The Anti-Piracy Helpline

February 8 – We’re due to arrive in Shanghai, my last port of call, tomorrow around 11, but have gotten word that the Port of Shanghai is closed due to fog. In other shipping news, the Baltimore received this teletype today:

TO: ALL SHIPS TRANSITING OFF SOMALIA/ARABIAN SEA/INDIAN OCEAN

WARNING      WARNING      WARNING

08.02.2011: 0427 UTC: A MERCHANT VESSEL IS CURRENTLY UNDER ATTACK BY 1 SKIFF WITH 5 POB [pirates on board] IN POSITION 12:10N-066:00E. WEAPONS WERE FIRED AT THE VESSEL AND PIRATES MOTHER SHIP WAS SIGHTED NEARBY. …

***

24 HOURS ANTI-PIRACY HELPLINE: +603 2031 0014.

–0–

Anti-Piracy Helpline, are you under pirate attack?
I think so yeah. Not sure if it’s pirates though…
Sir, this is the Anti-Piracy Helpline. Our grant won’t allow us to offer telephone counseling services for other forms of attack.
Well how do I know if it’s pirates or not?
Are you on a boat?
Uh huh.
Are they on a boat?
Um, yeah.
Fresh or salt water?
Salt. What the hell difference does….
[Interrupting] You’re doing fine, sir. Stay with me, I just have my little worksheet to go over with you.
It’s just that…
Have you detected the odor of rum and/or grog on the breath of the alleged pirates?
Look, I only just have them on the radar, they’re coming right up on my stern, every time I turn, they turn…
Are they brandishing anything? Maybe a curvy sword? Are there parrots, sir? Sir, are there parrots? Hello?
*Dial tone*

About Saint Expedite

Retired early, then took a trip across the Pacific from Seattle by container ship. From China I stopped in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Holland, Denmark, England and Ireland before heading home to Puget Sound. This blog is an account of my travels. Write to me at SaintExpedite@frozenheads.net
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5 Responses to The Anti-Piracy Helpline

  1. Elizabeth says:

    As Steve Zissou would say to the pirates on your behalf, “please don’t point that gun at him–he’s an unpaid intern.”

  2. Carolyn D says:

    Nikki wants to know when you are coming home and if you could please bring her some fish.

    • Nikki’s a tramp, she had her chance to jump in my suitcase. Tell her they’re all out of fish in Shanghai.

      • Carolyn D says:

        She forgives you for that slight.* She spent the afternoon in a cat-bun shape at the front office window — gazing at your blue driving machine.

        *Actually, that might be a compliment in the feline world

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