Along the northern shores of Australia smuggling (both of people and of various other stuff, mostly drugs) is a real problem so the Australians are taking it seriously.
Two days ago, a cry from below-decks: “GIAAAN, there’s an echo on the radar that is coming at us very faaaast!”
I look forwards, nothing, then I bend to look under the genoa and there was an AIRPLANE coming towards us low over the sea!!
They do two or three passes and finally call us on the radio with the usual questions: boat name, port of registration, last and next port of call, and then they leave with a promise: “we’ll see you every day”.
Next day, another cry: “GIAAAN, there’s a ship coming at us, what do I do, change course by 2 degreeees?”
The ship turns out to be a large Australian gunboat that comes thirty meters from us, gives us a long look without a word over the radio and then kicks away.
Yesterday, a similar vessel passes by a couple of miles away, calls with the usual questions, says goodbye and goes away in the direction of “Jupiter” which is few miles away and DOES NOT ANSWER to their calls!! (no surprise, they were not answering us as well, the two frenchmen often keep their radio off…). We were already figuring Pascal and Patrice in chains while Jupiter was being sunk by gunshot, but instead the patrol boat kept going and went to bother some other boat a little bit farther away.
What has the crocodile to do with all this?? During the evening radio chat, Zipadedoda (“Zippy”) reported having just seen a crocodile, happily swimming along 40 MILES from shore!!!
Who knows, maybe the Australians will ask to see his passport???
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