There I sat at the helm finally getting my chance to navigate the boat. I cut some pretty good bait for a few days so I guess they were moving me up to running the ship. Or possibly it was all the beer and booze we consumed in Newport that made everyone figure it was time to let the green horn navigate.
Whatever the reason I was ready and I was not going to fail. I made another pot of coffee and set myself behind the wheel. Keeping my hand close to the night watch buzzer so I could easily press it every 15 min (can’t remember if it was 15 min) so an alarm would not be set off.
Off we were radar screen was clear of any other ship just me staring out looking for dead heads and enjoying the thrill of out at sea. Soon though my eye’s could not see the glow of the moon on the water. Rubbing my eyes thinking I was getting a bit sleepy but when I looked out I could only see less.
I walked through the galley to look out over the deck towards the stern and there it was the fog getting denser by the second. The Stern itself was starting to disappear. Only reason I could see the deck was from the one light that shined below.
I returned to the wheel house and no longer felt so sure of myself. I almost wanted to wake someone but figured I better just deal with it. I mean the radar was clear so what was the need to worry.
Then it came that bleep on the radar screen on the screen right behind the boat but it was way down on the last circle on the screen. Another ship and it seemed to be moving fast for it was already to the next circle before I knew it. Now big deal I though I would just rudder left and let him pass then rudder right and return on course. Same thing we do every time a freighter passes.
I made a quick and worthless run to the stern to peer out into the thick fog hopping I would see the freighter coming then I would have a better feeling about making the right decisions. But all I could see is that thick white fog such a eerie feeling when you are surrounded by it.
Returning to the wheel house the ship is upon use I hit the rudder left to move over and soon enough I have that little hair-raising feeling of something big out there but can’t see it but I can hear the bow cut through the water at a much faster rate than our own. Metal creaking and diesel engines churning louder than our own. Checking the radar it had moved right on pass. I gave a few extra seconds for good luck and rudder right to put us back on course. Soon I could feel a different wave upon the boat I knew it was from that freighter.
Radar was clear again but the fog remained when the first mate arrived to relieve my watch. “Everything ok” he asked and of course I replied “yup”. I finished my cup of coffee and went below deck to get some sleep.
I really do not have a lot of picture that show fog so I just added a few that I found. Nothing really works good for the story I just told. I will need to pay more attention to getting a few fog pictures in the future. Hope you enjoy the ones I posted.