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Aug 2016

27 Aug. 2016; At Sea.

The good ship Koningsdam is weaving its way southbound again back to Amsterdam after a 14 day “flat circle” cruise curving around Scotland to Iceland and then back via Norway.  Today the word “weaving” is correct as we are on far from a straight course. Going between the various Oil Rigs you can easily do on a safe and straight course but what you meet on the way can make a difference. Between the Oil Rigs you can come across Fishermen as they are convinced that fish will hide as close to a rig as is possible and you also come across watch ships which are there to protect the oil rigs. Fishermen will claim that we are going where they need to be, that the uncomprehending outside world build Oil Rigs, windmill parks and other structures on their exclusive fishing grounds and that the rest of the floating world (including us) is just a nuisance in principle. They are not always wrong nor are they always right but the rules which cause these structures to be there come out of a democratic consulting system where every stakeholder had the chance to give input somewhere during the decision process. And the final decision making policies resulted in what we have now. The space between oil rigs is free to everybody as long as you do not endanger the rigs or its working capacity. And this means that fishermen are in between. Nothing against that, probably very good fishing, but when they move towards you from out of the rig area and they are still fishing then the navigational situation can become a bit complicated. We have the Rules of the Road which clearly define how to deal with fishing boats when fishing. However the rules have no allowances for: if a whole slew of oil rigs make it impossible to change course. What do you do then? Such a situation is then covered under a general rule, stop the ship or at least slow down. And slowing down if you really do not have to is some- thing we try […]

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