What is that?
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.