers.
Whew! That was close – my hands were still shaking while I wrote this. William gave me a reassuring hug.
So…back to Frogger…..now do you get it? We are Sir Froggy working our way to the advanced levels of the English Channel. Now, not only do I have to worry about the 37 AIS contacts of oil tankers, cargo ships carrying hazardous waste, and long line fisherman, I have to watch out for kamikaze airplanes. I don’t think I can pick those up on my AIS. I wanna go back to playing Pong.