What is that?

Yachting Monthly - - THE END - Liza Dodds

My hus­band and I were mo­tor­ing our 38ft Hunter Leg­end from La Spezia to Elba overnight. Sev­eral nau­ti­cal miles ahead of us we saw a huge lit-up struc­ture. From be­hind it came an­other ves­sel, a bright white light above it. What was it do­ing? The lights were get­ting brighter and Mike in­sisted it was com­ing to­ward us, and fast.

I rushed to the ra­dio, only to dis­cover that I’d turned it off ear­lier in the watch, as the white noise of an­other ves­sel had be­come an­noy­ing. I turned it on and straight away a stern and in­creas­ingly ur­gent voice was telling us to keep two miles away from the struc­ture, which was, it turns out, an oil plat­form and safety pa­trol boat.

I apol­o­gised pro­fusely and promised a west­ward course, while Mike opened up the throt­tle and mo­tored rapidly away. On re­flec­tion we re­alised we had both made school-boy er­rors. He should have checked Navion­ics more care­fully, as the struc­ture was marked with an ex­clu­sion zone, and I shouldn’t have turned the ra­dio off.

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