In Chapter 9, as Kendal sails through the Indian Ocean and later the Bay of Bengal, George turns her attention to the wild life under water. She talks about the face-to-face encounters that were reported by sailors with whales in different parts of the world, and how environmentalists and wildlife agencies had restricted the speed of ships crossing whale inhabited areas to protect them from being sliced. Her attention then shifts from conservancy to deaths and removal of decaying carcass to prevent spread of epidemics harmful to human beings. She narrates some unfortunate incidents that took place in various places across the world where, whales that ran ashore were blown to pieces because of the difficulties authorities had in trying to rid them from the beaches where they were found. After describing small, minute copepods, her focus turns to right whales that were hunted by humans for their whalebone. The aggressive hunt in the early stages of the twentieth century was so brutal that only a handful of whales survived the onslaught, which mandated their being labeled as endangered species in 1935. Because of their habit of feeding and breeding close to the shores, their biggest challenge to survive comes from ships. Provincetown is the place where George meets whale watcher, Stormy Mayo, an environmentalists, whom certain ship captains didn’t like at all. On board the Shearwater, George joins Stormy Mayo on an expedition to study the right whales, where they spot Minus 1, a mnemonic, a name given to whales to identify them. She also talks about other whales with names such as, mother and calf, Kleenox and Snot, Van Halen, Yawn and Rat. She narrates the sad demise of Churchill, a young male whale, which died of starvation as his mouth was entangled by a fishing net, and despite attempts to remove it failed, Churchill swam over 5000 miles in 2 months without being able to feed. Man has only caused irreparable damage to the survival of life under water. Incidents of dolphins dying on beaches are not uncommon. The kind of sounds machinery cause under water is enough to kill the largest of mammals under water.
In Rescue, Captain Glenn, sailing the new K-class ship from South Korea to Malaysia, wrote in his log: felt safe, comfortable, and proud of their new vessel. On August 7, 2007, MV Pailin Maritime, a thirty-year old, ill-kept ship sends an SOS to Kendal’s bridge team. Sailing from Solomon Island, MV Pailin Maritime’s chief officer had shown his misapprehensions about the ship’s safety. Kendal, which was 170 miles adrift at the time of the shipwreck, responded to the call and in less than 5 hours, was just eighty-eight miles of the crew who were floating in the rough sea. George, in recalling this incident talks about the code of honorable conduct at sea by merchant vessels. However, the sinking of the British crab boat; Etoile des Ondes, and the failure of ships to respond to the frantic cries of the crew, only showed “the dereliction of one of the fundamental duties of the mariner, the moral and legal obligation to go to the aid of those in peril on the sea.” The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), in its regulation 33, Distress Situation: Obligations and Procedures: states that the “Master of a ship which is in a position to provide assistance, on receiving information from any source that persons are in distress at sea, is bound to proceed with all speed to their assistance.” Recalling the MV Pailin Maritime’s incident, four ships, including Kendal, responded to the call. Kendal reached the scene, and as Kirmar was close by, she was called for assistance. The ship kept to its passage without responding. Reaching a site where a shipwreck occurs is one thing, but finding the exact location is difficult, and George gives insight into how search and rescue operations take place. In addition to using charts, math, physics and brains, the use of IAMSAR, the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual, helps locate the actual place of mishap. Chapter 10 recalls heroics and dismals of the rescue acts at sea.
In Chapter 11, Disembark, on arrival at Singapore, the journey for George, aboard the Kendal, is about to end. She takes a look at the mood of the sailors who were with her on her journey, and finds out how they felt being away from home for long. Captain Glenn sums up the mood by saying that they too were human beings, and like all of us, had emotions. For George, the moment was claustrophobic, as she alight the Kendal with whom she shared a pleasant and memorable journey. Once the cargo is offloaded, and new consignments are loaded, Kendal will, at the verbal signal of the pilot, and the echo of the captain, spark to ignite the engine room, that will turn her wheels to set off, on her business as usual. Quite appropriately, Rose George sums up her experience aboard Kendal by saying, “It is a lovely, compelling picture of a life at sea. Who wouldn’t sign up if it was like that? A job that is vital. A career that will never disappear, for we will always need ships, as the captain’s mother said.”