Stage Eleven – Shipping news! CC Coral from Taiwan to New Zealand – overland from UK 2 NZ

CC Coral keeping her ballast water to herself in the Coral Sea
CC Coral keeping her ballast water to herself in the Coral Sea

Day eight and we were in the Coral Sea, that evocative name. There’d been a famous battle here in WWII. To protect NZ from Japanese invasion American and Australian ships routed the Japanese fleet. A copy of James Michener’s short stories, Tales of the South Seas, was thoughtfully provided in my cabin to bring the events to life.

CC Coral running a wee bit late with plenty of time to make it up
CC Coral running a wee bit late with plenty of time to make it up

What I saw from my window at 6:30 am were birds! A teeming flock of white sea birds, perhaps terns (?) scattered through the little white horses galloping over the glittering sea.

View of distant ship on horizon from CC Coral
View of distant ship on horizon from CC Coral

There were also dark patches, perhaps indicating shallows, lumps of oil or the coral by which these waters are named? Or maybe wind scuffs.

Pitted floor and bollard on CC Coral
Pitted floor and bollard on CC Coral

In my morning visit to the Bridge, Myo Han told me he expected to be at sea for another five years or so. He wanted to return to Myanmar to work in some area connected with transport or perhaps as a crew agent. He’d only been Third Officer for twenty days. He knew what was required; a course and at least a year’s experience before he could apply for the next level. Moving to a different ship each contract kept the interest alive for him and would give him wider experience with different systems.

More primary colours CC Coral
More primary colours CC Coral

More alarm testing today to keep everyone awake. Third Officer Safety came to tell me to stay away from the fire doors because they slammed shut during the alarm. I told him I wasn’t going anywhere and he was at pains to reassure me I would be allowed to go at 12:00 – for lunch!

A pair of gorgeous creatures, white with dark wings, streamlined bodies tipped with big long beaks. (Probably boobies maybe gannets) The black wings were white to the elbow giving the bird carved white lines of crossed scimitars skimming over the darker water. The two of them flew high and then skimmed down to just above the waves, presumably looking for fish but not appearing to try hard. One clearly followed the other and at one point both rose up into the air and appeared to jostle for position before perhaps they changed leader and went back closer to the water again. They did not seem anxious to find food, nor were they riotously enjoying the flight, but moved efficiently and so quickly as to beat the ship with little effort. I wonder what they made of this stinky, noisy vessel?

CC Coral anchor chain
CC Coral anchor chain

On this night I watched ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ another great travel movie filled with art and action. Style over logic. I did feel anxious about the clutch of models draped in bandages. Compare them to the obese and contented matrons providing milk for the youngsters. Surely those dames provided babies in order to be milked? What happened to their calves? Did the skinny models turn into cows once they’ve had their babies or were they specialised for genetic needs? If so, what genetic assets did they provide this warrior race other than prettiness? One would expect the organisation to require strength, intelligence or speed? Even after they had been rehabilitated by the senior women, the scantily-clad pretties re-entered the citadel dressed much the same. Why didn’t their flowing bandages get caught in the truck doors as they ran, backlit like gazelles, to get the truck out of the swamp? And why did those dames reward Max with the biggest and best motorbike?

Break in the clouds over the Coral Sea
Break in the clouds over the Coral Sea

Tao 44 said, Know what is enough. Abuse nothing. Know when to stop. Harm nothing. That is how to last a long time. Well. There’s sustainability.

Sunset over Coral Sea
Sunset over Coral Sea – perhaps a hint of bushfire in the haze?

12 thoughts on “Stage Eleven – Shipping news! CC Coral from Taiwan to New Zealand – overland from UK 2 NZ

  1. Epic voyage and marvellously engaging account! So evocative, I could almost smell the fumes and feel the engines rumble. Some magical moments, poignant ones, lots of fun facts. I feel like I vicariously experienced something I would never have otherwise had the opportunity to experience. Thank you, dear, V! So many wonderful words!

  2. Reading this, all pages, after you have been in Aotearoa NZ for just over one month. What an awesome adventure. But also conveying the sense of that disembodied vessel and its occupants chugging through the different seas.I hope you do feel that you are safely home.

    “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

    • Thank you, Pen, I am certainly in one of my homes! But I am certainly enjoying the music, scenery and of course, mainly, my good friends in Aotearoa.

  3. epic quote “As usual, the more you know, the less you know and the more I smelled.” err ! diesel fumes and the sea = roiling nausea
    So happy you got the upgrade to the Owner’s. Really enjoying your experience of the high seas and can’t wait to read more!!!

Leave a Reply