Day 4: Forehead warning

Just before sunrise, the AIS alarm screamed at me.
Acting right away like a diligent seaman, I sat up and knocked my head on the deck head (yes, that’s spelled correctly and means the “ceiling.”)
Recovering from that, I adjusted by crashing my forehead against the fan.
Beep beep beep 🤬 said both the AIS and I out load.
The fishing vessel “Lucerne” was on a dangerous heading with Osiyeza.
I decided to use my fancy VHF radio to call and check if they had spotted us on their systems.
Why are the knobs and buttons on my radio all sticky. Grrr. I tried three times with no luck. Bastards are sleeping, I thought, as they are only a few miles away.
Again the alarm goes off. We are still on converging courses.
Ok, I’ll just call them up on channel 16.
“Fishing Vessel Lucerne, Lucerne, Lucerne this is Osiyeza, Osiyeza, Osiyeza. Do you copy?”
Zip, nada, bugger all.
I feel a drop of water run down my face. I wipe it away, thinking, “I should have replaced the hatch seals before I left”
Lucerne and Osiyeza were now less than a mile apart and still on converging courses.
Typically other vessels would be required to keep clear of a vessel engaged in fishing for obvious reasons. However, I was drifting with the wind and could not actually steer one way or another to avoid the upcoming oopsie.
I called him again, and this time, I got a reply. No, he can not see my lights or hear me very well. I keep on breaking up. A little while later, my AIS position appeared on his screen.
Every time I was in the trough of a swell, my coms would cut out. That’s because VHF is line of sight only and cannot transmit through or over a swell. The AIS uses the VHF antenna as well.
Was the swell BIG, or is Osiyeza small? 🙃 It was a little of both today.
It was a South African flag fishing boat, and we had a quick chat, and he promptly turned to keep us apart.
Remember the sticky knobs.
I switched the red cabin light to white light to see my GPS and VHF radio had turned into a murder scene. Blood smeared everywhere.
The hatch was not leaking. It was the scratch on my forehead from the fan. I guess a daily aspirin does make the blood thinner and leak longer.
PS I am unsure if it was due to the head trauma, but the kids boycotted their pool session today! That is all I am going to say about that.
In the afternoon, I paddled over a pinnacle. It went from 2000m deep to 200m. The current was phenomenal. I was doing 10km/hr at some stages. Bonus!
Lots of fishing boats about. I received a call from the fishing vessel “Boetie Bert,” wanting to know all about Osiyeza. He sounded just like you imagine Boetie to look like. Local is lekker!
I made 🍿 popcorn for lunch.
I fed the wildlife.
No, not when I fed the fish on the first night but today while padding over the pinnacle. The bird life increased dramatically. I suspect mainly due to the number of fishing boats. Why would I think that?
The Southern Giant Petrals started to consistently swoop low next to me and land in the water as soon as they had passed the stern. They would then put their heads under water obviously looking for fish scraps from the fishing boats.
At this moment, some popcorn blew out of my hand and into the sea, only to be picked up by the next swooping Petral. I wonder if it liked the Perri-Perri spice?
Co-ordinates: S 30°20’53 E015°12’52
Breakfast – Jungle Oats bar
Lunch – salami sticks, a biscuit & popcorn
Dinner – Lasagna & noodles
Bird of the day: Southern Giant Petrel
Sea life: more blue bottles
Amount raised for Operation Smile: R148,657
No of smiles changed: 27 😀