Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November 18 – 25 – Pirate Dodging Round Arabia

So, we had five days sailing from the Red Sea to Muscat, which meant that for at least two of those days, we were sailing in the most dangerous waters in the world – past the pirates of Somalia.

The Captain gave us a briefing that explained that the ship was taking every precaution to avoid the pirates, by sailing through a protected corridor patrolled by the navies of the coalition, and we had our two hard as nails ex-SAS mercenaries/security consultants onboard (the passenger rumour mill had them painted as a couple of British Stephen Segals).

While in the danger zone, all the open decks were out-of-bounds, while at night, we weren't allowed to have our curtains drawn, to make us less of a target – however, the fact that it was virtually a full moon and clear skies meant we weren't exactly inconspicuous. The one comforting thought was that we are a lot faster than most of the cargo ships crossing with us; and we were a lot more difficult to board (being higher in the water); plus the prospect of trying to control a boat full of headstrong Silversea Passengers would scare most self-respecting pirates.

As it turned out, we didn't see any evidence of pirates – we saw plenty of flying fish and dolphins, we were approached by helicopters from the British and German navies (which was reassuring); plus a few fishing boats; but no pirates, thank God.