passage from Belitung to Bali Dave D. started to read Joshua Slocum's Around the World
Alone. He had just finished the portion about Slocum's encounters with the
pirates in the Straight of Magellan as we approached Madura. Madura is an island
that is famous for its fierce warlike pirates. The term Boogieman is derived from
the old name of the Madura pirates who had wild hair and a reputation for torturing their
captives. Piracy is still practiced on the occasional yacht passing through the
We were sailing east along
the north coast of Madura about 3 miles offshore trying to find shelter from the SE swell.
During Dave T.'s twilight watch a set of navigation lights appeared on the horizon
about 5 miles behind us. At the end of his watch they were still there at about the
same relative position. As part of the standard watch handover he pointed them out
to me. The lights held their relative position to us throughout my 3 hour watch and
I mentioned this to Dave D. when he came on watch.
|Well, Dave was sitting there in the
dark at 3 in the morning all by himself with only his imagination and this set of lights
for company. Before long he became convinced that this must be a pirate vessel that
was stalking us waiting for just the right moment to pounce. Just before sunrise,
another ship appeared behind the "pirate" boat. This one was brightly lit
and moving quickly. Surely this must be the mother pirate ship coming in the
In an effort to be prepared Dave
dug out the flare and the boat hook to fend of the blighters. Just incase that did not
deter them, he had his mask and fins ready so he could dive over the side and swim for
D. after a rough night fending off the pirates of Madura.
great disappointment, and relief, the "mothership" cruised right on by just as
the sun was coming up. In the light of day it was obvious that the
"mothership" was a cruise ship heading for Bali and the "pirate boat"
was a fishing trawler that happened to be doing the same 5 knots we were in the same
No pirates this trip.