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.
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?
Are they on a boat?
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?