As we continued our way down south we approached Gladstone with our eyes peeled. We had previously seen from the air the vast number of container ships anchored out to sea, waiting their turn to collect their load and sail for foreign ports. We knew that we would have to have our wits about us as we wended our way through the long lines of metal monsters.
One minute you are sailing with nothing around you but the blue blue sea, the next these unlovely vessels loom into view – not just one or two, not just a dozen or so, but literally scores of them all in neat lines like obedient soldiers.
We felt for the poor sailors left on board. All far away from their homes and families with so many hours to fill watching movies, playing video games or fishing. Many of them waved and kept waving until we were almost out of view, as if they were desperate for some human contact and were savouring the small diversion in their long day.