The day offered little in the way of wind and that from an unhelpful direction so we continued to assist our progress with the engine. We said our goodbyes to the crew of Alegria over the VHF as our courses diverged and wished them well. Peter made some fried egg and ham sandwiches for lunch and we enjoyed a roast chicken meal in the evening followed by a little quiz before starting our watches.
At 3 am, Peter spotted a large ship on AIS while on watch projected to pass very close to us. He quite rightly called me up and we determined that the OOCL KAOHSIUNG was about six miles away, was not changing course and was due with us in 25 minutes. Several VHF calls eventually raised their bridge and we gave them our position. They could not see us on AIS but could pick us out on radar and agreed to change course. We asked them to stand by as we could not understand why they could not see us on AIS. We checked our system and called them back and by this time they had picked us up, the problem must only have been an issue of range as the yacht systems have a far shorter range than ship AIS. The ship passed 1 ½ miles in front of us and it is pleasing that our systems functioned and a crisis was averted.
We sailed from the early hours as the wind filled in and the silence was a very welcome contrast to the incessant drone of the engine.
Email exchanges with Port Solent established that they are expecting us and the hammerhead berth they have allocated to us is perfect with a central location but with sufficient distance from the hubbub ashore. We gave them our approximate eta of Saturday the 18th of June and promised to update the timings once we are in the English Channel in about a week’s time.