Day 12 Passage to Darwin “Fish Net!”
Around 03:00am traveling within the charted shipping lane I approach the first of two large ships that transmitted a AIS signal but didn’t identify vessel type. The ship did appear to be at anchor just outside the shipping lane with multiple flood lights. As the ship disappeared behind me I could see the same type of ship about 5 nautical miles ahead all lit up like Friday night lights. About half way between the two ships I struck a fish net that had large floats on it but because it was pitch black out I could not see it laying in the water. This was a clear shock because I am in the shipping lane. The net hooked first the keel and began sinking and I could hear the horrible sound of the net sawing across the bottom of Dragonsbane then slipped off the keel and hook the rudder, completing the second abuse to Dragonsbane. At that point all was on deck to see what the heck was going on. The net popped off the rudder and we continued down the center of the shipping lane. At this point I thought that we must of hit a drift net that made its way into the shipping lane. With Everybody on edge we continued for an hour and I handed off the helm to my dad for his shift 04:00 am to 08:00am. At this point we were parrel with the second 200 meter ship. As I was heading down to go to sleep we ran into the same MFing net. I jump onto the deck looked out and you could see from the side of the 200 meter ship a massive fishing net be retrieved or being held off the ships mid deck area. I was so pissed off at this point and the net once again scrapping across our haul sounding like we were ripping the boat apart snapped off the bottom of Dragonsbane. Not one VHF radio call from the dam fishing vessal was put out to us or any visual light aids indicating that the two fishing vessel had a 5 mile long fishing net strung accross the entire shipping channel. That was some world class bullshit and I just want to say WHAT THE HELL! During our the morning SSB radio net control a cruising boat that is about 30 miles ahead of us noted the same experience and there rudder has a collapsible hydraulic lift. There rudder collapsed when they hit the same fishing net. Not sure were I can report this but I may be wrong but I am pretty sure you cant have a fishing net across an entire shipping lane. Anyway everything appears to be in working order and all is well on aboard as we make our last 500 nautical miles to Darwin through this never ending gauntlet of shit.
Current Postion: UTC05:30, 10Deg 41min SOuth, 137deg 32min East, COG262degM, SOG 6kts, WS 16kts ESE, Swell 1 meter, Cloudy Skies,