With all this glitter from sari night, one might think that cruise ships would be pirates’ first choice of victims, but cargo ships and oil tankers have that honor. They have valuable loot and they move slower. Early in the twenty-first century, piracy off the coast of Somalia became a real problem with at least one cruise ship boarded. Wilbur Smith, one of my favorite authors wrote a wonderful adventure story about it, so when I saw that we would be passing near the coast of Somalia, piracy crossed my mind. I did not think of it again until we left India four nights ago and our daily schedule said that there would be an anti-piracy drill the next morning.
Captain Jonathan made an announcement that he had notified the Maritime Authority of our entrance into that part of the Indian Ocean, which meant that Maritime Patrol vessels would be accompanying us. During the drill, all passengers were to go to an inside area away from windows and sit down. Sitting was required so the captain could maneuver the ship without us falling. The maneuvers were speeding up and turning quickly. Guest services would stop as crew did their assigned tasks. Our room steward visited each stateroom and put an evacuated sign in the door. Armed guards were assigned to sit about the ship with binoculars to sight threats. The crew placed high pressure water hoses on the deck to use against anyone trying to board. Razor wire was made available to put around deck three should it be required. Finally, all window curtains are too be closed from sunset to sunlight to make us less visible.
Captain Jonathan assured us there is very little risk, but they need to stay prepared. He, proudly, said we could do twenty-five knots. Apparently, that is faster than the pirate boats. Lest you worry, I researched the issue a bit on the internet and it turns out that since 2011 when they began the patrols, the problem has significantly reduced. As I write we are heading to the riskiest area; we are out of the risky area after April 9. Please, those of you who are praying for me, keep it up and thank you.