The China Star

at some point last night I realised that it was awfully quiet. The engines were making little noise, the fog horn was no longer blowing and I didn’t sense any forward motion. Obviously I decided it wasn’t my problem and went back to sleep.  It was just after 0600 when Cheré and I looked out the balcony and verified that we were going nowhere in a great hurry.  Ok. We are sitting still, why?  It obviously wasn’t an emergency or we would have heard.

It was 0700 when the Captain came on the speakers to say that there was a ship broken down in the river ahead of us.  Until the tugs stablized it and moved it out of the channel, we were going to be remaining where we were. Looking out over water, Quonset huts, a few houses and land so flat that you could imagine it vanishing under a one meter wave.  Several cups of coffee, the discovery that my access code to the internet worked on both my laptop and iPad at the same time and it was time to find knitters.

Next announcement – bulk hauler still blocking the channel. Bit of research turned up the information that both the Carnival Dream and NCL Dawn had made it up river last night. I have to admire the pragmatism of the Coast Guard and pilots: ship outbound can wait; two that are headed in with passenger loads disembarking this morning were given priority.

Final announcement: ship is stabilized and we will be starting out. It is now lunch time and over 12 hours since we stopped. At least we managed to get turned back around and are now headed downstream.  We creep the China Star being held in place by six tugs. Even so you can see the wake and its effect. Chere reports seeing crew members on deck with small grills. The ship had a major engine failure. No power. No lights, no refrigeration and obviously no internal means of cooking.

I don’t know what they are hauling, but I just hope it is not flammable….

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