Traffic Jam

When we purchased our AIS unit (automatic identification system) the propaganda in the owners manual assured us it could track up to 500 ships at a time. I remember thinking So ? We would never need that. Wrong !

Singapore Straits is perhaps the busiest sea lane in the world. Our task was to cross Five lanes of traffic , turn westabout and join the flow on the outskirts as we are the tortoise avoiding the hares.

As we neared the charted crossing our AIS unit maxed out to 500 of 500 ships being tracked. JAGA II is in the Centre of the screen as we travel N NW to cross. As evident, we had a tense undertaking in slow motion ( us at four knots against current ) as we threaded our course thru the huge commercial ship traffic literally smoking along !

Container Ships were our scenery for the twelve hour journey to our next anchorage. And have been our companions continually up the Melaka Straits. It will be a long time before we enjoy empty ocean passages again.

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