228 Days At Sea: Somalian Pirates Attack

Just after falling victim to discrimination for being a woman in the Middle East, I retreated back to my home onboard the ship. We set sail for Egypt waving our farewells to the dusty coast of Muscat, Oman. The events to occur in the ensuing days at sea were not particularly on the itinerary…

As we departed from the U.A.E. and Oman, the scheduled route would have us sailing from the Gulf of Oman, into the Arabian Sea, through the Gulf of Aden, into the Red Sea and through the highly anticipated and most beautiful Suez Canal. The captain made an announcement to all seamen that we would be entering a red zone. Traveling through the Gulf of Aden would be very risky and potentially dangerous. Somalian pirates are known to occupy these Deadly Waters camouflaged as fishermen in stolen boats. These Somalian pirates would hijack ships, mainly cargo, and kidnap westerners for ransom.

For security measures, doors and windows were locked and taped shut with ‘Do Not Exit, Piracy Watch’ signs. Day one of cruising through the Gulf of Aden was still and peaceful. Stillness once again on day two. On day three, I was playing bingo when the captain came on air with an announcement: “Attention, Attention. Suspicious activity coming our way. Please remain calm and stay away from all doors and windows.” My heart felt like it was going to fall out of my butt - two seconds later I sprinted down to the cabin and snatched my camera.

The outside top deck of the ship was prohibited but being the sly sleuth that I am, I crawled to the outside top where one can see the sky and sea stretched to the ends of the earth. There were seven Somalian pirate boats getting closer and closer to our vessel. The captain turned all eight water hoses on full blast overturning two boats. The remaining Somalians didn’t leave anything to chance. We were free from the lurking invaders and bound for the Suez Canal… I was hoping as least to meet my Jack Sparrow. -tnoely