Tuesday 20 August 2013

Close encounters with Aliens and the Royal Navy - 25/7

Until now I have completely forgotten to record the two most notable experiences of our passage to Plymouth.

The first was a mysterious red light suspended in the night sky off Portland Bill. My charts were a couple of years old and did not mention it but it seemed to be hovering at some height directly over our planned route. After much head scratching I decided to call up the coast guard for advise. It was only a Met Office mast with a red light at the top to warn aircraft!

The second occurred as we completed our crossing of Lyme Bay. Increasingly frequent announcements came over the VHF from Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Austin about war ships and exclusion zones and delays to firing; until finally I had to take notice. They appeared to be referring to a patch of the bay baring an uncanny resemblance to our own position. There also appeared to be a number of grey shapes materialising and disappearing in and out of the equally grey gloomy afternoon mist that surrounded us. Feeling slightly alarmed I called up Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Austin on the VHF (a first for me), gave our position and asked them to repeat the co-ordinates of the exclusion zone they were using. They re-assured us that we were out of range and then gave us the position information. "Funny" I thought, that still sounds extremely close. I therefore plotted the zone's and our own position and discovered that we were all of 1 nautical mile outside the exclusion zone.

Our log records: "If we are hit and this log is discovered please pass to S Fisher of 41 Croydon Road, London SE 20 7TJ with instructions to sue the MOD!

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