It stands to reason that after several thousand years of pottering about the oceans, people would come up with rules for how to not run into each other. It’s not like there are road markings to follow out there, after all.

Those rules are the International Regulations for the Avoidance of Collisions at Sea, or “ColRegs”. And they are fascinating. No, wait, that’s not it. I wish they were fascinating.

There are rules for the lights a vessel has to show after dark. Other lights for when you’re under way, or towing another vessel, or drifting out of control. There are sounds signals to give if you’re overtaking someone on the left, or the right. Or if you’re just lost in the fog. There are rules about who gives way to who, depending on whether you’re sailing or using an engine, whether the wind is on your left or right, or in a narrow channel or open water, and so on.

I completely get why I’m going to need to know all these rules. If someone’s driving a container ship at me in a busy shipping channel, knowing which way everyone’s supposed to go will be a good thing.

But exciting stuff to study it is not.