In addition to the situation of pirate encounters, we are right off the coast of Yemen right now. The coastline we are passing is a war zone so we are staying very far from shore. If we get close to shore there is a far-fetched fear that we could catch a stray bullet so we are far enough in the ocean that ammunitions and hits on shore cannot accidentally reach us. How strange it is to look over the railing of our ship at Yemen, which we can see in the distance, and realize that people are shooting at each other! They had blasts today that shattered windows in town from the vibrations and we heard that air strikes have started.
Tonight the captain will keep the ship moving through the area as quickly as possible. Military vessels from other countries have been arriving to participate or add to the unrest in Yemen (depending on whose side they are on) and other military vessels from the United States and other allies were visible today protecting cruise ships and other vessels venturing through this unstable part of the ocean.
Helicopters have also been very close to our ship (presumably military helicopters to insure safety of cruise ships, cargo ships and other sea vessels). Several passengers said they even saw a submarine floating above the water.
Captain Mercer said we will all be able to breathe a sigh of relief shortly when we are out of that narrow passage that is so close to the war zone and also where we would most likely encounter pirate attacks if there are any lurking. His goal is to get us out of this area and into Saudi Arabian waters as quickly as possible where we will be out of harm's way.
Wednesday, March 31st, 2015 – Today we awakened to the good news that we are now in the waters by Saudi Arabia and safely away from the war zone in Yemen and also away from the waters where the pirates cause problems.
It's almost midnight on Wednesday night now – the ship has moved a nice normal pace all day but I can feel that the speed has been kicked up again tonight. Even though the potential danger is behind us, I think the Captain still wants to get us out of this area as quickly as possible and into the port in Aqaba (Petra), Jordon early Friday morning.