Ocean-going seamanship is a heavily-regulated world which – with inevitable regional variations – is organised by innumerable rules, regulations and conventions, never mind peculiar national customs and other administrative systems. One group of helpful aids are the marine-specific traffic-monitoring websites by which both commercial fleets and individual vessels can be tracked as they ply their trade.
By logging on to one of these, this morning I have been able to pinpoint the current position of my son Barry’s yacht, which left Gosport at about 10.30am on Sunday morning. It is now well into the Celtic Sea, south-west of Lands End and north-west of Brest in France, heading straight out into the Atlantic.
It’s an excellent way of families of sailors ‘keeping in touch’ with their loved ones.