Monday, April 20, 2009

Too Old To Be a Pirate

There's lots of news coverage on the pirates and the taking of hostages off the coast of Somalia. Pirates have been making ends meet there for many centuries and I could use some extra spending money. Years ago it would not be that difficult to board a slower ship carrying cargo but the ships of today are huge and the decks are so high from the water below and they are not slow. At the marina where my boat is berthed many sailors and powerboat users fly a pirate's Jolly Roger and I have one to hoist for my grandson's amusement. So with a flag and a boat there could be some gold coins in my future.

Yesterday on my Sunday sail I kept my Jolly Roger below deck as lately the number of law enforcement boats cruising the harbor is staggering. We have the armed Coast Guard inflatables, they have a gunner standing holding on to the bow mounted machine gun as they cruise by. We have the City Life Guard boats, the Harbor Police with flashing lights to lead the cruise ship out to sea and several other law enforcement boats. Yesterday the Long Beach Grand Prix was going on so I sailed over in that direction passing several auto transport ships and cargo ships anchored within the breakwater. There are at lease three auto docking areas and I used to be close to the Nissan loading facility. The ship would come in and a small army of drivers would rush to drive the cars from the ship to the parking lot then load them on trains or auto transports. Then they would rush back the ship across the mighty ocean for another load of shiny new ones. Now the lots sit full of unbought cars and the ship transports are sitting here.

Two interesting things in the pictures of the Star Hardanger are the gangway that raises and lowers. As I was approaching it a shore boat had picked up a passenger and was just being raised and in a later shot you can see it in the elevated position. My days as a pirate don't include any way of getting on a ship of that size. It LOA is 199.9 meters and sits so high. And checkout the lifeboat, it looks like launching it would make a great Disney thrill ride. Any solutions to end this menace of pirates that would be fore coming from my thoughts have all ready been thought of by others and if it is any help to the shipping giants of the world I am too old to be a pirate so they not need lose any sleep worrying about me.

Having viewed countless pirate movies I consider placing a knife in my mouth and diving off my boat and swimming over and scaling the side by climbing a knotted rope but all this ship had was a rusty anchor chain. Or maybe swing over on a loose halyard but my mast is not high enough to get up to the waterline and I not much of a swinger. Maybe the secret is banishing a weapon or a rocket but my armament is limited to an air horn and a package of signal flares. Maybe I need an eye patch and a parrot (I do have two parakeets) to scare my way aboard.
Post a Comment