Pirate Watch!

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Last night I did a pirate watch on the ship from 2 – 4am — to watch for pirates. Yes, pirates.

There are still pirates about in many parts of the world, doing pretty much what they’ve always done, except now they have powerboats. They are present in the waters of West Africa, especially off the coasts of Nigeria and Senegal, but also all over West Africa.

Their tactics are, that they sneak up on us in our blind spot of our radar, behind the ship. They usually don’t mess with passenger ships because there are too many people to deal with and too few of them. So, the chances of them taking us on after they realize we are a passenger vessel is small.

But cargo ships they do attack, and since the cargo ships only have 15 crew members for a gigantic ship, they are easier to take over. Sometimes they rob them, sometimes they hold the ship for ransom, until the company that owns the ship pays them, a small amount, like $10,000 to get their ship back. Its a small amount for a large company, who is losing money by the hour that their ship isn’t moving.

As for my pirate watch experience, I wonder really how effect we were at detecting pirates, it was memorable. My friend Cathy and I were out there on the back of the ship at 3am, sitting in lounge chairs looking up and the stars were amazing. A great blanket of white stars. Then a golden moon came up as a sliver that began to bathe the ocean and Deck 8 where we sat.

Many times we’ve had this kind of experience where you can’t believe you are lucky enough to experience it. A kind of thing that people pay to see and do and we are getting it for free. A kind of experience that you didn’t plan but there it is, sitting in front of you and you are the only one there to enjoy it.

God is good!

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