Tug-n-tow the bain of our day
20 November 2012 | Port Dickson, Malaysia
We are now travelling up the notorious malacca straits between Sumatra (Indonesia) and Malaysia. We are sailing (mainly motoring in fact) just outside the shipping channel leaving the big tankers to themselves!! its not the pirates that cause us grief but these tug and barge combo deals. For one, they are long with steel cable joining them and two, they continually change their course so that the barge can correct itself. So avoiding them at all cost is our daily grind especially if it happens to be raining and the visibility is low. The only worse scenario was in indonesia when we had to do some night sails and seeing these things at night was scary. Especially as they rarely had AIS (radar) and often travelled without lights. One such tug had the lights on but not the barge 50 metres behind!! Talk about flying blind!! Also just on that subject, early on when we weren't familiar with the tug-n-tows we thought from a distance that it was an unchartered island. Dan was madly checking the plotter and the paper charts only to find on closer examination that it was a tug carrying a barge with a very full load of sand!!