Only a few days ago I was writing about the challenge of avoiding charter yachts and how we are heading north to get away from them.
The Australian and US military are holding training exercises in Queensland at the moment. A military exclusion zone has been established in one area and is full of US naval vessels. We re-planned our route to sail outside the exclusion zone and were following the northern border on a sunny day with perfect visibility. We had all our sails out so were a relatively obvious white speck on a blue ocean. We were constantly sending our position, speed and course via our AIS transmitter.
A US naval vessel was approaching us (obviously using his engine) and making no attempt to avoid a collision within the next 15 minutes so we called him on the VHF radio
Fort Charles this is Artemis. Over.
Artemis this is the US naval vessel Fort Charles. Over.
This is Artemis. We are the sailing vessel off your port bow. The current vectors suggest that we are going to meet shortly. Do you intend to take appropriate avoiding action or are you expecting us to take some action? Over.
Short pause …
Artemis this is Fort Charles. We will go hard to port and cross behind your stern. Over.
This is Artemis. Thank you and have a nice day. Out.
The question this raises is whether you can charter US naval vessels.