29 April 2016, 1910 Local / 1110 UTC - South China Sea

When we are underway, especially in busy waters, we always have our VHF radio (short-range of about 20 miles) tuned to the international distress channel 16. This is the channel that a ship or boat would use to hail another vessel, or which you might use for a mayday call.

Alene was sleeping when I heard the following conversation.
(In English because, like with commercial aircraft, that is the language used for all international traffic.)

Chinese warship: Japan warship, Japan warship. This is China warship.

He called several times. At this point, the Chinese warship was closer than the Japanese warship and I could only hear his half of the conversation.

After a few minutes he continued.

Chinese warship: Japan warship, Japan warship. This is China warship. Your response is unprofessional. I will lodge a complaint with your country through the official channels.

Again, I couldn't hear the response. Then, he repeated

Chinese warship: Japan warship, Japan warship. This is China warship. Your response is unprofessional. I will lodge a complaint with your country through the official channels.

Now the Japanese warship came into VHF range.

Japanese warship: China, Go home!

Chinese warship: Japan warship, Japan warship. This is China warship. Your words are ugly. <pause> You go home.

Then silence.

Suddenly an unknown vessel joined the conversation

New vessel: China, go home!

Further north we also heard many Filipino fishermen insulting the Chinese and telling them to get out of their waters.

It is not a quiet place... and I'm not just referring to the noise on the VHF...

BB