When we left Colombo we already had our razor wire rigged on deck 3, this in anticipation of our entering the High Risk Area for pirate activity. Matters have improved considerably since the ‘bad old days’, when dhows and their skiffs were prowling the seas in search of prey. The actions of military (naval) resources from several countries have slowly but surely decreased the attempted hijackings and now, the HRA has reduced in size. It used to encompass the Indian Ocean, from the west coast of India, into the Gulfs of Oman, Aden and the East coast of Africa. Now, most of our route to the Persian Gulf and Dubai, is a Voluntary Reporting Area and we enter the HRA for only 12 hours enroute to Dubai. Nevertheless, it is always prudent to be cautious, and following the naval recommendations, the razor wire and water-cannon are still rigged.
We pass through the sector without incident thankfully and make our way towards the Straits of Hormuz, the stretch of water between Iran and Oman and one of the world’s most important areas of water. It is a ‘chokepoint’, all traffic passing in or out of the Persian Gulf has to pass through it, particularly oil. The navigable section for these monoliths is only 3 miles wide, they being constrained by their deep drafts and having to stay in deep water.
While crossing the Indian Ocean, I found some tome to take some photographs around the ship and, as many of you had asked, I post them before moving onto a Dubai post.