After 3 rich and rewarding weeks in Golfo Azzurro I have taken sad farewells, changed ships and linguas francas. I will now be heading back south to the SAR zone in See Fuchs, a stout Baltic Sea fishing boat.
Retrieved from a German maritime museum, SF is 80 feet long, 60 years old and tough as old boots. Dutch flagged, with youthful and enthusiastic German crew, See Fuchs is owned by the German NGO Sea Eye.
At the risk of being boring, I must show you some of her features.
Like the ship herself, her old East German engine is very robust also, as long as we oil her every 3 hours she gives us 7.5 kts at 300 rpm with no complaint. and uses only 18 L per hour!
With a F5 NW breeze there is an uncomfortable quartering sea and we are rolling through 40 degrees and holding on is the number one priority. At least it is sunny. Balearic petrels wheel and swoop and a weary pigeon has taken up residence on deck. As the weather improves we have taken to the water.
Our German crew of 11 are all young (well, apart from the skipper and me), intelligent and hardworking. Bagging and stowing 1,000 life vests in yesterday’s hot sun was a test they passed with flying colours.
This northerly wind is forecast to continue for the next 3 days and it is unlikely that any refugee boats will set off in these conditions.