Down below…. As usual with us, we are pumping into our holding tank and keeping a count of the down strokes on a sticky note on the head wall. We know that 330 down strokes fills the holding tank, and our sticker was at 210, so were not yet full. Radeen gave the guards a tour of our head, pointed out our tabulation sticker, and then opened up the locker and explained our plumbing system, showing how it was going into the tank. The lead officer decided NOT to put the dye into the head and pump. Next, they checked our photo IDs and our vessel documentation numbers, asked us our destination, and left promptly to go board the next of 6 sailboats all heading south.
I thanked them for their services and their work, but they were too serious to accept the compliment. I will say, this was a very stressful situation, and I cannot imagine how scary this would be if you WERE breaking any laws. This is only the second boarding on Island Spirit. The other one was offshore approaching Block Island from sea in 2002, under sail with a reefed main. Those three officers boarded our leeward side and were onboard just as quickly. They were training a new officer in vessel boardings. I am happy to help with their training and their work and I appreciate that they are doing the work they are doing. Now let’s inspect a few more container ships BEFORE they arrive in port!