Monday, September 28, 2015


Picture this:
We're in the middle of nowhere, deep blue sea all around. Deep blue, angry seas all around. Winds are steady at 24 knots; swells are rolling through at about six feet with a three foot wind chop on top. The water is covered with white caps as far as the eye can see in all directions.

An aircraft overhead reports a suspected narco-trafficker (aka, drug smuggler) in our vicinity in a profile go-fast vessel. We launch our small boat, and send them off to chase down the suspect vessel. They pound into the seas for nearly an hour. Amazingly, they spot the go-fast 500 yards off their bow.

They close the go-fast vessel, who has been DIW (dead in the water, pronounced dee-eye-double u) hoping to avoid detection. The go-fast takes off downswell trying to get away. Our small boat chases them.

The go-fast crew starts throwing stuff overboard. Our crew slows just enough to snag one package of what has been jettisoned for potential evidence, and then quickly cranks the speed back up to insane levels. They crash along closing the go-fast for about 15 minutes. The go-fast jettisons more packages, and lightens their load just enough to start edging away from our crew.

Our small boat finally breaks pursuit after sliding further and further astern of the go-fast. The go-fast screams off into the horizon, quickly disappearing from sight. Our small boat creeps back to the ship slowly upswell, trying for the best ride after being jolted crash after wave crash for nearly two hours. We recover the small boat; the team onboard is tired, wet, sore and hungry. The bale of suspected contraband sits imperiously on the wardroom table like a prized trophy.

Later that night, our sister ship comes along, sees the same go-fast, shoots out their engines from their helicopter and stops the go-fast.

We got the drugs; they got the people.

Just another day in paradise.