24 hours ago, Jean Le Cam sailed off the coast of Saint Paul Island and, in the Vendée Globe Live Web TV show, he told us about his ghost-like encounter with a strange ship. It is now Dominique Wavre's turn to share his story from an isolated area in the Indian Ocean, where there is very little traffic.
© Dominique Wavre / Mirabaud
The AIS alarm went off in the middle of the night, it was pitch dark outside, there was not a single star in sight so I immediately checked on the computer screen to see the route of that ship and of course, we were on a collision route! I just couldn’t believe it, how likely is it to have two boats on a collision course in the middle of the desert oceans?
© Dominique Wavre / MirabaudSo I slightly changed my route to avoid that ship my AIS listed as a cargo ship. Then came the usual VHF call to tell them about what I was doing and we sailed on each other’s port side. The conversation was quite surreal, he asked me where I was coming from and I answered « from les Sables d’Olonne ». Long silence on his part, then « What? ». When I heard that, I realised what I had just said. « I mean, from France! » and of course he understood much better. We didn’t talk much, only about where we were coming from and where we were headed. When I said I was coming from France and going back there, he didn’t make any specific comment. He was coming from Mumbai and heading to Africa. With a really strong accent, he wished me « bon voyage » and I did the same, watching my unlikely comrade sail away and disappear from my screen. We each went back to our respective bubbles.
And here I am in another windless night, Mirabaud’s current speed is 3 knots and the ridge has clearly become our enemy over the past few days as it has attacked us once more. The good news is, it should disappear soon as a powerful depression is coming.